Local artists share talent at primary schools

A collection of local artists with a desire to promote Caymanian artwork is sharing their talents with primary schools students. 

Leading the art lessons are Cayman Native Sons members Al Ebanks, Miguel Powery and Chris Christian. 

Students at the primary schools expressed excitement at having the group share its expertise with creating different types of artwork. 

“My favourite lesson is painting. I kept saying that I couldn’t do it, but I did it and now I love it. I don’t want to be an artist, but I still want to be a good art student,” said James Bodden, a student at Red Bay Primary School. 

Kylie Martinez and Bea Ebanks from Sir John A. Cumber Primary School in West Bay also find the “Bringing Heritage to Life” art programme rewarding. “I love this programme and I enjoy myself when I am in the class,” Kylie said.  

“I wish the programme continues forever,” Bea added. 

Mr. Ebanks said he is grateful to be working alongside students, especially when he feels the work they are doing is valuable to their development. 

“Native Sons have strong Caymanian roots and it is very elevating to be able to pass that knowledge onto the younger generation,” Mr. Ebanks said. 

Mr. Ebanks is a founding member of Native Sons. In addition to his wide range of paintings, he also is a talented sculptor in stone and ceramics.  

“It is gratifying having Native Sons’ artists work with Year 5 students,” said teacher Tammy Whiteside. “Teaching them art and exposing them to different techniques, while supplying art materials for students, helps them with the programme. Students even won an art competition and this has inspired them to be more creative and grateful for the knowledge.” 

“I really love painting, it is awesome,” said Yves Fontaine, a Red Bay Primary student. “I would like to be an artist someday,”  

Mr. Christian, a passionate supporter of Cayman’s traditional and contemporary art scene, said students involved in the programme are talented. 

“I love working with the kids,” added Native Sons’ Miguel Powery, a great artist who takes his work seriously.  

“Another great thing about the programme is it comes at no cost to the schools,” Mr. Christian said. “Native Sons provides working materials for students and this is really appreciate by the teachers.”  

An exhibition of student artwork is planned for 3 July at the gallery at The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman. 

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Native Sons’ Al Ebanks helps students develop their art skills. – Photo: Submitted
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