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BTVI exposes students to art

  • Information Technology student Hanz Thompson, left, and Construction Technology student, Jefferson Bethel, right, share notes outside the exhibition room after they along with faculty, staff and their peers toured the much-touted “The Bahamian Collection” photographic exhibition at The National Art Gallery.

Published: Oct 09, 2013

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It was a cultural awakening for approximately 350 faculty, staff, students and family members of The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) as they recently flocked to The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas for the much-touted “The Bahamian Collection” photographic exhibition.

Well executed, the strikingly artistic portraits of 40 men and women represent the depth of the Bahamian spirit via the lens of Duke and Lisa Wells. The extraordinary exhibition is in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of The Bahamas' independence.

BTVI’s Student Affairs Coordinator Raquel Bethel said the trip to the art gallery was to encourage the students in the student success, entrepreneurial workforce prep, English classes and the wider BTVI community to get to know more about their cultural heritage. Assistant Manager and Academic Dean Valdez K. Russell said that it was to further build the BTVI community and expose students to a greater depth of Bahamian culture.

“Based on the facial expressions and the lively banter, I think we did well. These students are evidently engaged, from the curious to the enthused,” said Russell.

“It’s not just about going to class. We want to introduce our students to art, as some of them may not just go out and visit the art gallery.”

Many of the students had never visited the art gallery before and were impressed with what they saw and learned.

Information Technology Management student, Ryan Harris, said the exhibition made him more appreciative of Bahamian history.

“It is eye opening because up until today, I wasn’t abreast of all this history.  These are the people we should know — people like Gail Saunders and Stan Burnside,” he added with pride.

Aaronique Bain, a construction technology student stressed the importance of high school students also being exposed to the exhibition.

“I didn’t know the history of these people. They worked hard and paved the way for our generation,” she said.

Meanwhile, Deoran Ferguson, whose focus is air conditioning, considered the portrait exhibition to be unique.

“It is intriguing to see these photographs used as art. In fact, everything in life is art. Our lives are canvasses... it’s up to us which picture we paint,” said Ferguson.

To further expose BTVI’s students to art, it is the Student Affairs Department’s goal to contact people featured in the exhibition to be a part of its Speakers Gallery which Bethel said would expand the conversation about culture.

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