Under the theme Strict Guardians Of Our Heritage; Firm Craftsmen Of Our Fate, the artwork presented on Sunday at the Barbados Central Bank’s 2016 Crop Over Visual Arts Exhibition at The Grand Salle, portrayed he island’s past, present and future.
The participating artists, celebrating and highlighting Barbados’ golden anniversary of Independence, showed the talent and creativity Barbados has to offer the world.
Simone Padmore captivated patrons, as well as the judges, with her piece Independence Square, which earned her the Governor’s Award, and Omowale Stewart received the Special Award For Best Depiction Of The Theme with his piece Indomitable, Indelible.
Delivering the feature address at Sunday’s launch, Kevin Farmer, deputy director of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society, reminded his audience of the importance of platforms for artists, especially ones such as the visual exhibition.
Pointing out the exhibition was merely the beginning, Farmer said: “It is a launching path for us to explore who we are as a people; how far we have come; and, so be it, how farther we have yet to go.”
The Barbados Museum deputy director stated that artists, much like literary poets, told of society through their pieces.
He said they critiqued our society; “our society is in fact their muse. Their canvas is simply an exploration of their thought about us”.
Added Farmer: “Art is part of us, . . . it is not a hobby, it is not something done because you couldn’t find nothing else to do. It is a God-given talent for you to simply critique that which we are.”
Stressing on the importance of the cultural sector, the deputy director of the Barbados Museum impeded onto government to increase the number of art teachers present in schools.
“We lament the fact that too few schools in this island have art teachers,” he said, also alluding to the sparsity of teachers of music, dance and theatre.
“It is even more critical as we enter 50 years of Independence, and even more so as we enter into the celebration of CARIFESTA next year in Barbados,” Farmer added.
The multicultural arts festival CARIFESTA will provide the island with the opportunity “to showcase the best of who you are not only to the Caribbean, but to the world”.