National Gallery acquires four new pieces

From left, Al Ebanks, National Gallery Director Natalie Urquhart, Gordon Solomon, Culture Minister Dwayne Seymour, Chris Christian and Shane ‘Dready’ Aquart gather at the presentation of four new works for the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.

The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands has four new works to add to its collection. Each piece of artwork is by a significant Caymanian artist working in a contemporary context.

Works for possible acquisition are identified annually by the gallery’s collections and exhibitions committee, but the purchase of the pieces is dependent upon sponsorship. Work is selected based upon four criteria: the significance of the artist, the standard of work, the significance of the work in an exhibition capacity and popular appeal.

The four works selected for this donation are by Native Sons Chris Christian, Gordon Solomon and Al Ebanks, along with Shane “Dready” Aquart. Two pieces, “Migrate” by Al Ebanks and “Reflecting” by Chris Christian, are part of the National Gallery Collection display. The other two, “Moko Jumbies” by Shane Aquart and “Universe Via Schooner” by Gordon Solomon current “Cross Currents” biennial exhibit on display through April 18.

“Each of these artists is working in a wide range of media,” gallery director Natalie Urquhart said in a statement. “Their work is a vehicle through which to bring attention to our cultural heritage in new ways. They are all excellent examples of the highly skilled, critically engaged work that is being practiced by our contemporary artists.”

Funding to acquire the artwork was provided by the Ministry of Culture. This is the second year the ministry has provided such funding.

NGCI Chairperson Susan A. Olde said of the ministry’s assistance, “Budget constraints have limited acquisitions historically, and this support has ensured that these four works of national significance remain on island and publicly accessible now, and for future generations.”

The National Art Collection is on display in the NGCI’s Upper Gallery, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Admission is free.