Last year was an exciting one for the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. The major achievement, according to Natalie Urquhart, director, was of course the opening of the impressive new building, which she says was 14 years in the making.
“Literally hundreds of people have been involved in this project since its inception in 1998,” Natalie tells us.
“To see many of these people gather for the grand opening was a once in a lifetime experience. It was a remarkable experience personally and professionally.”
The sheer pace of the year was challenging, she explains.
“We’ve welcomed almost 14,000 people to the new gallery since February, numbers that far exceeded our expectations for the first year. Our small staff has worked above and beyond in order to accommodate these numbers,” she says.
“And, as with all other charities in the Cayman Islands, funding has been challenging in 2012.”
Nonetheless, even in the face of the financial squeeze, the gallery has remained a central part of cultural life in the Cayman Islands. As ever, too, there is optimism about the future.
“In general, I hope that 2013 will be a creative, peaceful and prosperous year for everyone,” says Natalie, and Weekender wishes we’d said it first but we’re also happy to jump on that bandwagon.
“Personally, I hope to achieve a better work/life balance this year and to stick to those New Year’s resolutions,” continues the wise Nat.
“I think it will be a really exciting year at the National Gallery. In addition to our usual education schedule, we are busy creating new school programming that set to launch in spring and have some wonderful exhibitions in the pipeline.”
Exhibitions that you can of course read all about in your friendly neighbourhood Weekender. Watch this space!
You can contact the gallery at 945-8111 or by e-mailing [email protected]