National Gallery staff and volunteers recently welcomed a group of more than 25 nurses and caregivers to mark International Nurses Day.
The gallery’s assistant curator, Kerri-Anne Chisholm, and Kerwin Ebanks from the gallery’s education department gave tours of both the gallery’s permanent collection and the temporary exhibition titled, “Native Sons – Twenty Years On” during the event, held on Thursday, May 12.
Gallery staff came up with the idea for the appreciation day after noticing the nurses who accompany seniors groups and other outreach program groups that often visit the gallery also expressed an interest in viewing the exhibitions and learning more about the art on display.
“We wanted to show appreciation to these nurses and making sure they have a time [to visit the gallery] for themselves,” said Mr. Ebanks.
After learning about the exhibitions, the group of caregivers enjoyed coffee, tea and scones from the gallery’s Art Cafe, and were offered a sneak peek of this year’s outreach exhibition, the “Gift of Healing,” a subject that resonated with the special guests.
The new exhibition, curated by this year’s Deutsche Bank intern Candace Welcome, showcases close to 100 works of art by 68 students who have participated in the gallery’s outreach programs this year.
“I hope that visitors will leave feeling inspired and touched by the artworks on display,” said Ms. Welcome.
“I would like them to experience the way art has motivated each individual within the outreach programs to seek change and to choose positivity, despite their difficulties. It is my hope that they too will be inspired to do the same,” she said.
“I am thrilled that these works are on public display so everyone can appreciate the tremendous achievements that have been made this year.”
National Gallery outreach programs include: Art Haven (classes for participants from Caribbean Haven, HMP Northward, HMP Fairbanks and HMP Northward Juveniles), taught by Joseph Betty and sponsored by Lori Monk and Kevin Butler; EY’s Art Talk for participants aged 50+, taught by Kerwin Ebanks and sponsored by EY; EY’s Meet Me, held in Grand Cayman and in Cayman Brac for residents of rest homes, taught by Kerwin Ebanks and Simone Scott and sponsored by EY; and Sunrise Art Club for adults with disabilities, taught by David Bridgeman.
The gallery’s Outreach programs cater to a wide variety of community groups, ages and artistic levels. Art classes are held on site at the National Gallery where possible, and for some instructors go out into the community to lead art projects.
Classes encourage the discovery of new skills and development of abilities through experimentation and apply concepts of art therapy where appropriate.
“Outreach is a vital link for people in the community who may not be able to attend public NGCI programs, 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,” said the gallery’s operations and program manager Tanya Whiteside.
The Gift of Healing will be on display until May 25.