Sunday, April 6, 2014

TS2014 Day One A Success!

We're off to a great start for Transforming Spaces, Bahamas 2014!  Showing at Doongalik Studios Art Gallery are:

Orchid Burnside
Dominic Cant
June Collie
Sonia Farmer
Ivanna Gaitor
Yutavia George
Jenny Guy
Celeste Harding
Jalan Harris
Diana Kahrim
Dom Knowles
Ada Pinkston
Alexia Roach
Giovanna Swaby
Angelika Wallace-Whitfield
Averia Wright

Show remains up until the end of April, so be sure to stop in if you didn't make it on the bus!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Transforming Spaces Schedule!

TS 2014 Schedule of Events
At A Glance

Suga Shack (formally Big 10) at the Fish Fry, Arawak Cay
Suga Shack (Formally Big 10)


Film Night & Opening Lounge
Antonius Roberts Studio & Gallery at Hillside House
#25 Cumberland St.
Free and open to the public


Lecture Series
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas
West Hill Street
5 pm—8 pm
Free and open to the public


First Transforming Spaces Art Tour
Meet at Dockendale House (West Bay Street, near to Xavier’s College) at 8:30 am
Must have a ticket

Second Transforming Spaces Art Tour
2 pm—6:30 pm
Meet at Dockendale House (West Bay Street, near to Xavier’s College) at 1:30 pm
Must have a ticket

Tours leave PROMPTLY on schedule so be sure you are there with plenty of time to spare beforehand.


Third Transforming Spaces Art Tour
9 am—1:30 pm
Meet at Dockendale House (West Bay Street, near to Xavier’s College) at 8:30 am
Must have a ticket


Closing Night Lounge
TBA Free and open to the public

Monday, March 17, 2014


Tickets are now on sale for Nassau’s most exciting event in contemporary visual art, theTransforming Spaces art tour. Taking place April 3—6, it will include artwork by almost one hundred artists in seven gallery spaces, all responding to the theme of “Water”.

This year’s tour echoes the first thematic tour in Transforming Spaces 2012, which called for artists to respond to the theme “Fibre” by using indigenous materials in exciting ways in order to collapse traditional, folk and contemporary art practices.

This time around, artists were invited to propose pieces that respond to the theme “Water”, providing a rich platform to explore the life-giving substance thematically or through their artistic process itself.

"This theme-driven format", says Transforming Spaces Committee member Jay Koment, allows for a significant number of artists to present their work within a streamlined narrative to the tour patrons—and also helps the tour to make a name for itself within the wider Caribbean region.

“What happened when we did ‘Fibre’ is that we received some proposals from artists in from other islands like Trinidad and Jamaica, which led to a growing interest in the tour, especially through promotion at ARC Magazine,” says Koment, referring to the online hub that promotes and examines Caribbean art.

He says the 2014 theme of “Water” saw a huge leap in proposals from regional and diasporic artists excited to be part of the conversation surrounding contemporary art.

“The tour has been celebrated by locals for years, but now artists around the world are paying attention to what we have to offer, and they like what they see,” Koment adds. “We are really excited to form connections and collaborations with artists in the wider region, which will help us to grow our tour into a real creative industry highlight.”

The 100 or so accepted proposals from Bahamian and other Caribbean and American artists alike will be presented in seven participating gallery spaces by guest curators: Michael Edwards will construct an outdoor pavilion to display work at the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation’s Collin’s House, a newcomer to the tour; Kim Smith will arrange a selection of gorgeous realist pieces on the balcony at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas; Danielle (Dede) Brown will offer stunning interpretations of the theme at the D’Aguilar Art Foundation; Dylan Rapillard will present several larger installation pieces at Popopstudios International Center for the Visual Arts; Heino Schmid will offer fascinating explorations into the theme at Doongalik Studios; Nicole Smythe-Johnson, hailing from Jamaica, will transform the Antonius Roberts Studio and Gallery at Hillside House; and Vincentian Holly Bynoe, Editor-in-Chief of ARC Magazine, will unveil breathtaking installations at the Liquid Courage Gallery and warehouse space.

Since the tickets sell out every year, in order to meet new demand, the Transforming Spaces Committee has expanded their programming by offering an additional afternoon tour on Saturday April 5, making for  total of three tours of this year’s participating galleries.

In addition, this year’s tour will include several satellite events free and open to the public, such as a film night on Thursday, April 3, a lecture series on Friday April 4, and closing night lounge on Sunday April 6, to promote critical discussion about Caribbean art practices.

Lastly, Transforming Spaces partnered with The Domestic Tourist and My Destination Bahamas to offer two travel packages especially for patrons from abroad who may wish to, in addition to enjoying the Transforming Spaces events, explore the rich cultural and historical attractions of other Family Islands such as Andros, Eleuthera and Harbor Island.

Be sure to secure your spot on this year’s tour by reserving your $35 ticket today at The Islandz Store at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas on West Hill Street (242-328-5800), A Place for Art in the yellow building at Doongalik Studios, #20 Village Road (242-393-8834 or 242-394-1886), or at Liquid Courage, #19 Patton Street in Palmdale (242-322-2202).

For more about Transforming Spaces or to view this year’s schedule, tour stops and travel packages, check out their new website at and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for exciting sneak peeks of artists' work and exclusive behind-the-scenes preparation as the events draw near.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The NY Times

Doongalik Studios Art Gallery is featured in The NY Times!  Find out more here!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

At Long Last by The Artist Malcolm

Observing the body of realist paintings by Malcolm Rae in his first solo show in a decade, “At Long Last”, opening at Doongalik Studios on Thursday, February 20th, viewers may wonder what they have been missing. Reflected in The Artist Malcolm’s watercolor seascapes, landscapes and figures is a new reality within our existing world, accessible only through his particular translation from his eye to the canvas.

“I firmly believe that artists see the world differently—I see things and wonder why other people can’t, so then I paint it,” says The Artist Malcolm. “I believe artists should be painting what people don’t see—capturing the spirit of the world before you.”

The Artist Malcolm is a well-known staunch supporter of realism, both in his practice and in his own studio and exhibition space Stingrae Studios, which offers a much-needed refuge for contemporary artists engaged with the practice today.

Behind his realist motivations lies the pervasive dismissal of the craft that all contemporary realist artists struggle with today—do paintings capturing the beauty of a landscape or its diverse people fade into the background in today’s art world? Or do they offer, in their still and mighty beauty, a new perspective to open the eyes of their viewers to the world around them?

In The Artist Malcolm’s case, the answer lies in his stunning portfolio of work, developed over his life-long love affair with the country since he moved to Nassau in 1958 with his parents. Despite the lack of gallery spaces on the island, The Artist Malcolm continued to paint, draw, and exhibit, inspired by the beauty around him. He also learned how to capture the human figure through interacting with cadavers during his medical studies—a field he eventually left behind.

His resulting body of work stands as the best argument against realism’s supposed redundancy—they offer in themselves a particularly engaging translation of realism through careful compositions and experimentation with stylistic departures such as pointillism and simultaneous contrast, ultimately highlighting overlooked everyday beauty.

“The Bahamas is so beautiful, why not capture it?” says The Artist Malcolm. “I hear people say that you can’t paint a sunset every day. Why not? A sunset is different every day, and I see no problem with sharing that. The biggest shame is that the very people who live here never seem to notice.”

On a deeper level, The Artist Malcolm’s pieces offer both pause and refuge for viewers disillusioned with a current world destroyed in the name of progress. His glimpses of the natural beauty of the landscape invite a bittersweet nostalgia for things we have lost and a fierce recommitment to our beloved home before the remains slip out of our grasp, available only to visit in the very art pieces before us.

“I paint the beauty of The Bahamas before we destroy it,” says The Artist Malcolm. “It’s a disappointing thought, but there’s almost nothing about The Bahamas left, especially here. It’s very difficult now to find something to paint here in Nassau.”

“I hope my paintings inspire nostalgia and inspire us to wake up,” he adds. “If we don’t focus on the past, we will lose the vision of it, the beauty of it, the sacredness of it.”

‘At Long Last’ will be on display at #20 Village Road until Friday March 7. For further information please contact the Gallery at telephone 394-1886, or email them at

Article by: Sonia Farmer

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Art of Chocolate

Please join us for this special event on Wednesday, February 12 from 6-9pm hosted by Bootleg Chocolates, a hand-made chocolate enterprise owned by Daphne Ormerod-Cates and her daughter, Amanda, which was started 10 years ago in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

These delicious artisan chocolates are made using local fruit and spices with all natural flavours and fillings including ganaches and caramels that are enrobed in a blend of premium European Dark Chocolate.

The chocolates were originally produced as fundraisers for local charities and gained a small clientele that led to the mother/daughter team producing chocolates for sale on a regular basis in order to supply the constant demand. Two years ago, the team decided to enter the retail market and last year they launched boxed caramels with their signature Bahamian flavours. Another unique feature is that they also create Kosher chocolates.

Amanda, who is a producer based in Los Angeles, took the chocolate business with her to California and is successfully distributing them to production companies and editing houses that use them for their celebrity clientele.

Valentines, chocolate, and champagne go together like a hand in glove, so for this event, Bootleg will be offering their beautiful, (and delicious) signature hand painted chocolate heart boxes filled with special champagne truffles, in a limited edition, along with their regular ganaches and caramels in flavours such as guava duff, gully wash and goat pepper. What an exquisite way to treat that special someone in your life!

To complement the champagne truffles, Young’s Champagne will provide a champagne and wine tasting bar for the guests at a nominal fee for pairing with these elegant morsels which will be nestled amongst a Valentine’s Art Exhibition of Bahamian Masters kindly on loan from the Collections of the D’Aguilar Art Foundation, Dawn Davies and Pam Burnside under the theme “Love is in the Air." The Art Exhibition will be on display in the Gallery from February 4th—14th, 2014.

Illiterati Story Slam at Doongalik Studios!

The Bahamas has a history of open mic nights and poetry slams inviting Bahamians to express themselves, but a new event starting this month has one request: Stories only, please.

For the Illiterati Story Slam—a monthly event starting this Friday, January 31st—storytellers will take to the stage to share tales under a chosen theme for the top prize. Monthly winners will face off in a final slam in November, with the ultimate winner walking away with a book deal.

Though the story slam is a competition, creator of the event, Orchid Burnside, points out that the event allows Bahamians to gather and pay tribute to the Bahamian cultural tradition of storytelling.

“People have often said again and again that Bahamians are storytellers,” says Burnside. “One of the great things about coming from the oral tradition is that it was such a powerful tool for community-building and I think if we already innately have this gift, we should be honing it and connecting with each other through our stories.” "The timing is perfect—people want to share their stories, they want their stories to be heard, and we are just providing the platform for this to take place,” she adds. 

Burnside, along with co-organizer Sonia Farmer, used to attend story slams by a not-for-profit organization called The Moth in New York City. The evenings paid tribute to the age-old craft of storytelling and allowed people to share and connect with one another based on their embellished life experiences.

Though open mic nights have popped up round Nassau, the pair yearned for a space specifically carved out for stories, something that would jumpstart a literary revolution for contemporary Bahamian writers and performers.

“The unique thing about a story slam, specifically one with a theme, is that  you can focus it much more,” says Burnside. “People know exactly what it is that they are coming to do and hear and experience. I think that even for writers, the story is more universally accepted than poetry because it is easier for people to approach it, understand it, connect with it and appreciate it.”

Often working together on projects under Farmer’s printing press, Poinciana Paper Press, the pair decided to name the story slam after a running joke based on their occasional printing typos. “These days it seems people have forgotten how to write in full, grammatically correct sentences, so the Illiterati is a joke that pays tribute to the few proud people who do things like spell out complete words in their informal text message exchanges, and take a red pen to most emails,” says Farmer.

“We’re in the minority—so we joke that it’s like a semi-secret society, always aware of the power of language and how it is being misused everyday.” Just like its name suggests, the Illiterati Story Slam hopes to bring language and Bahamian literature back into the spotlight. The event, which will take place on the last Friday of every month, will present a new theme for the stories.

Kicking it off under the spell of a new year, January’s theme is “Metamorphosis: Stories About Change”. Participants who wish to sign up can do so when they arrive at 6pm at Doongalik Studios on Village Road. Drinks will be available for purchase and DJ Ampero will be providing live music to compliment the storytellers.

The best pieces of advice the pair can give prospective performers for the event is to be prepared, to keep it under the ten-minute limit (they will play you off the stage and you will be disqualified) and to write from experience in a way that cleverly speaks to the chosen theme of change. “A good story is something that changes the writer and listener at the same time—so much so that they carry a piece of the story with them long after the event is over and return to it occasionally, and upon every return, can take away something new,” says Farmer.

For Burnside, one of the most memorable stories she ever heard came from a comedian who told the tale of a man leading two lives: one where he made people laugh in his comedic profession, and one where he struggles to come to terms with his daughter’s cancer. The resolve transformed her and the audience.

“Don’t be afraid to share and get raw,” adds Burnside. “We aren’t saying you need to cry to make the story powerful, but don’t tell a story that wastes “We’re in a time where we absorb so much content in social media from around the world, and we want to know powerful stories about other people, so why aren’t we doing it for each other?”

The first Illiterati Story Slam under the theme “Metamorphosis: Stories About Change” takes place Friday January 31 at 6pm at Doongalik Studios on Village Road. There are twelve spots at ten minutes each given on a first-come basis to the event. It is open and free to the public. For more information, find the story slam on Facebook at or email

Story by: Sonia Farmer
Originally Published by: The Nassau Guardian