Transcendent art at the Ritz gallery

A new art exhibition opened at the gallery at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman on Wednesday, 3 July.

In addition to showing the works of some well known names on the local art scene – such as Lorna Griggs, C.J. Viggers, Gordon Solomon and Avril Ward – the summer show will also introduce artwork from fresh, creative and up and coming artists.

“We base shows around themes, which are also designed around the different seasons. For the summer, we named our art show ‘Transcending’,” says Chris Christian, gallery curator and local artist.

Local artists were contacted a few months in advance to give them a chance to produce some work around the theme of transcendence. At least one of the works of art they submit should relate to the theme.

“Art is able to transcend. You can feel it when you associate with good artwork and no explanation is needed,” Chris says. “Works of art can transcend different aspects of our lives. Artists use unreal perspectives to share ideas about very real concerns they have. I believe real art transcends the very specific thoughts artists are trying to convey.”

Individual artists had the freedom to interpret the theme in whatever way resonated with them.

Carmen Gorham is one of the new artists who will be showing her work for the first time.

“As a Caymanian growing up here, I was raised with all the elements, water, earth, fire and air, in island form,” she says. “Deep blue ocean waters, sandy earth, bonfires on the beach and the sweet smell of salty ocean sprayed air. Cayman’s spirit lends itself to me in my life and in my art.”

“Then there’s Natasha Kozaily, Caymanian singer–songwriter and very talented painter at the same time. You can hear the music when you look at her artwork,” Chris adds.

Yonier Powery’s multilayered, abstract work, transcends many different thoughts, Chris says. “When you keep looking at his painting you discover more layers which interfere smoothly.”

Iain Smith, one of Chris’s former art students will also be exhibiting. “I’ve been teaching him for over nine years. I am really proud of that and happy to see how he develops his talent,” the curator explains.

The over-the-road bridge at the resort has 25,000 square feet of wall space, making it the largest gallery in Grand Cayman.

Chris organises at least four art shows each year, and says that the challenge in curating shows often lies in placing a disparate collection of pieces of art in such a way that they complement one another and create a flowing narrative.

More than 30 artists will be featured in “Transcending” and their work will be on display throughout the summer months. Admission to the gallery is free.

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