[email protected] is the premier art festival held in the Cayman Islands, and is the gathering place for local emerging artists and traditional Caymanian artisans who wish to exhibit art work and demonstrate their skills in one exciting afternoon.
It’s that time again… [email protected], to be specific, on Saturday, 4th February.
The event is hosted by Governor Duncan Taylor and family, the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands and the management of Governors Square. Each year as many as 100 artists participate in this much anticipated festival and the work on display falls within a wide range of artistic forms: From wood carvings to glass works; traditional art forms like thatch bags, waurie boards and traditional gigs; jewellery and the fine art pieces by well-known Caymanian artists.
For the third consecutive year artists are geared to sell and market their work on the opposite side of the street where visitors will find many craft items and fine art pieces for sale, all thanks to the management of Governors Square who continue to offer their location for the commercial sales of artwork.
This year’s featured artist is one of Cayman’s most prolific artists, Nickola McCoy-Snell. She was named the winner of the prestigious McCoy Prize in the fine arts category in 2007. Her works have been on show at the National Gallery and other locations on the Island and overseas including last year’s “Big Art Auction”, “A Day in the Life; artist in residence programme” 2009, Cayman Cancer Society solo exhibition at the Morgan Gallery in 2007, a solo exhibition in Cornwall, England in 2006 and a host of exhibitions displayed in recent years at her own establishment Arteccentrix Gallery. Mrs. McCoy-Snell will show her most current works at the event and hopes to demonstrate her unique style of expressive painting on the lawn of the Governors House throughout the afternoon.
She hopes onlookers will grasp her creative concepts, “I really hope visitors will come away inspired and wanting to create for themselves. I am open and available to chat and answer any questions that persons may have about me and my work.”
All schools were encouraged to take part in the event incorporating the theme of this year’s Governors Cup Competition, Art: a Universal Language into their art classes. The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is urging teachers and students to think abstractly about expression and consider art as a powerful element of daily life which connects us as a community. The students’ work will be on exhibit for the public to view and will be judged by the Governor himself. The winning school will take home the Governors Cup for display in their trophy case for the entire year. There are also numerous prizes awarded to students with outstanding contributions to the [email protected] 2012 display. Another annual feature to the event is the “Non-Profit Row”. This is a section of the festival where charitable organisations set-up and set out to promote their individual causes to the public. This year you will find the Cayman Aids Foundation, the National Council of Voluntary Organisations, the Department of Environment and the Visual Arts Society, among others. This is a great opportunity for patrons to renew or purchase annual membership with these organizations and with the National Gallery.
There’s sound, too
Entertainment this year includes the sounds of DJ Craig of Oneworld Entertainment, Pandemonium Steel Band, the George Town Primary Quadrille Dancers and the exciting Cayman Islands Marching Band. One of the main activities throughout the history of the [email protected] event is the Catboat rides; where members of the Cayman Catboat Club offer educational demonstrations and free boat rides to the public. The Catboats will be located on the beach behind the Governor’s residence and all are encouraged to support the ongoing educational efforts surrounding Cayman’s main maritime heritage craft.
Cayman Airways Limited has once again made it possible for [email protected] to be considered a National festival by travelling artisans from the sister islands over for the event. “We are very appreciative of the ongoing support of our National Airline” says National Gallery of the Cayman Islands Communications and Marketing Manager. “Each year they provide airfare for a half dozen people to travel from the Brac and Little Cayman and by including the artisans of our Sister Islands in this programme, it shows that Cayman Airways is committed to our community in a holistic way.”