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‘Exploit heritage site’

HEATHER-LYNN EVANSON, [email protected]

‘Exploit heritage site’

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THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) feels Bridgetown’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is underexploited by artists.

Cranston Browne is of the opinion they should be producing more photos, paintings and miniatures of motifs which show off the island’s capital and its Garrison.

He was speaking as he delivered welcoming remarks at the opening of this year’s First Citizens NIFCA Visual Arts & Photography Exhibition at the Old Spirit Bond Mall Sunday evening.

He said despite the current economic situation, the visual arts in Barbados were poised to take advantage of new possibilities that continue to present themselves.

“For example, the 2012 designation by UNESCO of Historic Bridgetown And Its Garrison as a World Heritage Site is still underexploited by our creative community – an achievement that not only will result in increased tourism revenue for Barbados, but into increased marketability for our visual artistes since there are now even greater opportunities for them to exhibit their talents to the world,” he said.

Browne said the possibilities for interpretation, critique and production were limitless once artistes considered producing miniatures of motifs associated with Bridgetown, photographs, paintings and prints “suitably branded with various historic buildings for which our capital is recognised”.

The chief executive officer went on to say that the NCF will remain committed to facilitating the development of the arts and to the business of the arts.

He noted the successful collaborations between visual artists, dancers and writers and he urged them to further explore and forge links with other art forms.

Meanwhile, deputy chairman of the NCF, Brian Barrow, revealed there were 503 pieces
in the visual arts category and 184 photographs in that category this year. In addition 18 primary and secondary schools were registered, as well as two special interest groups, one
of which was Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds.

“We at National Cultural Foundation are very pleased to see the growing interest from primary and secondary school in two dimensional and craft work,” Barrow noted, adding it was heartening to see that NIFCA continued to grow from strength to strength.

“Many of the pieces submitted for C.A.P.E demonstrate the outstanding creativity of up-and-coming artists,” he said, adding this year’s competition saw an increase in students from the Barbados Community College and the visual arts programme from the Errol Barrow Centre For Creative Imagination and they were having a positive impact on the disciplines.

In addition, Barrow called the art programme at HMP Dodds an effective rehabilitation measure for inmates there. (HLE)