Artists raise funds for National Art Collection

The National Gallery of Cayman Islands will launch a new exhibition, called “Big Art Auction 5,” with a special preview reception on Monday, Oct. 1.

The Big Art Auction 5 exhibition and auction is being held in support of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands’ permanent collection development and related education programs.

The four-week exhibition, which continues until Nov. 1, features work by leading contemporary artists before they are auctioned at a “Sotheby’s styled” evening reception.

This will be the fifth year of the auction.

This year’s Big Art Auction 5 will see artwork by local artists Avril Ward, John Broad, Charles Long, Simon Tatum, David Bridgeman, Davin Ebanks, Horacio Esteban, Hannah Cook, D. Randall Blythe, Teresa Grimes, Randy Chollette, Nasaria Suckoo-Chollette, John Bird, Mikael Seffer, Renate Seffer, Stoak’d, Pippa Ridley, Ellen Cuylaerts, Gordon Solomon, Miguel Powery, Bendel Hydes, Kathryn Elphinstone and Joanne Sibley.

Part of the proceeds from the Big Art Auction 5 go to the artists and part to the National Gallery’s Art Fund. The 50/50 split is an effort to ensure the project remains sustainable and of benefit to both parties, according to organizers.

Big Art Auction 5 chairperson and gallery board member Jennifer Woodford said in a press release, “The National Gallery does not have an acquisitions budget to purchase or commission artwork for the National Collection and so we rely on raising vital funds from the private sector to continue this important work. We wish to extend a huge thank you to our participating artists for supporting the Big Art Auction 5 and for helping us continue to secure artworks of national significance.”

Funds raised at the event will be allocated to collection development, artwork conservation, and collection-based educational initiatives.

Gallery director Natalie Urquhart said, “Our collection lies at the very heart of our mission to promote the appreciation and practice of the visual arts and cultural heritage of the Cayman Islands. The artworks on display have the ability to bring Caymanian history alive.”

During the exhibition, curator-led private viewings can also be organized for potential collectors and interested parties. The exhibition will culminate in an invite-only reception and auction on Thursday, Nov. 1.

The exhibition is available for viewing from Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.