Debbie Gabriel recently took the opportunity while in Barbados to visit the faculty and students of Barbados Community College’s (BCC) Fine Arts Department.
Gabriel was following in the footsteps of her husband Alexandre, the owner and Master Blender of West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD) who a few months ago had made a special donation to the college’s art programme. Not present at the time, she had expressed an interest in seeing some of the work done by the division and to meet some of the students studying there.
Gabriel, an art enthusiast herself, paid a visit to the art gallery, which for now is functioning as a classroom. A class was in session and she witnessed students executing mixed media pieces to complete the assignment of drawing themselves at different stages of life. It was part of an ongoing project for the students whose finished work would be mounted on the classroom board in the form of a collage. Although not quite complete, Gabriel was given a sample of what the finished product would look like and she was very impressed.
Senior Tutor in the Division of Fine Arts, Zann Ward, who, along with other members of staff accompanied Gabriel on the tour, was excited about the visit and the potential benefits the exposure could bring to the students and the various programmes. The group also toured the 3D studio with tutor John Springer who explained the fundamentals of the technique, after which she visited the art studio where a few students were going through their paces.
Overall, Gabriel described the tour as a rewarding experience. She was extremely impressed by the level of work evidenced in the students’ pieces. She also expressed a desire to return to the campus in the very near future.
Prior to the tour, Gabriel met with BCC Principal, Annette Alleyne. Realizing they shared a love for the arts, the two had a lively conversation about the arts in Barbados and the development of the Division.