The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is working on a number of initiatives prompted by its staff’s recent participation in a conference that sought to build stronger ties between artists in the Caribbean region, the gallery’s director said.
Director of the National Gallery Natalie Urquhart said the “Tilting Access” regional art conference offered an essential platform through which to increase the visibility of artists from the Cayman Islands and to forge new relationships with other arts organizations in the region.
“Historically, Caymanian artists have been removed from the vibrant regional art scene and subsequently rarely feature in regional exhibitions and publications. Moving forward, it is critical that we become part of the wider regional dialogue and to explore opportunities for our artists and curators,” said Ms. Urquhart.
“By bringing together arts professionals from across the region, Tilting Axis has provided an unparalleled platform for collaboration and exchange and I look forward to moving ahead with several of the initiatives that were discussed which range from residency opportunities to shared resources and exhibitions,” she added.
The visual arts conference, “Tilting Axis: Within and Beyond the Caribbean – Shifting Models of Sustainability and Connectivity” was held in Barbados in late February and aimed at forging infrastructure between independent art organizations and museums operating across the Caribbean, United States, European Union and China.
The conference was organized by The Fresh Milk Art Platform, Inc., located in Barbados, in collaboration with ARC Magazine, Res Artis and the Pérez Art Museum Miami, and was supported by the Prince Claus Fund, the British Council and the Davidoff Art Initiative.
Co-organizers Holly Bynoe and Annalee Davis said the conference sought to create opportunities for visual artists living in the Caribbean and to provide professional and economic development in the region through formal collaborations between key art organizations and foundations, across the Caribbean and beyond. The conference also aims to build and redefine relationships around cultural exchange between the Global North and the Global South.
After the two-day discussion, which included topics ranging from arts education, scholarship and research, exhibitions, residency programmes, collaborative projects, and the growth of creative industries in the region, a strategic action plan for continued collaboration was developed.