The works of Bahamian artists exhibiting at the Harlem Fine Arts Show, New York, has been receiving much acclaim, and has provoked much conversation regarding the styles of the artists, their social and political consciousness as well as their outstanding talents.
The HFAS, which officially opened on Thursday night, February 4th, at the historic Riverside Church, is a four-day travelling exhibition and sale of contemporary paintings, sculpture, and photography and is the largest of its kind featuring art from the African Diaspora.
The Bahamas as one of the featured sponsors, of HFAS showcased three of its premier artists and their works. Also, the country’s Director of Heritage and Culture is on hand to share with show attendees on the history and culture of the archipelagic nation, including its deep-rooted ties to African Americans.
The Bahamian contingent of artists includes Eddie Minnis, Jamaal Rolle and Chantal Bethel, representing a cross section of Bahamian artistic talent. Centrally located in the exhibition hall, the works of the artists have been drawing lots of attention from admirers.
Pieces of Rolle’s art on display include a portrait of Donald Trump, juxtaposed with a painting of a slave in a noose behind a fence, with an Oscar on the other side and the words “Whites only.” Both photos have been the cause of much conversation and interest.
The paintings of Chantal Bethel, on display include some of her signature pieces, including, “Tender Embrace” and “Queen of Heart.” Her works have drawn the attention of many who have edged as close as possible to peer at, and study the minute details of the art that was specially crafted with the use of acrylic crackle.
Long known for his beautiful Harbour Island, Bahamas, landscapes and the striking Poinciana trees, one show attendee was heard saying, of Eddie Minnis’ works, “See, now this makes you want to go there (The Bahamas).” Another show attendee advised that he was going to charge the entire Bahamas team with “cruel and intentional punishment,” for “teasing people,” by bringing “just a taste of the Island.”
Among those interviewing the Bahamian contingent on Thursday night, was Serata McKnight, of the show, “Sisters In The Struggle.” During this interview, Director of Culture and Heritage, Arlene Nash Ferguson, got to share on the rich and unique culture of The Bahamas and its people.
The HFAS opening night in New York featured a tribute to lifestyle maven B.Smith and her husband Dan Gatsby and a portrait of retiring Congresssman Charles B Rangel was unveiled.
At the conclusion of the New York show, HFAS moves on to Martha’s Vineyard, Washington, DC, Atlanta and Chicago, and then travels internationally to be hosted in Nassau, Bahamas in November.