National Gallery is calling all artists for submissions

Virtual exhibition planned to highlight creativity in the time of COVID-19

Artists can submit pieces through 11 June.

The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is launching an online exhibition to spotlight the creativity of artists and members of the public who have been expressing themselves through art during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The gallery is inviting submissions from all residents in the Cayman Islands, who are asked to send in one high-resolution photograph of artwork that has been created over the past two months while the community has been in lockdown. Only one creation per artist will be considered and all submissions should be accompanied by a brief statement about the artwork.

This exhibition seeks to provide a platform for creativity and, in doing so, inspire the community as it continues to collectively grapple with the short- and long-term effects of the present global disruption.

Over the past months, many have had a glimpse of the true CaymanKind character of these islands and of the generosity and determination of the Caymanian spirit, the National Gallery said in a press release.

Local artists have become inspired to blossom in the circumstances. From family living rooms to children’s bedrooms, and garages to backyards, they have been finding innovative ways to adapt their workspaces to these new conditions and to channel their feelings through the medium of the visual arts, the gallery said.

By bringing these artworks together for the public, the exhibition offers both a portrait of an extraordinary moment in our history, as captured through the eyes of artists, and a chance to celebrate the life-affirming power of art and creativity in the darkest of moments.

Works will be showcased on the NGCI’s website here.

The inaugural exhibition will explore ‘creativity in lockdown’, and will have a wide degree of latitude, allowing for diverse and varied expression across a full range of creative media.

Selected artwork will feature in a three-month-long online exhibition on the National Gallery’s website, which will be supported by a programme of artist talks, virtual panel discussions and Zoom events.

All images and text must be provided in electronic format only and directed to the attention of the curator at [email protected] by 11 June.

Submissions must be accompanied by:

  1. A high-resolution image of the proposed work sized 1MB or above;
  2. Artwork information (artist’s name, artwork title, date, medium and a description of 100 words or less);
  3. Link to the artist’s website, where applicable.

The exhibition will run from 15 June until August 2020.

Other NGCI initiatives

The NGCI Education Department has been busy developing cross-curricular lesson plans and art activities three times weekly throughout lockdown. It is currently seeking teachers and artists who are interested in helping develop these resources for families and schools, and to host virtual art classes, over the coming months, for an hourly honorarium. For more information about how to apply to become an instructor, email [email protected].  

The new Artist Talks series, which profiles local artists at home, will continue running until July with posts twice weekly. For information about how to participate, email [email protected] or to view the series visit here. 

The National Gallery is working with stakeholders to explore the development of an Artist Relief Fund for artists who have lost their primary source of income. It will be sharing more details about the grant, and how to apply, in early June. To receive information via email, contact [email protected]

Extensive work has been carried out by the NGCI team over the past two months to digitise the NGCI archive of exhibitions and education resources, in addition to uploading the National Gallery Art Collection onto its website with bios for over 100 local artists. Visit here or see daily collection highlights via @natgalcayman and #ngcicollection.

If you missed the current ‘Island of Women’ exhibition before lockdown, take a virtual tour of this show and support the 26 featured local artists here.

For more information about the NGCI and its programmes, visit here.

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