National art collection grows by five works

Natalie Urquhart, Dwayne Seymour and Susan Olde pose with the artists whose work has been added to the gallery.

The National Gallery has added five new pieces of art to its National Art Collection.

The gallery’s Collections and Exhibitions Committee selected the local artwork according to the significance of the artist, standard of work, significance of the work in an exhibition capacity, and popular appeal. The acquisition of the artwork was done with the support of the Ministry of Culture, a press release stated.

Dwayne Seymour, Cayman’s minister of culture, said in the statement: “I am delighted that we have been able to help acquire these important pieces for the National Art Collection. The five artists are masters of their craft and these particular pieces are works of the finest caliber.”

Four of the pieces selected are from artists who are part of the local Native Sons arts collective – Wray Banker, Al Ebanks, Horacio Esteban and Aston Ebanks. The fifth piece is by emerging artist Brandon Saunders, who crafted “Osiris,” the breakout work of the 2017 Upon the Seas exhibition.

“Each of these artists is working in a wide range of media,” Natalie Urquhart, director of the National Gallery, said in the statement. “Their work is a vehicle through which to bring attention to our cultural heritage in new ways, to challenge existing borders and to begin articulating new meanings for contemporary Caymanian identity in the 21st century. They are all excellent examples of the highly skilled, critically engaged work that is being practiced by our contemporary artists.”

Susan A Olde, chairwoman of the Collection and Exhibitions Committee, said, “Budget constraints have limited acquisitions historically, and this support [from the Ministry of Culture] has ensured that these five works of national significance remain on island and publicly accessible now, and for future generations.”

The National Art Collection is on display in the upper gallery of the National Gallery. It is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.