Artwork created by prison inmates, the elderly, recovering drug addicts and people with learning disabilities is on display at the National Gallery Cayman Islands.
The National Gallery is showcasing more than 70 works of art from more than 55 of these artists who are participating in the gallery’s community outreach programs.
The art gallery’s outreach initiatives cater to artists of all abilities and ages, including “Sunrise Art Club,” a class for adults with disabilities, taught by Meegan Ebanks, and “Art Haven,” which caters to those in Caribbean Haven, HMP Northward, HMP Fairbanks, and HMP Northward Juveniles. “Art Haven” is taught by Joseph Betty, and is sponsored by Lori Monk and Kevin Butler.
Ernst and Young sponsors the gallery’s two other outreach programs, namely “EY’s Meet Me,” taught by Kerwin Ebanks and Simone Scott and aimed towards residents of rest homes, and “EY’s Art Talk,” a class for those aged 50 and up, again taught by Mr. Ebanks.
The showcase, titled “Horizon,” was held in the Dart Auditorium/Community Gallery, and was curated by the National Gallery Deutsche Bank intern Lyle Anderton.
“I decided to call the exhibition ‘Horizon’ because it reaffirms the idea of the NGCI outreach programs, which aim to expand the creative and artistic horizons of the participants who may be struggling with varying degrees of challenges,” Mr. Anderton said.
Outreach instructor and the gallery’s education coordinator Kerwin Ebanks emphasized the need for programs like this one. “Outreach is a vital link for people in the community who may not be able to attend public NGCI programmes, such as children with disabilities, young offenders, senior citizens, elderly people suffering from Alzheimer’s and ordinary people struggling to free themselves from drug addiction,” he said.
He also wanted to extend his thanks to those who had made the evening possible. “These outreach classes account for a large portion of the National Gallery’s annual output and are made possible at no cost through the generosity of donors and sponsors.”
“Horizon” wasn’t the only new feature on display, as Lighthouse graduate and Special Olympics athlete Matthew Ebanks had his artwork set up in a satellite exhibition in the hallway gallery, in his show called “Artiversary.”
“Artiversary” featured 11 works created with colored pencil, and marked a step forward in his dream to become an artist, which was inspired by his grandmother. He is a long-term volunteer with the gallery, a recent graduate of their Walkers Art Club Lighthouse for young adults with disabilities, and also assists with the outreach department.
“I like that I have the chance to show the world my artwork. I hope that my friends, family and ministers show up to see the work,” he said. “I like to share a story and to paint or draw whatever makes me feel comfortable and makes me feel good. When people see my work, like it, and hang it in their homes it makes me feel warm.”
For more information about the outreach programs at the National Gallery call (345) 945-8111 or email [email protected]