By Andrea Lumsden
On the west end of the Paseo in Camana Bay, a handsome row of black, oversized frames stands tall, the contents of which inspire passersby to slow down and gaze.
Here, 10 prints of fine works of art that form part of the official "Cayman Islands' National Collection" from the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands are on display. A testament to the country’s vibrant history of art, the exhibit is sponsored by Provenance Properties Cayman Islands, the exclusive, local affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate and a subsidiary of Dart Real Estate.
“Art is in the fabric of our business and we’re very proud to present this important exhibition,” said Dart President of Business Development Jackie Doak. “Everyone should see it and be reminded that you don’t need to fly to London or New York to experience fine art — it exists in our own backyard.”
Doak said that Provenance Properties has a direct connection to the art world through its exclusive affiliation with Christie’s, the world’s leading art auction house.
“Our name is even informed by art,” she said, referring to the term “provenance,” which is used to establish the origin and documented history of a work of art.
“Art, in its many forms, inspires our business,” Doak said, explaining that the Provenance Properties's approach to curating its listings portfolio has many similarities to the way a gallery curator might assemble a collection of works.
“We’re very selective with our listings because it’s not just about the bottom line for us," she said. "We place a lot of value in the significance of form and function. Like the National Gallery, we respect and cherish art, whether it’s an architectural masterpiece or one of the iconic works now on display in Camana Bay.”
Curated by the National Gallery, the exhibit includes works created over the past four decades and ranging from the visionary markings of intuitive artists like Gladwyn “Miss Lassie” Bush and early realist painters through to the critically engaged contemporary work.
Director and chief curator of the National Gallery Natalie Urquhart said the Cayman Islands' National Collection offers an unparalleled record of the Cayman Islands’ rich artistic and cultural history.
"At the heart of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is the Cayman Islands’ National Collection, samples from which form the basis of this exhibition," she said. "On display at the National Gallery’s central facility adjacent to Camana Bay, the collection is loosely assembled by decade."
The exhibition, which starts outside of Book & Books and runs along the Paseo towards the Camana Bay Cinema, will be on display through 29 February.
“We hope residents and visitors enjoy this collection,” said Doak.
About the author
Andrea Lumsden has worked with Dart since 2013 and has been writing professionally since 2003. Graduating from University of Central Florida with a BA in Communication, Andrea has worked with clients across a range of industries, including financial services and real estate. Raised in Cayman by Costa Rican and American parents, she’s a New Yorker at heart who enjoys reading and travelling with her husband and three children.
This article was originally published in the January 2020 print edition of Camana Bay Times under the headline "The provenance of Cayman's art."