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Visual Arts Festival seeing impressive expansion
By Kerri Gooding
The Visual Arts Exhibition is now a festival in its own right with more locations, entrants and greater incentives of increased value. The Stakeholder Meetings in 2011 have seen grand incentives implemented for the Visual Arts Festival 2012 under the theme ‘Barbados: Our Heritage, Our History, Our Culture’.
With a variety of pieces entered and an effort to provide more opportunities for visibility, the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) has included two new spaces in addition to the Grande Salle at the Central Bank.
Chairman of the NCF, Monique Taitt, said, “I am happy to announce that the inclusion of the two additional venues, namely Queen’s Park at Pelican and the location familiarly known as Harrison’s No.1 Broad Street, which is now owned by Republic Bank, has indeed enhanced the exposure to and presentation and marketability of our constituents’ artwork.”
The NCF is grateful to have the Visual Arts Festival sponsored well. She extended her gratitude to Associate Sponsor, the Republic Bank; the Festival’s Sponsor, the Central Bank of Barbados; and partners, the BIDC and the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth.
This year saw growth in all categories. Said Taitt, “There has been a 65 per cent increase in entries for the Festival from last year, with 131 entries in the Two-Dimensional Exhibition, compared to 67 last year; 64 in the Three-Dimensional Exhibition, compared to 53 last year; and 74 in the Textiles, Gourds, Jewellery and Basketry Exhibition compared to 54 last year.”
The monetary prizes have also increased in most areas, with the sum of money for some prizes more than doubling. Taitt proudly commended sponsors who made the improvements to the Festival possible and all constituents have supported and embraced the changes.
In congratulating the 2012 awardees, Taitt said, “Thanks to the Central Bank and our Ministry, this year’s top awardee will receive $10 000, up from $7 500 last year or a 33.33 per cent increase. The Central Bank and the Ministry have also put us in the position to offer our entrants nine Best In Show Awards at $1 000 each. It is important to note that in the past, a similar award was offered at $400 each – so we have been able to offer a 150 per cent increase with respect to this award!”
Continuing Taitt added, “And thanks to our ever supportive Ministry, we have also been able to increase the value of the People’s Choice award by $500. For the first time this year, we have been able to offer our entrants the BIDC Best Jewellery Design Awards, which consist of a $200 voucher for first place and a $100 voucher for second place, both of which are redeemable at the BIDC Craft Supply Shop.”
The Visual Arts Festival 2012 will also be supported by two evenings of interactive interpretations of Visual Art through music and other performing arts genres to bring the exhibited pieces to life and draw more persons to visit the showcases, embracing and supporting artisans.