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Owen Roberts Int’l Airport makes room for the arts

The Airports Authority and the National Gallery are teaming up to transform five areas of the newly re-launched Owen Roberts International Airport into art spaces.

“This is a gateway to the Cayman Islands. It’s the last point that you see when you leave the Cayman Islands, and we want to tell a very Caymanian story,” said National Gallery Director Natalie Urquhart. “There is a lot of white space in this beautiful new airport and it’s a perfect dream for a curator.”

Ms. Urquhart told Cayman 27 the five Art at the Airport displays showcases many facets of Cayman’s rich-with-talent art scene, like Shane Aquart, also known as ‘Dready.’

“Being part of the art of the airport is a pretty exciting place to be as an artist, and I am very fortunate with the placement of it,” said Mr. Aquart.

His series, ‘Things that exist only in my fading memory’ occupies a prominent place in the new terminal building’s great hall.

Just down the hall, collection of maritime works greets passengers on arrival.

“You will see lots of artists here going back from you have people like Bendel Hydes or Joanne Sibli,” said featured artist Simon Tatum.

The Art at the Airport roster reads like a who’s who of the Cayman art scene, while revisiting some of the gallery’s noteworthy recent exhibitions.

“It’s really important when we get people coming through the airport, and we get thousands of visitors now every day coming through the airport, that way they are able to see these artworks, and get an understanding of Cayman’s culture through the artworks,” said Mr. Tatum.

The National Gallery said it is working with the Airports Authority to ensure this eye-catching initiative endures.

“We hope the airport will always be linked with art space, and we are very very keen on helping make that happen,” said Ms. Urquhart.

More than 30 local artists’ and artisans’ work are represented at the inaugural Art at the Airport exhibition.

The CIAA said this exhibition sets the stage for a wider visual arts initiative that’s currently under development.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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