The newest event on Cayman’s artistic calendar has finally arrived with this weekend’s inaugural Poinciana festival.
It is pegged as an art, music and film festival that aims to celebrate the wealth of artistic talent found in Cayman.
Festival creators Badir Awe and Ronnie James Hughes set up Poinciana in an attempt to recognize and showcase this sometimes under-appreciated talent, nurture new talent, and help the Cayman arts scene to grow.
“Poinciana is a sign and symbol of Cayman’s emerging arts scene,” said Awe. “Over 100 local artists will be participating over three days, and this is just a sliver of the art on the island. The Cayman landscape is changing, and while some of these changes have caused some concerns, we still believe Cayman is a special place, and we’re committed to living that reality. We believe Cayman can and will become the cultural center of the Caribbean.”
George Town will be abuzz from 8 a.m. with steel bands, choirs and DJs entertaining the masses at no charge, and artisans and food vendors will also be on hand.
Some of Cayman’s most talented musicians will perform on stage at 8 p.m., with admittance $10 in advance and $15 at the gate.
Regal Cinemas in Camana Bay will host screenings of locally produced films, documentaries and music videos, as well as panel discussions, all for $10 admission.
The dramatic local movie “Self Prescribed” will premier at 7 p.m. and a party will follow at Abacus. Access to both is $25. For those who would rather be on the water, a sunset boat party will launch The Neverines’ new album.
The festival culminates with a black-tie awards and closing ceremony at 7 p.m. at the Harquail Theatre. Cost is $50. Attendees to the award show can enjoy bubbles and canapés as well as live performances by local musicians.
Here are a few of Cayman’s talented groups and individuals who have been submitted to receive awards on the final night.
Recognizable by her pink locks, Arianna Broderick, also known as Maeve, performs at venues island-wide. Describing her style as alternative electronic pop, her new single “Earthquakes” is very popular. Maeve has been submitted in the Best Female Artist category at the festival.
Blake has come a long way since beginning his vocal journey while singing as a youth with the National Male Voice Choir. Blake has performed at events headlined by Kymani Marley and Diana King, among others. Blake is a nominee in the Best Male Artist category.
Eclectic indie rock band Clever Knots draws inspiration from artists such as Tom Waits, Radiohead, Bob Dylan, Polic, and Arcade Fire. They contributed their talents to the film world recently by recording the soundtrack for the short film, “Man.” The group’s second album, “All Are Suspect,” was launched in August 2015 and is submitted in the Best LP category.
Gordon Solomon enjoys success as an artist and as a musician. Late last year, his “Dr. Moody” exhibition was on display at the National Gallery, focusing on human behavior and moods and their subjectivity to change. Solomon’s oil painting “Red Sky at Night” is submitted in the Best Oil Painting category.
Tamer Soliman and Rob Tyler
The wonders of the not-so-humble coconut are the focus of the documentary “Bright Spot,” co-directed and produced by Soliman and Tyler, which is nominated for Best Documentary at the festival. The film gained official selection for the Cayman International Film Festival 2015 (CayFilm); the monthly edition of the Miami Independent Film Festival 2015; and the Iphias International Film Festival in Jamaica.
Simon Tatum is an undergraduate at the University of Missouri, and recipient of the Cayman Islands Government Overseas Scholarship and the Deutsche Bank/National Gallery Visual Arts Scholarship in 2014. Many of his recent works focus on identifying his cultural background as a young Caymanian. Tatum’s “Forgotten Grave Stone” is submitted in the Best Mixed Medium art category.
Swing is a painter and sculptor, using mediums such as coral, wood and stone. His “Taking Flight” is submitted in the Best Sculpture art category.
Tickets for Poinciana events are available from Funky Tang’s, the Discovery Centre at Camana Bay, and Epic Day Entertainment offices at The Strand. For more information, visit poinciana.ky.
Art submissions for Poinciana can be viewed at the Poinciana Pop Up Gallery in the Strand, next to Williams², until Feb. 12.