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Galleries Launch School Art Supply Drive

Doongalik Studios Art Gallery and The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas launched a community service initiative aimed at bridging the financial gap for art students attending government high schools in their respective areas.

Recent conversations with art educators revealed that due to the high cost of materials, students are opting out of art courses or attending classes without even the most rudimentary supplies. In a country with a burgeoning art community and a wealth of talent, this deficit was begging to be addressed.

With the establishment of The Art Supply Drive, the galleries intend to relieve a portion of the burden and facilitate the students’ creative expression.

During the Back-To-School Season, the galleries will be collecting new or gently-used art supplies, as well as monetary donations, on site, and will present them to L W Young and C R Walker this fall. Elkino Dames, art teacher at L W Young stated that, “The students […] will not only appreciate what will be given but we the teachers will motivate them to produce high quality pieces that their level.”

Assistant Education Officer at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, Jordia Benjamin, hopes that the Art Supply Drive will inspire true community participation.

“With such a dearth of materials in the classroom, even a nominal contribution of an eraser or art pencil can have an impact and no supplies will be refused. Materials in high demand include pencils, sketch paper, colored pencils, erasers, charcoal, watercolors, brushes, small canvases, acrylics, clay and pastels. Of course, as a matter of convenience, we will also accept monetary donations and can purchase supplies on behalf of contributors.” 100% of the proceeds from The Art Supply Drive will go directly to the hands of young Bahamian artists at the two schools.

Orchid Burnside of Doongalik Studios Art Gallery is already looking forward to the future of The Art Supply Drive.

Burnside stated that, “Should this venture prove successful, we hope to host the drive annually, involving more galleries and adopting more schools. Eventually, we hope to also send supplies throughout the archipelago and support the next generation of visual artists in this country. As a community, we have an excellent opportunity, and perhaps an obligation, to make this small impact in the art education system. Your involvement can help us put a paintbrush in a child’s hand. You can help us drive the dream.”

Supplies can be dropped off at either gallery location. The hours of operation at the NAGB are Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm or Sunday, 12 – 4pm. Doongalik Studios will be accepting donations Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm, or Saturday, until 1pm. For more information please contact Orchid Burnside at telephone 394.1886 or Jordia Benjamin at telephone 328-5800.

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