[email protected] 2010 expands

This year’s [email protected] drew a diverse
selection of visual art from across the Islands, matching the record attendance
of around 3,000 visitors,
according to Government House security.

Cayman’s largest arts fest was celebrating
its 10th anniversary; showcasing the work of the local arts community and promoting
the need for marine conservation.

“It’s been a very pleasant
experience this year,” said Premier McKeeva Bush. He browsed the artwork on the
grounds of Government House and chatted to other visitors.

“What I’ve seen with the children,
with the schools, is especially heartening and very encouraging,” he said.

[email protected] has expanded to allow
artists to sell their art and around 40 were doing just that in Governors
Square. Huge crowds ensured that the free event was lively and bustling.

 “[O]ver 150 artists, teachers, students, staff, non-profits and
volunteers pulled together to mount an unprecedented display of artwork
for this year’s [email protected] festival,” said the National
Gallery of the Cayman Islands’ Director Natalie Urquhart.

“We
were delighted with the diversity of work on display… As always we welcomed
back regular exhibitors along with new emerging talent, particularly from some
of the younger artists in our community,” she said.

At [email protected]’ original site, stalls
festooned with arts and crafts dotted the lawn, making use of the shade of the
covered tents and the colourful Poinciana trees. Every conceivable visual art
form was on display including ceramics, batik, paintings, jewellery,
photography, collages, leatherwork and traditional craftwork such as thatch
work and quilting.

The Governors Square site did brisk
trade and enjoyed “upbeat fair-like atmosphere”, according to artist Avril
Ward. “It was a great opportunity to meet with potential clients and interact
with visitors, some of whom may follow up with commissions.”

As well as an abundance of artwork,
[email protected] provided plenty of space for local organisations to set up kiosks
and promote their services.

One such stall, manned by the
Department of the Environment, attracted many visitors from 1-5pm. Promoting
marine conservation; the stall had a red lionfish in a tank while officers
informed visitors about what was being done to curb the numbers of this
aggressive and invasive species now found in local waters. Children were encouraged
to learn more about the diversity of marine life at the department’s arts and
crafts stall, laden with colouring books and literature.

The oceans’ biodiversity was
further explained to families in the form of a 40-ft. shark by Brac-based educator
Martin Keeley. Children wore mangrove creature costumes, and as fish, crabs,
birds and jelly fish paraded around the lawns and engaged in role play.
Afterwards they entered the belly of the shark where the educator told mythical
reef tales.

The event’s guest artist Robert
Wyland proved a popular draw. The internationally renowned painter,
conservationist and filmmaker said: “It’s a perfect fit for… the Wyland Foundation
[as it is] inspiring kids to be youth ambassadors for the planet. The Cayman
kids are great artists.”

School’s participation in
[email protected] 2010 was high and reinforced the Gallery’s hope that the event showcases
the scope of talent from all sections of the community.

Governor Duncan Taylor and wifeMarie-Beatrice walked around admiring the
artwork while their son Max helped man the refreshment stand.

The governor later presented the
Governor’s Cup to Cayman Prep Infant Department.

“We are delighted to be the first
school to receive the new schools’ award for best art display at [email protected]
Governors,” said the Primary school’s art co-ordinator, Kim Calverley. “It is a
well-deserved reward for all the hard work the primary school children and
their teachers have put in over the last few weeks.”

Individual student awards went to Mark and Matthew
Ebanks from Lighthouse School for their innovative display and body of work.

An honourable mention was awarded to Triple C
School for their 20 foot mural made from objects found during beach clean-ups.

Mrs. Urquhart said:“Special mention must go to the outstanding
displays mounted by each of the schools who came out in force to participate in
the Governor’s Cup. The breadth and depth of the student work was truly
exceptional and as a curator I am looking forward to watching this talent develop
over the next few years.”

As well as taking in a wealth of
local art, the crowds were entertained by DJ Craig from Oneworld Entertainment and
Pandemonium Steel Jamm. The Cayman Islands Catboat Club also took visitors out
on crafts along Seven Mile Beach.

FEATartgovSTORY

David Steen looks at the artwork of family friend on St. Ignatius School’s art display at [email protected]
Elphina Magona

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