The National Gallery staff were delighted to receive a visit recently from former Governor Michael Gore and his wife Monica, who were visiting the island.
The couple played a very important role in the creation of the National Gallery in 1995.
Throughout their tenure in the Cayman Islands, Mrs. Gore was actively engaged in promoting the arts across the Islands, which included organising the installation of kilns and pottery programmes in each school.
And just before Mr. Gore ended his term of office, they hosted a celebration of art at Government House.
It was there that Mrs. Gore picked a seed from a tree in the garden and handed it to Premier McKeeva Bush, then Minister for Culture, saying, “This seed represents the beginning of a National Gallery for the Cayman Islands. Please, will you make sure it grows?”
And grown it has.
The Gores spent time with National Gallery Director Natalie Urquhart and board member Carl Brown and were very pleased to hear of the breadth of National Gallery education programming and exhibitions.
They also learned about the new space currently under construction that will include the first permanent gallery for the National Art Collection, increased temporary exhibition space, a state-of-the-art learning centre and art studio, an auditorium and community gardens.
In anticipation of the new permanent gallery, the Gores donated a piece of artwork by renowned local artist Gladwyn ‘Miss Lassie’ Bush to the National Gallery collection.
The work titled He is Risen was given as a gift to Mrs. Gore by the artist herself almost two decades ago and it has since travelled extensively.
“This is a significant painting by one of the Islands’ most beloved artists and we are extremely thankful to Mrs. Gore for generously gifting it to the national art collection,” said Ms Urquhart. “We share Mrs. Gore’s delight to see this work coming home and look forward to seeing it on display as we open the new permanent gallery in early 2012.”