Artists show their Cayman

Through a combination of seven diverse and eclectic artists’ works, the latest Cayman Traditional Arts exhibit at the Ritz-Carlton Gallery has lived up to its name: My Cayman.

art show

My Cayman artists, from left, Charles Long, Jo Austin, Randy Chollette, Maureen Lazarus, Chris Christian, Avril Ward and Carley Jackson. Photo: Anna Wootton

Each artist depicts their own vision of life in Cayman through a range of media and styles.

Cayman Traditional Arts head Chris Christian has contributed pieces ranging from attention-grabbing abstract canvases such as the vibrantly-coloured Green Light to nostalgic depictions of Caymanian musicians jamming together in the Tide is High canvas.

Young artist Jo Austin, now a Cayman Traditional Arts regular, returned with more of her colourful and elegant sketches depicting scenes from life in Cayman that capture the essence of laid-back Caribbean living, from her sketch of the Rum Point shoreline to her zoomed-in renderings of Cayman’s beloved blue iguanas.

Randy Chollette offered a range of works, including a few realist pieces, something his wife, artist Nasaria Suckoo-Chollette, said he doesn’t do much anymore.

‘He needs something to really give him that idea, to motivate him,’ she said, ‘but I really like [the works] when he does them.’

Charles Long submitted a number of his works – renowned for their linear figures and vibrant blues that capture the Caribbean sea. From painting boats at the George Town harbour to beach scenes, he has captured the synergistic relationship that Cayman, as an island, has with the sea.

Avril Ward ventured into sculptures for the first time, and this exhibit shows off the fruits of her labours. Many of the small works are endearing, in particular one, titled Lean on Me, which features a woman leaning her head on the shoulder of a man, and an adorable sculpture of three dogs, heads cocked, titled Patient Expectation.

Maureen Lazarus took her signature sea grape canvases a step further by creating three-dimensional sea grapes and leaves to hang from the canvases. The result is a dynamic, eye-catching work. The curator made these works the first that viewers see when they enter the gallery, giving a striking first impression for those browsing the exhibit.

Carley Jackson, another artist heavily involved with Cayman Traditional Arts, brought his lifelike artworks to the exhibit, showing off his knowledge of traditional Cayman with paintings of old-time Cayman houses such as the canvas titled Grandma’s Place, or Summer Time Cottage.

Art appreciators have a goldmine of subjects, styles and media to peruse when visiting the My Cayman exhibit at the Ritz-Carlton Gallery. The exhibit leaves attendees with a feeling of gratitude for the place which many call home; a feeling they can make permanent through purchasing one of the works. Visitors to the island also have the opportunity to take home one of the most personal Caymanian souvenirs available.

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