By Lindsey Turnbull
Running in tandem with the headline performances at this year’s Cayman Arts Festival, three fringe events held across Grand Cayman helped to widen the appeal of this ever-popular celebration of classical music.
The first to take place was at Pedro St James, a stunning location for the celebration of both music and art, as the CAF teamed up with Cayman’s Visual Arts Society in a bid to showcase local visual as well as musical talent.
VAS Event Manager and Marketing Coordinator Mary McCallum co-ordinates the VAS and said that the organisation has had a long association with the CAF.
“Over the past seven years the Cayman Arts Festival and the VAS have brought artistic talents together creating a one of a kind event featuring Art & Music at the historical grounds of Pedro St. James,” she confirmed. “The two non-profit organisations hosted a complementary reception in the evening of Monday 5th February where almost 100 people came out to enjoy the performance and the art.”
The reception was sponsored by the Tourism Attractions Board, Pedro St. James, Cayman Spirits, Jacques Scott, Hopscotch and the Visual Arts Society, without whom, they would not be able to offer the community this artistic experience, Mary said.
This year they added to the creative genre by including poetic readings from Sophie McKenzie and Peter Westin from the Cayman Poet Society. The live music performer was Erica Assai, a young Caymanian singer, writer, and artist. Music helped Erica overcome a naturally introverted personality and she is now an active entertainer and artist.
In conjunction with the music and poetry, the VAS held an ‘Art by the Sea’ art exhibition at their premises at the Watler House Art Studio, situated in the grounds of Pedro St James.
Mary explained the exhibition is comprised of 53 pieces inspired by the Caribbean Sea received from 16 different local artists.
“The exhibit features original paintings, batiks, mixed medium, framed and stretched fine art photos on canvas, hand craft jewellery, as well as some smaller originals, prints, art cards and other creative treasures all for sale,” she said. “The exhibit also includes a small display of student art from St Ignatius Catholic School. We are truly grateful for all the art submissions from the local artists and students and year after year we are always so impressed by the local talent.”
The Art by the Sea Exhibit is now open to the public most mornings at the Watler House Art Studio at Pedro St. James until 5th March (email email@example.com or call 546-9422 to find out more.)
Encouraging youngsters to develop their musical talents has always been an intrinsic part of the Cayman Arts Festival, and the Rising Stars event is a great example of shining the spotlight on some young musical talent. This event takes the format of performances from Young Musician of the Year contenders sponsored by Butterfield, who, for the first time this year, took to the stage on 6th February at the old George Town Public Library. Event goers were treated to performances on a range of instruments as well as vocal performances, with a high level of talent displayed by all.
Marriage of the arts
The final fringe event, which took place on 7th February, saw another marriage of visual and musical art at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, which featured tours of the Gallery’s ‘Through Ivan’s Eye’ and ‘Solaris’ exhibitions (with the artist, Gretchen Allen, also in attendance), followed by music from international singing duo Christopher Gould and Geraldine McGreevy and The Singrays and poetry by Alyson Medeiros and Hylton Grace.
National Gallery Director, Natalie Urquhart said: “The event was a kind of ‘music in the park’-style event with people bringing picnics and blankets. We had approximately 75 attendees and the event was free to everyone, with no admission charge.”
Natalie said the National Gallery was delighted to once again host a free evening of art and music in support of the Cayman Arts Festival.
“We share CAF’s vision to provide inspiring events for our community and creative opportunities for Cayman’s youth. This year the line-up included a wonderful mix of visual art, music and poetry in the Gallery gardens, showcasing both local and international talent. Our sincere thanks to the performers and to all who came out in support,” she said.