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Artists Come Together to Support National Parks on Abaco

The Bahamas National Trust , Abaco Beach Resort, local artists and corporate supporters have come together to provide an opportunity for residents and visitors to Abaco to view the works of over 30 talented Bahamian artists on January 28, 29 and 31. All proceeds from the Art for the Parks Abaco Festival will go to support the six national parks on Abaco. The event will open on Saturday, January 29 at 10:00 a.m. and Sunday, January 30 at 12 noon. Admission is$5 for adults and$2 for children under 12.

“Some of the most talented artists in The Bahamas will be displaying original artwork, oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, hand turned wood products, dazzling jewelry and fabulous fabric art,”said Lynn Gape, Deputy Director of the BNT.

Art for the Parks will offer the visitors the opportunity to meet exhibiting artists, see their stunning pieces and sample fine cuisine at the Abaco Beach Resort.

While art is definitely the focus of the event, the organizing committee has worked hard to offer family activities on Saturday and Sunday. The Abaco Rotary Club has coordinated a sidewalk art event from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

According to Joann Bradley, coordinator of the event, over 30 young artists will participate in this fun event. Young people will also be encouraged to take part in a mural painting activity which will allow them to create several murals highlighting the beauty of the Abaco environment. There will also be a special Children’s Craft section where young people will be able to create their own arts and craft projects.

A food court at the weekend event will provide a chance for guests to sample food from around the world. Food from The Bahamas, Germany, Italy and Japan(Sushi)with a special dessert station will be available for sale throughout the day. Conch salad, conch fritters and hamburgers and hot dogs will also be available.

The festival will open with a special gala evening on Friday, January 28 from 6:00 8:00 p.m. Abaco Beach Resort will be offering a special buffet dinner at Angler’s Restaurant with entertainment provided by Stephen Colebrook. A special complimentary ferry has been organized for Hope Town residents. The ferry will leave at 5:30 p.m. and returning at 9 p.m. The ferry is being sponsored by Commonwealth Bank. Admission on Friday evening is$10.

“Take a Seat for Conservation,”a silent auction, will provide guests with the opportunity to bid on works of art that have a practical use.

“The artists suggested that we paint chairs and stools creating unique furniture pieces,”said Kim Roberts, an Art for the Parks committee member. All proceeds from the silent auction will support the national parks on Abaco.

If you’re interested in sharks, the BNT will have a special booth to inform you about the need for shark conservation in The Bahamas. The BNT is in partnership with PEW Environment Trust. Both entities are working to create an awareness of the need to protect shark populations in The Bahamas.

We are very excited to have several new artists joining us this year,”said Kadie Mills, BNT office manager.”Trevor Tucker, Paulette Mortimer, Marco Mullings, Anthony Morley and Melissa Maura will travel from Nassau to join us at Art for the Parks.”

Other new additions from last year include Donna Spadafora, The Johnston Gallery, and David Lowe.

“We have been overwhelmed with the response to Art for the Parks,”said Kim Roberts, one of the local organizers.”We have many artisans as well as artists, and are delighted to have such a diverse group of talent under one roof.”

Emmanuel Alexiou, Director of Abaco Beach Resort, said that the resort was excited about the event.

“Abaco Beach Resort is very pleased to be partnering with the Bahamas National Trust in an event that will support the national parks on Abaco. This is the second year for the partnership and we will be going all out to make sure that this is a wonderful event for visitors and residents alike,”he said.

Local charities have been invited to participate in the event as well. The event will give them an opportunity to showcase their good works and inform people of their plans for 2011.

BNT staff members will be on hand to talk about the Trust’s plans for the national parks on Abaco and will be running special tours to the Abaco National Park on Saturday and Sunday in the early morning. The tours will be led by parrot biologist Caroline Stahala. For more information about the tours email bntmembership@bnt.bs or call the BNT Marsh Harbour Office 242-367-2158. For more information about Art for the Parks Abaco., Call the BNT’s Abaco Office at 242-367-6310 or BNT’s Nassau Office at 242-383-1317 or Abaco Beach Resort at 242-367-2158 or email bnt@bnt.bs.

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