Great art: 101

Cayman Traditional Arts has again joined forces with The Gallery at The Ritz-Carlton to showcase some sizzling summer art. This time the remit was an ambitious one – 101 pieces of artwork that reflect the artists’ interpretation of summer time. The work of well established local artists stands side by side with brand new artists who are showing at the exhibition for the very first time, a deliberate attempt by the organisers to give undiscovered artists the chance to shine along the ‘old masters’. Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull went along for a viewing and reports in a series of articles.
Summer 101 

An unmistakable guy
Guy Harvey’s unmistakable style detailing intricate studies of ocean life in all its glorious forms greets viewers to this latest exhibition at The Ritz-Carlton’s long light and airy Gallery that straddles the West Bay Road.
It’s a wonderfully exciting and exhilarating start to an incredible collection of art work that showcases 27 artists, many of whom are exhibiting multiple pieces of work. Newcomers to The Ritz-Carlton exhibition include Allister Clarke, Jim Hellemn, Bethany Tomkins, Aaron Reberchek (all photography) and Megan Compton, Kerwin Ebanks, Michelle Bower, Simone Scott and Deborah Brookes-Mangan in fine art. 
Guy appears to manage to move from medium to medium as effortlessly as the aquatic subject matter that he portrays, with acrylics sitting aside watercolours and oils. But it is his pen and ink work that has made him a household name and there is a fine example of this particular artistic medium in the shape of eight black and white limited edition prints entitled Old Man & the Sea.
Guy has infused his personal touch to each drawing with unique watercolour remarques added to each piece of work. Viewed as a whole, it’s a delightful illustration of Ernest Hemingway’s famous novel by the same name and deserves to adorn a special place in a grand home or a spacious office.      

Fine art underwater
Moving through the Gallery the viewer is then treated to some rare artwork in the shape of photographs on canvas, which is a beautiful medium on which to highlight this particular creative talent. Cathy Church’s name is synonymous in Cayman with underwater photography (who doesn’t own a piece of her work?) but this is the first time she has set her talents onto canvas. 
In particular Nosy Turtle stands out as something of an iconic photograph for her, and has probably been viewed thousands of times, yet setting it on canvas makes the character of the turtle pop out at the viewer with vivid blue hues defining the background and enhancing the figure.
Bringing a moody intensity to the proceedings, Cathy’s Grotto with One Fish is a perfect example of her talent at capturing light, with a resonance that has tremendous impact on the viewer.

New heights for Courtney
Another much loved photographer, Courtney Platt, has managed to take his artistic abilities to new heights with his clever Ritz Aerial shot, another photograph placed on canvas, that really ought to be snapped up by The Ritz-Carlton themselves! Courtney has also pushed boundaries with his Sunset Rays photo that manages to capture just what it must feel like to be a stingray, with its under and above water vistas that surely will have taken incredible patience to shoot.

Photographers capture fine art scenes
If Cathy Church’s name will be forever linked to underwater photography then Rebecca Davidson’s will equally be inextricably linked to wedding photography. Never-the-less, Rebecca has managed to branch away from the norm with a collection of eight flawless photographs on canvas that highlight her talent as a fine art photographer.    
Washing Day is a favourite for me because I am a huge fan of everyday scenes turned into something beautiful and pleasurable to view and that is exactly what Rebecca has achieved. Quiet Cliffs and The Edge manage to highlight nature in its rough textured form while Frosty Shores and Reflections, both studies of the ocean, will have you gazing intently at the colour and light that Rebecca has successfully captured in film, again, like Courtney, from interesting perspectives that shed new light to familiar scenes.
Aaron Rebarchek works with Rebecca at her photography studio and he, too, has managed to create studies of fine art that delight the viewer. Aaron has the knack and clearly the patience to capture a moment in time that is at the same time both beguiling and picturesque and thus his work appears extremely commercial.
Isolation sees a lone and somewhat poignant figure at Smith’s Cove, while there is an incredible tranquility to Who needs a Dock? Alone on a Log captures the fleeting moment of an inquiring lizard and Southern Winds captures the power of the ocean wave in all its glory.

Newcomer’s impact
Bethany Tomkins is a newcomer to the world of art exhibitions and has done a fine job capturing Cayman scenes with which we will all be familiar via photograph on canvas. In particular, her study of Bird of Paradise displays this flower so highly identifiable with Caribbean life in stunning and vivid crimson glory, a beautiful first attempt and a photographer to watch out for over the coming months.

Read much more on Summer 101 artists in next month’s Journal. 

Summer 101 is a collection of 101 art pieces at The Gallery of The Ritz-Carlton that capture that summer feeling.
The exhibition runs until 8th November 2010 and includes photography on canvas and aluminium, watercolour, acrylic and oil paintings, pen and ink drawings, stained glass work, and mixed media compositions. All the art work is for sale.

An exhibition of children’s art work will be shown simultaneously from 25th September until November. This art work will not be for sale.