The earnest wish of local artists and artisans has been fulfilled. The Barbados National Art Gallery will finally have a place to call home.
Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports John King made the announcement Sunday at the official opening of the Central Bank Crop Over Visual Arts Festival Village and Art Walk.
King revealed that Block A at the Garrison Savannah would be the gallery’s base. However, he noted that funds were needed to complete the necessary renovations. King called on the public to contribute to the completion of the national art space, which he said, would see an increased number of exhibitions during the year.
“Once the renovations are completed, this would ensure that Government-owned exhibition space would be accessible to local artists. We expect that this would result in an increased number of galleries available to our artists. We also hope that it would, in turn, lead to an increased number of exhibitions held throughout the year.
“Furthermore, the accommodation for the Barbados National Art Gallery would allow employment of the relevant staff, which is necessary for the effective functioning of the gallery,” the minister said.
While advocating for the development of the arts and for more youth participation, King revealed that his ministry was in the process of developing a 52-week calendar for arts, entertainment, and sports that would also facilitate chefs, mixologists, and baristas.
He urged the nation’s youth to see the arts as a viable and lucrative career option.
“To convince them, we must ensure the cultural industries are firmly established. In this regard, the Government is committed to evolving the Barbados Cultural Industries Development Authority to nurture,
showcase, market and export the products of Barbadian creative professionals to the world,” he said.
During the opening ceremony, Justin Downey was awarded the Central Bank’s Governor’s Award for his multimedia piece Progressive/Regressive, while the Central Bank’s Award of Excellence went to Anya Stephen for her installation Anecdote.
Stephen was also awarded the Best Depiction of the Theme ‘Memories: From Then ‘Til Now’ for her piece.