|Emerging artist holds exhibition, encourages others to enter Fash/Art 2012|
Guardian National Correspondent
Published: Jun 23, 2012
The only event of the year where designers and visual artists come together to celebrate local arts and culture, Fash/Art is gearing up for its second year with an early call to emerging artists, fashion designers and models to participate.
Set for July 7, 11 a.m. at Doongalik Studios, the meeting, says organizer Kedar Clarke, will be a chance not only for artists to come out and see how they can get exposure, but also for the organizers to see what is trending on the local art and fashion scenes.
“We want people to come out and we want to meet them and see what emerging artists are doing here,” said Clarke. “This is it – now’s the chance to come and show us what you’ve got and see how you can fit into and benefit from our event.”
Fash/Art 2012 will be a little bit different this year, with the visual art exhibition and fashion show being held on different nights in new locations. Clarke is also planning several seminars and educational opportunities for the selected group of artists and designers to help develop their creative skills into lucrative businesses in order to build up a sustainable creative economy.
“You know the struggle for most artists – they can’t create a business from their talents,” said Clarke. “So we will have a mentorship opportunity and seminars on merchandising and branding open to all participants in order to cultivate the arts in this country.”
Yet the excitement for all selected participants is to come out on top as the ultimate designer, artist and model. Not only will models get a chance to vie for a top spot in the revered PTG Modeling Agency, but fashion designers will compete for a the title of The Harl Taylor Emerging Fashion Designer Award and visual artists for the title of The Jackson Burnside Emerging Artist Award.
Last year’s winners – designer Derrika Williamson and photographer Sophia Taylor – have been blown away by the
opportunities presented to them since their exposure last November.
Recently they collaborated on a fashion photo shoot, the results of which are in Sophia Taylor’s first solo exhibition, “Beaulah Land”, which opened this week at Doongalik Studios. The solo exhibition was one of the perks of winning the Jackson Burnside Emerging Artist Award.
After being approached by one of the event’s creators, Taylor entered her work into the 2011 exhibition along with about a dozen other artists vying for their first art show.
The young artist, who is fresh out of the International Baccalaureate Program at the Lyford Cay International School, impressed the judges with her self-taught photography skills and eye for arresting perspectives.
Like Eden, “Beaulah” carries the connotation of a land blessed by the Lord. This favored land manifests as fertile, abundant, serene – a land much like the natural, untouched corners of Caribbean countries.
Indeed in her exhibition, Taylor explores her love for nature in the tropical landscapes of her dual nationalities – The Bahamas and Costa Rica – through gorgeous photographs and paintings.
“I love vibrant colors,” she said. “I like to take something that everyone sees and try to put it into a different perspective and angle – so it’s the same thing everyone is used to seeing, but the picture is presented differently.”
“I want viewers to have a personal connection to my photograph – that they’re right there viewing it live,” she continued. “Sometimes I wish that my eyes can take pictures – can grasp images. That’s what I do in my work, they are what I was there seeing and I capture that moment forever.”
Taylor discovered photography years ago in her art studies at The Lyford Cay International School, and has since pursued the craft with the exuberance and dedication of a committed artist. The fact that this young artist is mostly self-taught makes her work all the more impressive, yet she looks forward to formally studying the craft in her college studies in Costa Rica beginning this fall.
“I’m self-trained – I’ve never had anyone teach me how to use the camera and its settings,” she said. “So I hope when I go off to college I can learn some settings and learn how to use my camera properly.”
“It’s the same thing as using paintbrushes or tools – that’s what my camera is, I’m using that to create my art,” she added. “There are certain rules you need to apply to photography in order for it to have an aesthetic value.”
Having her first gallery show before heading off to college is the perfect start to her artistic career – already, she says, winning the Jackson Burnside Emerging Artist Award has helped her form important relationships to other photographers and the wider art community.
“I’ve never sold my work so I’ve learned how to price it properly and set up a show. It’s good exposure especially for getting ready for college,” she said.
“I got really great feedback. Everyone loved my work, I was surprised – I’m not overly confident, so sometimes when I take pictures and I sit back and review my work, I think, ok, I’m pretty good at this.”
“I’d encourage any emerging artist, no matter how young they are, to submit their work to Fash/Art this year.”
Her exhibition continues at Doongalik Studios on Village Road until July 17 (Mondays-Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
The space – which hosted the first Fash/Art last year – remains committed to the project not only through Jackson Burnside’s legacy to young artists but also through Pam Burnside’s own training and love for fashion. Doongalik Studios and the Burnsides have always preached to support local artists and craftsmen, which aligns them with Fash/Art’s vision to develop local design culture.
“Jackson always made sure he was very involved in encouraging young artists,” said Pam Burnside. “Sophia is very talented, and it was wonderful to be able to host her here at Doongalik. We had a wonderful opening this week and people were amazed to find out how talented Sophia is just emerging from high school.”
“It has a lot to say for Sandra Illingworth teaching the art programs there in the Lyford Cay School, and also other schools teaching the IB program in The Bahamas that allows the students to really shine,” she added. “I say kudos to them.”
“We urge everyone to come see the young talent we have and in July to host the casting call for this year’s talented artists.”
The Fash/Art 2012 meeting commences Saturday, July 7 at 11 a.m. at Doongalik Studios. For more information, check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fash.art.event or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.