Spot this man

National Gallery fundraiser features man about town

Who is the man in the bowler hat?

The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands begins a new and rather inventive experiment today that involves Rene Magritte’s Son of Man painting.

If you see the Son of Man on the streets in his bowler hat, feel free to shake his hand and be part of the National Gallery’s new events. He’ll be handing out information about the upcoming gala.

“Over the years, the National Gallery has hosted a series of vibrant themed galas in aid of our education programmes.

Being a visual arts organisation, it seems suitable to theme this year’s ball around a well-known painting, Magritte’s Son of Man, perhaps best recognised by its central role in the popular film The Thomas Crown Affair,” says Natalie Urquhart, gallery director.

“It is a highly recognisable image that is both surreal and playful, a fitting mood for the event.”

The ball on 26 March will raise funds for the National Gallery’s new education centre, now under construction off the Esterly Tibbetts highway.

The education centre

The facility, set to open in 2012, is designed to provide a home for hands-on learning opportunities for the entire community.

“Seventy per cent of the NGCI’s output is focused on education, and we host 25-plus programmes per month across all three Islands,” says Mrs. Urquhart. “The busy schedule includes introductory programming for primary school students, middle and senior school students, adult learners, at-risk members of our community, all the way through to classes for senior citizens. It reflects our mandate that is education truly is for all and that you never stop learning.”

The building will also house the new family programme, designed to encourage cultural interaction and quality family time in a creative, informative and inspiring environment.

Gala theme

The theme of this year’s ball promises to entertain as well as educate.

“Guests will be provided with bowler hats on arrival, effectively becoming a living piece of art. Décor will be inspired by green apples, and the early evening entertainment promises to be a surreal affair,” Mrs. Urquhart says.

“At 10pm, DJ Craig from Oneworld Entertainment will kick off two hours of dancing and after that, anything goes. “All in all it promises to be a unique, elegant and playful event for all attending.”