Courtesy of The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art FOR CENTURIES, THE REMOTE ISLANDS OF BERMUDA HAVE NOT ONLY HOSTED FAMOUS ARTISTS BUT ALSO INSPIRED BEAUTIFUL ARTWORK. From simple drawing pads and pencils to the more advanced digital cameras and iPads, Bermudian art continues to grow as technology expands. As early as the 1500s, Bermuda was the subject of drawings and maps. Many of these renditions were straightforward, whilst others were enhanced by fanciful drawings of various species of birds and animals. These works of art were considered “high-tech” for that time period. Soon, itinerant artists began to document contemporary scenes of everyday life in Bermuda. George Tobin, who travelled with Captain Bligh, of Mutiny on the Bounty fame, painted a wonderful image of Flatts Village. Thomas Driver, who was amongst the most well-known artists of that period, painted scenes of Hamilton, St. George’s and other places around the island. By the 1800s, the art produced on the islands evolved to works that were more visionary. This was due in part to the invention of the camera. Karl Struss, a photographer for Bermuda’s Trade Development Board, came to Bermuda in 1911 and produced some of the earliest coloured photographs. Although art supplies were in very short supply, in Stark’s Illustrated Bermuda Guide 1902, the Sam Nelmes Tower on Burnaby Street advertised artists’ materials for sale. We can assume that artists such as E. Ambrose Webster took advantage of these locally available materials. Webster painted large oils of Bermuda and brought them back to his home state of Massachusetts. Today, an artist is able to take advantage of the latest technological tools. The digital camera allows the artist to capture the light and subject matter in high definition. IPads and other tablets have opened a whole new artistic expression, too. Who knows what the future holds for Bermuda’s artistic evolution? The next step may very well be the most exciting yet. ART LIVES HERE Since the first artistic visitor graced the shores of Bermuda, artists have been challenged with translating the iridescent, but illusive, atmosphere and light of Bermuda onto their canvases or paper. This tradition continues today. From the creation of The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art over 25 years ago, to the new crop of galleries and art collectives around the island, there is a depth of creative talent on the island that is sure to delight any visitor. MUSEUMS AND INSTITUTIONS The following is a selection of cultural venues and public art sites. Check with each venue for current exhibitions. Bermuda Arts Centre at Dockyard: Established in 1984, The Arts Centre is a nonprofit registered charity that reflects the diverse creativity of the art community in Bermuda. Five resident artists are happy to chat about their work, and regular exhibits of other local artists are staged every six weeks. Gift shop sells original works of art and prints, and workshops are held regularly. (234-2809, artbermuda.com) Bermuda Historical Society: Housed in the 1814 home of William B. Perot, Bermuda’s first postmaster. A collection of Bermuda-made silver, furniture and paintings, fine china, maps and coins. Ask the curator to show you the letter sent from George Washington asking for Bermuda’s help during the American Revolution. (295-2487, firstname.lastname@example.org) Bermuda National Gallery: This art museum houses Bermuda’s national art collection. It keeps a permanent collection of local and international art, including African, Bermudian and European art, as well as temporary exhibits. Offers educational programmes, social events, lectures and camps. (295-9428, bng.bm) Bermuda National Trust: The Bermuda National Trust is a charity established in 1970 to preserve natural, architectural and historic treasures, and to encourage public appreciation of them. There are 70 properties under the Trust’s care. All programmes and activities are focused in the key areas of preservation, education and advocacy. Its purpose is to ensure that Bermuda’s unique heritage remains protected for future generations. The Trust has a strong education programme, focused on encouraging appreciation of Bermudian history and what it means to Bermuda’s future. Some properties to visit include Tucker House in St. George’s, Verdmont and The Unfinished Church. (236-6483, bnt.bm) Bermuda Society of the Arts: Often referred to as “The People’s Art Gallery,” the BSOA showcases local artists in four separate gallery spaces. They host approximately 50 shows a year and celebrate the diverse range of artistic talent that Bermuda has to offer. (292-3824, bsoa.bm) Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation: Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation is the first collective guild in Bermuda for the creation and teaching of art in an environment that is inspiring and accessible to the entire community. Adult’s and children’s art classes offered. (542-9000, kaf.bm) Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art: Celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2012, Masterworks is Bermuda’s only purpose-built museum and is home to over 1,400 works of Bermuda-inspired art by such famous names as Winslow Homer, Albert Gleizes and Georgia O’Keeffe. Local artists are also on display throughout the year, and the Artists in Residence programme sees international artists offer their interpretation of island life. Weekly drop-in children’s classes welcome visitors, and on the last Saturday of the month, Super Saturday offers FREE art activities to ALL. The museum shop sells prints and original local art, and Homer’s Café serves baked goods, gluten-free goods and lunch items. Museum and café are open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p. m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Located in the Botanical Gardens, 183 South Shore Road, Paget. (299-4000, bermudamasterworks.com) National Museum of Bermuda: Includes Bermuda Maritime Museum, The Keep, The Casemates Barracks, Commissioner’s House and three floors of exhibits. Displays include The Slave Trade, Royal Navy Collections and local artist Graham Foster’s epic mural depicting the history of Bermuda is not to be missed. (234-1418, bmm.bm) The World Heritage Centre: The World Heritage Centre at Penno’s Wharf in St. George’s offers a bright, welcoming space with a large reception desk. Visitors can proceed to the orientation gallery, the Gateway to Bermuda exhibit, and upstairs to more exhibits and the theatre. Large photo installations illustrate the splendours of St. George’s and its fortifications. The centre provides a walk-through of Bermuda’s early history from the Age of Discovery to the U.S. Civil War. Interpretive panels and audios describe Bermuda before the English arrived, when New World explorers used Bermuda as a navigational marker, when mariners dubbed the island the “Isle of Devils” and when castaways explored its fruitful shores. Bermuda’s historic links to Jamestown and the first settlers are illustrated. There’s a scale town model based on illustrations in the 1626 John Smith map and other research, which includes the original State House, St. Peter’s, Their Majesties Chappell, stone and wood dwellings, small bridges and model ships in St. George’s Harbour and early forts. Upstairs there is a “time tree,” interactive touchscreens featuring World Heritage Site information, fortifications, military bases and the film A Stroll Through St. George’s. It is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p. m. (297-5791, stgeorgesfoundation.org) TAKING BERMUDA HOME For a perfect memento, pick up an original work of art in various media. April Branco Gallery: April is a pastel and charcoal artist who opened her own gallery in 2011. She sells her own original artworks and prints, as well as works by other local artists and jewellers Alexandra Mosher and Cindy Mitchell. (542-8484, aprilbrancogallery.com) Belinda Tartaglia Gallery: In the heart of St. George’s on Penno’s Wharf, this unique studio gallery offers fine art, antiques, paintings, and contemporary, vintage and antique prints. (297-0909) The Birdsey Studio: Jo Birdsey Linberg, daughter of Bermuda’s first modern artist, Alfred Birdsey, painted for many years with her father at the Birdsey Studio before his death in 1996. Today, she continues the family tradition. Created predominately in watercolour, her impressionistic landscapes, figurative paintings and whimsical animals reflect her mentor’s artistic legacy through simple lines and Oriental-inspired brushwork; but they also establish Jo’s own artistic niche and creative stamp. Her watercolours have been exhibited in Bermuda and overseas, whilst collected and commissioned internationally. Jo’s paintings reflect her love of life and Bermuda. Her father’s spirit is alive and well in her humour, hospitality and creative energy. The Birdsey Studio can be found in the back garden of the family home, located at 5 Stowe Hill in Paget. It remains a special place for many, with its tranquil natural setting and rather unusual appearance. Studio hours are 10:30 a. m. to 1 p.m. weekdays. Appointments are recommended. (236-6658, email@example.com) Chewstick: The legendary Neo-Griot movement born in 2002 was designed to celebrate the exploration of human expression in every facet; be that dance, the spoken word, art or music. Chewstick hosts events and parties throughout the year, their most famous being their BeachFest over Cup Match weekend. (292-2439, chewstick.org) Crisson & Hind Gallery: Home to a fascinating collection of carved sculptures from Zimbabwe. (295-1117) Desmond Fountain Gallery: An essential destination for art lovers, this gallery in the Elbow Beach Hotel showcases international and local artists’ works alongside the world-famous sculptor Desmond Fountain. Fountain creates collectible bronzes, etchings and paintings, and his larger works can be seen throughout the island. (747-3955, desmondfountaingallery.com) Dockyard Glassworks: At the Dockyard Glassworks Glass Gallery & Working Studio, artists will tempt your senses. Come see hot molten glass, like light on the move, as creations happen. Relax in their comfy theatre as you experience the expertise and drama. Lamp-work artists prepare small sculptural collectible creatures, many native to the island. Shop in the colourful Glass Gallery at 1 Maritime Lane in the Royal Naval Dockyard, open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and till 9 p.m. when ships are docked. Overseas shipping via FedEx is available. (234-4216, dockglass.com) Endemic Arts Collective: Bermuda’s newest arts collective in the East End. Located inside of Triton Tattoo parlour, Endemic Arts Collective showcases unique local artwork. (732-0233, endemic.Arts@gmail.com) Nicholas Lusher Fine Antiques and Fine Art: By appointment only. Nicholas deals in Bermudian, European and American art, sculptures, maps, prints, books, coins and much more. (295-5708, nicholaslusher.com) Picturesque Gallery: The Picturesque Gallery showcases Bermudian photographer Roland Skinner’s best work spanning a 50-year career. Roland’s images of Bermuda truly capture the unique colours and contours of the island, its flamboyant sunsets, lush floral landscapes and sweeping aerial views. Archival colour prints in various sizes are available from the gallery along with two best-selling books and a number of unique gift items featuring Roland’s images. Located in Walker Arcade, 47 Front Street, Hamilton. (292- 1452, picturesquebermuda.com) Seaglass Studio: Beachcomber Kelly Diel has a treasure trove of unique handcrafted gifts in the heart of St. George’s. Seaglass Studio is where Kelly creates one-of-a-kind jewellery and ornaments from sea glass found on the local beaches. You can see the rarest colours of sea glass in orange, red and yellow. She also uses driftwood, sea pottery and other sea debris to create decorative signs, mirrors and ornamental sculptures. Visit Kelly at her studio at 16 Water Street in St. George’s where you can find that special, unique gift to take home. (297-4819, bermudaseaglassbykelly.Com)
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