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Cayman Art Week boosts local art

Arts and Culture 15 Jul, 2021 Follow News

Tracy McMenemy, Julie Corsetti and Carlos V Garcia

A busy exhibition at IDG

Artist Carlos in action

Julie's artwork showcased at the IDG pop up exhibition

Julie's beautiful artwork

By Lindsey Turnbull


Last week saw a whirlwind of art gallery tours, pop up exhibitions and live showcases of art in action during the inaugural Cayman Art Week. The collection of art-based events spanned all three Cayman Islands, involved 25 venues and saw 85 local artists participate. Studio bus tours took interested people around art studios in George Town and along Seven Mile Beach, while private tours gave art aficionados the chance to have one-to-one with artists and delve a bit more deeply into what makes the artists tick.

One such artist who found participation in Cayman Art Week highly beneficial was Julie Corsetti, who runs Deep Blue Images. Julie is a photographer whose artwork adorns homes and offices across the islands, while her commercial photography is featured in many locally produced magazines. Since Covid, however, Julie said she has explored new areas of opportunity, and Cayman Art Week helped her to do just that.

Julie’s artwork for this event was displayed at a pop-up art exhibition at furniture store IDG, which she co-hosted with artists Carlos Garcia and Tracy McMenemy. It featured somewhat of a new and exciting direction for Julie’s work, with photographs being printed on metal and an abstract feel to the content, displaying close-ups of ocean ripples and stark black and white palm fronds.

“As an artist, especially since Covid, I have had to go out more on the creative side and push out some images that haven’t been seen before,” Julie confirmed.

With so much competition in the photography field currently, Julie said experimenting with this edgier type of artwork required a certain level of skill which is acquired over time.

“Every time I do these shows I just try and show that I am growing as an artist and maybe take some risks,” she said. “For some reason this year, creatively, I have so many visions in my head. The shoots that I am doing locally mean I have to come up with new ideas to make sure everyone does not look the same.”

Julie said Instagram gave her lots of inspiration for her work, but generally she was simply inspired by anything to do with the sea. At the moment, she said she was loving photographing black and white palms, bringing in some negative space and toning down the bright colours in her work.


Opening up art

Cayman Art Week, organised by the National Gallery’s Director Natalie Urquhart, had been a fantastic way to open up local art to the community in a really meaningful way, she confirmed.

“Everyone has been amazingly supportive about featuring the local artists and they did a great job in marketing the events,” Julie stated. “Most of the people who usually come to my art shows are friends or extended friends or repeat customers, but this brought in a different crowd of people who I didn’t know. It enabled me to meet a lot of new faces.”

From this event, Julie said she picked up a couple of commission pieces, while some people wanted her to come and do home consults.

“A lot of people know I am a photographer but I don’t think they realise that I’m doing so much of the printing now,” she said.

One such person who was instrumental in the success of the art show was Tracy McMenemy, wife of the director of the Nicholas Cage movie that was recently shot in Cayman, who Julie had met while she was shooting stills on set. Tracy had brought in a whole new set of people who were enjoying local artwork and Julie was grateful for her support.


New perspective

At the same time, Julie said visiting other art shows gave her a new perspective and real insight into the work of her fellow local artists.

“I had never been in Al Ebanks studio,” she said. “It was amazing to be able to pop from one studio to the next. It enabled me to see what other people are doing as well. You get so focused on your own work,” she confirmed.

Up until this point, Julie said she felt local art has almost been underground, with many people going off island to source artwork. She said Cayman Art Week had really made an effort to support local artists by giving them a venue to showcase their work as they had been struggling a lot, relying on sales from cruise ship passengers in particular.

“I am more in touch now with artists than I have ever been. The result has been much more collaboration, much more respect for each other and trying to help each other out,” she said. “Cayman Art Week came at a perfect time to feature local artists and hopefully some of the refurbs and the building people will reach out to them instead of bringing everything in from overseas.”

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