Massy Stores Barbados has transformed a space at its Warrens location into a pop-up gallery to showcase the work of more than 50 local artists.
The opening viewing of Revo-clectic last Wednesday was held in association with Artist Alliance of Barbados. The exhibition will be open to the public every day this month.
Senior Marketing Manager of Massy Stores Barbados Karen Alleyne said Massy Stores was pleased to be a part of the event.
“We consider our store to be a gallery as well. If you think about it, almost every commodity we sell has a label; every label was created by a graphic artist, so in some form we have artist representation in our stores. But this art is different; the artists here have an awesome responsibility of interpreting issues reserved for academic lexicon and making it intellectually accessible to the general public,” she said.
Adding that art must first be physically accessible, Alleyne added: “Through our partnership with Artist Alliance of Barbados, we seek to accomplish this. Artists always say that one of the major challenges they face is finding space to showcase their art and then finding space that is easily accessible, so we thought that in using our supermarket, we get to bring art to the people.”
The Massy Stores representative added that support for artists is necessary.
“As a corporate enterprise, we appreciate the artistic expressions but they must be supported, philosophically and financially, and we hope that the artists here recognize some type of financial benefit, as all the pieces are on sale,” she stated.
Curator and representative of Artist Alliance of Barbados Oneka Small thanked Massy Stores Barbados for the opportunity.
“This is a great location. Being in a supermarket is a surreal experience because the art is now very accessible in the ordinary person’s life, and for that I am grateful,” she said, adding that one of the advantages of doing a show with 50-plus artists is the diversity of work on display.
Small said one of the goals of Artist Alliance Barbados is to be self-sustaining.
“So we can support our own shows and so that the profits from those shows can then be reinvested to help support other artistic pursuits, and this would assist in making the arts more sustainable in the island,” she said.
Artist Sheena Rose, whose work is on display, told Barbados TODAY she was very thankful to Massy for giving them space, stressing that it was very important for artists to have a place to showcase their work.
“It’s quite embarrassing at this time that we don’t have a national art gallery, especially with so many contemporary artists coming on to the scene,” she said.
Rose also gave a glimpse into her piece at the exhibition – Monster, which she said is an introspection of her life.
“Since coming back to the island, I felt like a monster. I felt out of place and I had this weird conflict with myself, and that’s why you see the army men as a representation of that, and me trying to understand myself back home, back in Barbados – a place I feel I’ve outgrown.”