Government remains committed to providing a permanent home for a National Art Gallery, and Culture Minister, John King, last night promised that such a residence would be found.
Though he did not give a timeframe for the long-mooted home of art displays in Barbados, King reflected on his life as a performer to assure a group of artists and art lovers that he knows the feeling of broken promises coming from politicians.
“Oftentimes you look at … a politician and he makes a statement and everybody goes ‘yeah right’ nobody really expects that. We heard that before,” he said at the opening of the 9th Annual Caribbean Fine Art Fair (CAFA) in the Courtney Blackman Grand Salle at the Central Bank of Barbados.
“I want to assure you that I’ve also been on the other side of the fence. I probably know it better than most of you. If I tell you that we’re going to do something for you, believe me that is going to be done.”
“We are therefore actively exploring options for a location,” King told the audience in the converted gallery, at which the work of Barbadian and other Caribbean artists will be in display until Sunday.
“Once the National Art Gallery is permanently housed, government-owned exhibition space will be accessible to local artists,” he said. He said he hoped that this would result in an increased number of galleries which are available to artists, which will in turn lead to an increased number of exhibitions being held throughout the year.
King said that his ministry aims to promote increased cultural events that serve, “not simply to provide an outlet for existing artistes but also to heighten the interest of the general populace in the arts”.
“This is one of the objectives of Barbados’ National Cultural Policy, as we strive to attain a higher level of cultural awareness among Barbadians.”
At that opening ceremony, Director of CAFA, Anderson Pilgrim, paid homage to Winston Jordan, cartoonist, graphic artist, visual artist, costume designer and Barbadian cultural icon who played an influential role in the early days of CropOver. His son, artiste Winslow ‘Rubytech’ Jordan, was presented with a sculpture created by Steve Reid.