Art lovers welcomed with open arms

The Visual Arts Society is gathering momentum for the artistic cause in Cayman as it steams ahead with new projects and seminars. The latest event, ‘Open Studio’ has been a cracking success. Business Editor, Lindsey Turnbull reports.

Beginning last November, the Open Studio series at the Visual Arts Society allows participating artists the chance to move their studios into the Watler House base in Pedro St James, for one week and create art so that any visitors to the historic site can get a hands-on glimpse of artists in action.  
Running from November to June during the first week of the month, the first Open Studio started out displaying the talents of artistic dynamic duo and VAS board members Avril Ward and Dora Williams, in a fun-filled though unfortunately curtailed few days of painting frenzy (curtailed due to Hurricane Paloma’s unwanted and somewhat unexpected arrival).
Dora Williams says she enjoyed the event immensely. She states, “Originally we had of course anticipated painting for the entire week but we eventually worked up until midday on the Thursday to pack up in time for hurricane preparations. In any case it was a great few days and we definitely want to have a rerun again early this year if we get the chance.”
Dora says lots of tourists and invitees attended and were interested and curious about their art and the process behind creating artwork. She says it was very satisfying to see their interest.
She states, “The open studio idea has also given us a lot of other ideas for different events that we could hold in the future. The VAS is affording us a huge variety of opportunities to promote art in exciting and varied ways to the public.”
Avril Ward says the VAS hopes to get as many artists in all areas of art to utilise the Open Studio facility and explains why they decided to establish the new offering in the first place: “The motivation behind it is twofold, one is to get artists and their works exposed to the public, and secondly, to educate, inform and encourage the public; they get to watch a variety of artists at work, doing everything from painting, sculpture, jewellery-making and mosaic, etc. It also advertises the VAS and informs people that we are very much involved in the Cayman art scene and offer a variety of opportunities for the artist.” Avril says that although the weather caused Dora and herself to close their Open Studio early on Thursday, they had a number of people visiting, including cruise ship tourists who came by bus to Pedro St James.
Avril says, “The staff at Pedro’s were very helpful in encouraging the visitors to come in and see what we were doing and we also had some stayover visitors as well as friends and supporters of our art as well. It was a great start to a brilliant new venture for the VAS.”
The next Open Studio will be from 4 to 10 January, 9am-2pm. All are welcome.


Avril hard at work in her Visual Arts Society “studio”