The Cayman art scene has a number of galleries through which to communicate with not just the Islands but the wider world at large.
Pure Art is one of them and not only does the place allow exhibitions, it also makes it easy for the artists to sell the work to their admirers. Debbie Chase Van der Bol is happy that 2011 has allowed artists that forum to showcase their work.
“The artists have been very busy through 2011, especially the painters. Some really, really good pieces are being turned out. We have been selling a lot of Mark Fraiser’s paintings and he is also a sculptor. Mark has done a lot of really nice paintings, mostly in acrylic. He is focussed on seascapes and has done a lot of terrific work.
“Another one of our local artists is Lorna Griggs. She has really blossomed. She was well known for smaller watercolours but has been concentrating on gorgeous finished acrylics,” says the gallery and shop boss.
Debbie adds that it is important that people have these pieces in their homes and prices reflect that often with a discount.
“The year has been challenging for a small business. It is positive now going into Christmas and the New Year; this is the first time as a small business we have really been challenged economically. It has been a lot of work keeping things going and keeping things exciting. The coming year is positive – we are thankful that we’re still kicking in that regard.” Visitors to Grand Cayman are also big fans of Caymanian arts and crafts, Debbie tells Weekender.
“They really appreciate everything we have done locally and they ask for the Cayman-made items. Our system can see our top 10 sellers and of course travellers have to consider size and weight so we have stocked the store a little differently.
“The hand-made lotions, soaps and scrubs by Miss Angela are in the top 10 sellers. And going into Christmas the ornaments done locally are top sellers. One of our artists does calabash with carvings on them and they are really cool. We have shell and other ornaments as well.”
Another top seller is the unique Caymanite jewellery, which is always collectible and well-regarded by locals and visitors.
“It is fantastic; the semi-precious stone is beautiful and each piece is one of a kind. There’s no two pieces alike and it really is a piece of art – and literally a piece of Cayman.”
The gallery and store is already planning exhibitions and shows for 2012, with a show by Lorna Greggs in the centre room lined up for around March.
“Despite the economy it is important as a gallery we keep doing that and important that people come by and see what is painted. It’s not always about sales; it’s nice to support the artists. Having a show is a great artistic thing for an artist, to group some pieces together.”