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Painting a park anew

On Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., our own art museum, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB), thought nationally while acting locally and engaged its next-door neighbours with a park beautification day.

The NAGB, in partnership with Aliv, has adopted Hospital Lane North Park between West Hill Street and Meeting Street. Groups from across New Providence were invited to join in the celebratory day that, despite being a clean-up effort, was intended even more to bring joy to participants and a bit more charm to the historically significant community.

The morning and afternoon consisted of: cleaning up existing playground equipment; repainting the walls; weeding the property; and removing debris and garbage. However, a beautification day brought to the community by the NAGB would not be complete without the addition of a mural. Designed by students and alumni from the University of The Bahamas (UB), the mural highlights the energy of youth and the power of the community where the artwork now makes its home.

Developed in 2015, the NAGB Mural Programme introduced a means for the museum to take amazing Bahamian artworks beyond the walls of the Villa Doyle and into neighbouring areas: historic Charlestown, where the NAGB finds its home; Downtown; and now Over-The-Hill. This year’s mural call theme is “Back to da Island” and in this instance, the piece illuminates the connectivity between this important community and its cultural and historical kinsmen of the Family Islands through play.

Beyond the import of giving much needed time and attention to the park, art is often a gateway to broader community improvement. The appearance of an area that was previously neglected, abandoned, vandalized or misused being transformed into a usable, delightful space, is empowering and inspiring for residents and visitors alike. The fact that the NAGB had the opportunity to engage in such meaningful work only strengthens our commitment to the communities we are continually striving to serve.

To be joined by our corporate partner, Aliv, in supporting a mural designed by young creatives from our very own UB, some of whom have roots in Over-The-Hill neighborhoods, only makes the effort that much more special.

The NAGB wishes to thank our very own Junior Arts Council, UB student groups, ProSociety and the Japanese Visual Arts Society and all of the organisations and individuals who so generously dedicated their time to such a wonderful day.

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