Traveling art show makes final stop

Olivia Sutton's 'The seedling.'

After five months of delighting art lovers island-wide, traveling art show “What does hope look like,” which aimed to bring hope to Cayman residents through visual art, is drawing to a close this Wednesday at The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands’ Dart Community Gallery.

“I think many people are unaware of the power and importance of art to bring change and encouragement, and challenge and communicate with the viewer,” explained exhibition organizer and local artist Avril Ward.

“This is what this show was about and why it is different from any other exhibition in Cayman. The aim wasn’t about producing beautiful paintings or technical excellence – although there are many such works in the show – it was about expression. The artists were challenged to think about how they would portray hope and manifest this through an artwork.”

Katie Oelschlager's 'Uncovered.'
Katie Oelschlager’s ‘Uncovered.’

Show exhibitors

The art show consists of over 25 artworks from both first time exhibitors and established veteran artists such as Scott Swing, Al Ebanks and Joseph Betty, and launched on Dec. 1 2015 at the HospiceCare “Light up a life” event held at Camana Bay. Since then, the exhibition has been shown at the Government Administration Building, the mental health unit and chemotherapy unit at the Cayman Islands Hospital, the atrium coffee shop of the Walkers building, and Health City Cayman Islands. Some pieces, as well as books and T-shirts, were also featured at Camana Bay’s Farmers & Artisan Market on Wednesdays.

Traveling art

The exhibition’s residence at the Cayman Islands Hospital coincided with World Cancer Day in February, and as such, a reception was held for cancer patients and survivors to view the pieces in the chemotherapy unit, which had been transformed into an art gallery.

“The ‘What does hope look like’ art exhibition in our chemotherapy unit in celebration of World Cancer Day far exceeded all expectations,” said HSA Communications Manager Lisa Parks. “The exhibition transformed a clinical environment focused on treatment into an environment of hope and inspiration. The theme, in addition to the creativity showcased, further promoted great conversation with both artists and cancer patients past and present. The evening ended with many smiles and enquiries about next year’s Hope exhibition event which I believe is another testament to its success.”

Avril Ward's 'Prisoners of Hope.'
Avril Ward’s ‘Prisoners of Hope.’

Alongside the art show, “What does hope look like” also held a workshop in October with U.S. art instructor Kathy Brusnighan. “The workshop touched on how to trust your instincts and draw from within your heart to produce an artwork of sincerity,” said Ward.

The present and final stop for the exhibition is The NGCI’s Dart Community Gallery, where it will remain until the end of April. Hardcover books of the main selected artwork, as well as T-shirts and greeting cards, are also available through the National Gallery gift shop through April.

The closing celebration for the traveling show on Apr. 20 begins at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments available. The event is open to all and artists featured in the show will be on hand to discuss their work.

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