New artwork ’emerges’ at the Ritz Gallery

Cayman Traditional Arts is launching a new exhibition at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s gallery on 8 April, 2009.

Titled Emerge, the exhibit will feature local artists including Guy Harvey, Jo Austin, CE Whitney, John Broad, Cathy Church, Chris Christian, Courtney Platt, Randy Chollette and Mikael Seffer.

‘Each show that we do takes on its own identity which creates the atmosphere and experience for guests and residents as they walk through the gallery within the overpass,’ said Mr. Christian, artist and gallery coordinator of the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s gallery, in a press release issued by Cayman Traditional Arts.

‘This spring exhibit has a great combination of paintings and photography, both realistic and abstract impressionist.’

Melissa Ladley, director of public relations at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, is excited to see the new exhibit.

‘The success of the gallery has far exceeded our expectations,’ said Mrs. Ladley. ‘When we were planning the resort, prior to its 2005 opening, the space [where the Gallery is] was simply a long corridor connecting the two wings of the resort over West Bay Road.

‘We knew every single guest at the resort would pass through that hallway, so we came up with the concept of The Gallery as a way to enhance the resort’s sense of place.’

Mrs. Ladley explained that the Gallery was a great way to introduce the Ritz-Carlton guests to Cayman’s visual arts.

‘The rotating exhibits complement the Caymanian work we have in the hotel’s permanent art collection,’ she said. ‘We worked with the architects and designers to modify the space with opaque windows and museum-like lighting so that it would be suitable for displaying artwork. Cayman Traditional Arts was a perfect partner for curating exhibits that celebrate Cayman’s unique aesthetic.’

The latest exhibit is aptly named Emerge, and its works and artists represent the meaning behind its name.

‘The title of this exhibit really speaks to the make-up of the artists chosen, from world-renowned artists such as Guy Harvey to our latest ’emerging’ artist Mikael Seffer,’ explained Mr. Christian.

‘The artwork is inspired or directly depicts life in the Cayman Islands. During the difficult times that the world is facing right now, find art ’emerges’, offering a breath of fresh air.’

Mrs. Ladley explained that it is this theme of the artwork and the way that it captures all things Caymanian that prompts many guests to purchase pieces, as it acts as a keepsake of their time in Cayman.

‘Particularly during high season, our guests are eager to take home a little piece of Cayman,’ she said. ‘It is particularly gratifying when guests purchase a piece of work and we’re able to ship it to their home so that it’s waiting for them when they return.

‘During busy holiday periods, it is common to see our retail manager, Erin Bodden, hurrying through the resort with a painting under one arm and a mobile phone up to her ear, calling Chris and Trina Christian for a replacement. Our engineers spend a lot of time re-painting the walls and hanging nails, but it’s all for a good cause.’

The engineers will have been sure to hang plenty of nails by Wednesday, 8 April, which is the opening night for Emerge. From 6.30pm to 8pm, the public is invited to the Gallery for an opportunity to meet the artists and view for the show for the first time.

The Gallery is a project that the resort is proud of and looks forward to continue funding, Mrs. Ladley added.

‘The operating philosophy of The Gallery is simple,’ she said. ‘We’re committed to operating it as a non-profit enterprise to assist Cayman’s artists in making a full-time living for their work.

‘The resort covers the cost of mounting the shows and working with CTA; the profits go to the artists. This is an important part of our Community Footprints programme, to help preserve Cayman’s cultural and artistic traditions.’

All artwork is for sale through the Cupboard Retail Store at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. To find out more information, contact the retail department at 943-9000.