Artwork from five local artists now have a permanent home at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. Yesterday (25 January) the Culture Ministry donated the art pieces to the gallery, purchased at a cost of around $30,000. Culture Minister Hon. Dwayne Seymour said he wants the purchase to inspire others to get into the art.
Works by artists Al Ebanks, Wray Banker, Horacio Esteben, Astor Ebanks and Brandon Saunders have been added the National Gallery’s permanent collection.
“The Government has stepped up and purchased it, they put the value on it and things like that, put value to the art , it’s been a long time coming but I’m glad it came,” said Artist Wray Banker.
Culture Minister Hon. Dwayne Seymour said he wants to local artists to know they are talents are appreciated.
“Young kids can now come in here and dream and have inspiration, as to what they can achieve in the future, by seeing what we are able to permanently put inside the National Gallery,” said Mr. Seymour.
Mr. Seymour said he plans to purchase local art pieces for the permanent collection every year, subject to a budget review. National Gallery director Natalie Urquhart said that’s good news.
“Well we are adding 5 new works which is triple exciting, normally we have to fundraise for work, the gallery budget doesn’t stretch too an active acquisitions budget, really at the heart at most art museums and of course the National Gallery is an art museum,” said Mrs. Urquhart.
She said the works need to be preserved for generations to see, artist Horacio Esteben agrees. He welcomed his addition to the collection.
“It’s great, I love to see transformation that is happening, there is a revival of arts and culture awareness it seems,” said Mr. Esteben.
High school student Brandon Saunders, 17, said he hopes his work will inspire other young artists.
“And I honestly, you know, hope, that maybe there is a kid who can see this, get inspired, down the line there is going to be someone who’s even younger than me, that would be awesome,” said Mr. Saunders.
The five art pieces are located on the top floor of the National Gallery and have tags to identify.