New Dart Auditorium will enhance gallery

In the fifth in a series of articles that follow the development of the new National Gallery and Education Centre, we take a look the Dart Auditorium and how it will be a balance of style and functionality. 

Located inside the Education Centre building, the Dart Auditorium is a state-of-the art lecture room that will provide a much needed home for the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands’s popular foreign film club and Art Flix programmes, lecture series and school visits.  

Balance of style, functionality 

A sleek balance of functionality and style, the room will have seating for up to 55 people either in lecture format or grouped around tables for a more classroom-style experience. 

It will be fully equipped with a retractable screen, lectern, and high definition audio-visual and projection equipment. 

The opening of the auditorium will coincide with the launch of the National Gallery’s expanded education schedule which, come February 2012, will have a stronger focus on school programming, academic research and lectures on the arts and culture of the Cayman Islands and beyond. 


Expand scope  

“The Dart Auditorium will enable us to greatly expand the scope of our education programme,” said National Gallery Director Natalie Urquhart.  

“We already host many local schools during each of our temporary exhibitions, and provide cross curricular learning packages for the classroom, but our space for follow up activities has been limited.  

“Now students will be able to tour an exhibition, view the artwork first-hand, and then follow up immediately with a lesson or art activity on-site with our instructors. It is an exciting prospect.” 


More space  

This multifunctional room will also double as a third exhibition space and provide an area for artists, curators and writers to meet more regularly and exchange ideas about contemporary visual art practice within the Cayman Islands.  

“Each of the rooms in the education building has been designed with a dual purpose to ensure that we are using them to maximum efficiency,” said Urquhart.  

“In addition, we hope it will help generate much needed revenue for the National Gallery by housing small corporate evenings and conferences.  

“We envision that this area will be a hive of activity.” 


Long supporter  

The Dart Auditorium has been funded by the Dart Foundation, a long-term supporter of the National Gallery education schedule through its sponsorship of programmes at Northward/Eagle House, Fairbanks, Art Sisters, several stand-alone youth programmes, and the annual outreach exhibition. 

Jim Lammers, vice president of The Dart Foundation, said the organisation was pleased to be able to support the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, especially on the development of their new facility.  

“The Dart Auditorium will be an exciting addition to the Gallery providing new and much-needed space to develop and enhance arts in the Cayman Islands,” he said. 

Dart Auditorium to enhance

Touring the construction site of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands were, from left, Dart Enterprises Communications Manager Lynn Smith–Moore; National Gallery Director Natalie Urquhart; and Dart Foundation Vice President Jim Lammers.