Fine art talent gets recognition

In celebration of the tremendous strides Cayman’s fine arts scene has made in recent years, legal and fiduciary services firm Ogier has partnered with the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands to present a brand new art award, with winners announced at the end of June. Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull finds out more.

About three years ago Ogier decided to reinvigorate its community programme by polling its staff to find out where they felt there was a real need for aid and assistance, to help the firm formulate a plan that would give back to the community in a manner that reflected staff interests and concerns.

Peter Cockhill, a Partner in Ogier’s Cayman legal practice and co-head of Ogier’s global Investment Funds team. He furthers: “We identified five main areas which we decided ought to benefit from our assistance: international relief, children and family welfare, animal welfare, the environment via G-force (our environmental team) and culture and the arts.”

Out of this decision, sub committees devoted to each particular area were formed. The arts and culture sub committee set to work straight away and the firm’s involvement in Cayman’s arts scene included support for the performing arts as well as with the provision of funds to the National Gallery for interns to study. Thus the relationship was formed with what Peter terms “Cayman’s guardian of fine art”.  He states: “We have been supporting the fine arts in a small way up until this point, but we felt we wanted to broaden this support, and thus the Ogier Art Award was developed.”

The decision to develop a fine arts award coincided with Ogier’s move to its brand new offices in Camana Bay. “We have a lovely aspect at Camana Bay, yet internally our walls are rather sparse, so we thought the concept of a fine arts award would also help us to fill our walls!” Peter says, explaining that there will be an award for first, second and third place with these winning paintings to have a permanent home at Ogier’s offices.

“We felt it was extremely important to fill our space with locally produced artwork rather than imported paintings so the art award hopefully will encourage artists in Cayman while at the same time fill a need for us,” he adds.

The Ogier Art Award is open to art enthusiasts as well as professional artists, 18 and over and who are resident in Cayman and have been so for twelve months prior to the competition. They will be judged to a high set of criteria by an awards panel comprising of Ogier staff and members from the cultural community. All pieces must be original and completed in the last two years.  Both 2-D and 3-D fine arts media will be accepted including photography and computer generated work.

Director of the National Gallery, Natalie Urquhart says: “The National Gallery is delighted to be partnering with Ogier to launch the Ogier Art Award, an annual award that recognises the very best in the Cayman Islands arts scene. The award, and accompanying exhibition, will be an important showcase for both established and emerging artists and we hope that it will come to be regarded as one of the premier national events in the local art calendar. We commend Ogier for supporting the arts and encourage all artists working in Cayman to make the most of this exciting new opportunity.”

All entrants will be displayed at Camana Bay for two weeks prior to the judging, which will take place at an awards ceremony at Camana Bay on 30 June. Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners to the sum of $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second and $1,000 for third.

Peter concludes: “We really hope that the Ogier Art Award will be well received within the community and that it will encourage the appreciation and practice of fine art. The community can only be enhanced by such creative ability, as in addition to viewing the tangible output we all benefit from living in an expressive and creative environment.”


Peter Cockhill