Sunrise clients impress at art workshop

Sunrise clients with their creations in front of ‘Red Sky at Night,’ the painting by Gordon Solomon that inspired their work.

Channeling their inner artists, young adults from West Bay’s Sunrise Adult Training Centre recently took part in a painting workshop at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.

Following the workshop, the group explored the gallery’s latest exhibition “Native Sons – Twenty Years On.”

The event, on Thursday, April 7, was led by gallery instructor David Bridgeman. The workshop allowed participants to challenge their creative limits and produce works of art using a “spots of light” technique inspired by the Native Sons artist Gordon Solomon.

The students drew inspiration from Mr. Solomon’s work “Red Sky at Night,” and the results of their efforts left gallery staff impressed and full of praise for their pupils, who have a range of disabilities.

“I went into the workshop expecting one of the students, who’s visually impaired, to have some difficulties and require additional support,” said the gallery’s education and community officer Kerwin Ebanks.

“She surprised us all when she devised a system of her own. By feeling the edges of her paper though touch and by estimating and memorizing the spacing of her dots, she was able to participate and create a beautiful work of art. It’s instances like these which are very inspiring for everyone; instructors and students.”

Sunrise client Finita Ebanks said she really enjoyed the activity.

“When I do braille, it is dots, so it was not too difficult,” she said.

The National Gallery offers a wide variety of outreach programs and arts education programs, making the visual arts accessible for everyone in the Cayman Islands.

“Despite being short staffed, we make it a priority to attend classes at the gallery and look forward to it each month,” said the Sunrise Adult Training Centre’s director Kimberly Voaden.

“We all enjoy our time at the gallery and look forward to visiting each session,” added Sunrise staff assistant Twyla Rogers.

“It gives the clients a chance to engage with the community, to socialize outside of the [Sunrise Centre] and meet new people.”

Ms. Voaden noted that as a non-verbal medium, art is useful for self-expression and managing emotions.

“And being so sensory-rich, these experiences stay with our students,” she said.

“Additionally, instructors enjoy accompanying students to the gallery because of the excellent support and co-teaching they receive from gallery staff.”

For more information about National Gallery education and outreach programs, visit or email [email protected]