[email protected] 2010: Bigger and better

The format of this year’s eagerly anticipated [email protected] arts festival on Saturday, 30 January, has been expanded and promises to include even more artwork for the hundreds of visitors who flock to the annual event.

Due to popular demand the free visual arts event, organised by the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands will take place in two venues, allowing the gallery to house more artists and art work than previously.

Two-centre location

Continuing in its primary location on the lawns of Government House, the official residence of the governor of the Cayman Islands, [email protected] will also be held across the road at Governors Square.

art at governors

[email protected] is one of the most popular annual arts events.

According to gallery officials, securing the Governors Square location means that art demonstrations, displays and activities, including musical performances, can run concurrently. The newest location will host commercial sales, a first in the art event’s history.

Visitors to the afternoon event will be able to take in and buy a wide range of visual art mediums, which reflect the vibrancy of the local arts scene. Art forms on display will include paintings, sculptures, quilts, photography and handicrafts as well as a variety of quilt work, ceramics, thatch work and jewellery.

And for many visitors to [email protected] it will be their first opportunity to meet the event’s latest patron, the new Governor, Mr. Duncan Taylor, who arrives on-island today (Friday).

The Gallery expects more than 100 artists to be on hand to show their work on the day. And, given the popularity, the event, 2,500 visitors are expected.

As well as actually meeting artists and artisans, visitors will in some instances to watch the creative process firsthand. Alongside the islands more established artists a fresh crop of emerging artists will be there to field questions and share their passion for their art.

Family fun, marine theme

This year’s theme ‘Conserving Cayman’s Oceans’ will provide the inspiration for the many art activities on display and educational activities provided by The Ritz-Carlton’s Ambassadors of the Environment programme and the Department of Environmental Health.

‘This will be a monumental year at [email protected] -There will be a 40ft inflatable Shark Interactive Learning Centre – where children can dress up like their favourite oceanic creatures and play educational games and participate in dramatic performances explaining the mysteries of our oceans,’ said the Gallery’s Communications and Marketing Manager Mona Tatum-Watler.

‘People attending the event will have the opportunity to help paint large-scale underwater murals. Children can create their own pieces of Ocean Art to take home, as well as help create large paper mache sculptures of creatures found in and around Cayman’s coral reefs.’

This year’s featured guest artist is the world renowned Wyland (www.wyland.com), this year’s International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame inductee. Another interactive session will be held by Martin Keely from Cayman Brac, who will direct a performance exploring the mysteries of the ocean.

This family friendly event will cater for children and music lovers with storytelling by Twyla Vargas, pottery making with Mr. Danswell, traditional craft demonstrations, and free catboat rides courtesy of the Cayman Islands Catboat Club. While browsing around visitors will be entertained by music from Pandemonium Steel Band and One World Entertainment.

Combined effort

[email protected] is the largest event that the Gallery co-ordinate each year, with just six staff we depend heavily on our volunteers and on other organisations to provide for us in various areas,’ said Mrs. Tatum-Watler.

‘It’s a successful event because of the relationships we have with our corporate sponsors, groups like Rotary Sunrise and our volunteers.’

[email protected] is open to the public from 1pm to 5pm. Parking is provided courtesy of Regatta and traffic police will be on hand to guide visitors safely between the two locations.

Although the event is still free donations are appreciated.