As Bermuda’s public schools set to reopen tomorrow after a historic 6 month closure enforced by the coronavirus pandemic and the impact of Hurricane Paulette, we look back at some of the artworks produced in the Bermuda National Gallery 2020 Art + Tech Summer Camp Programme.
Students explored a variety of art making skills – from traditional techniques such as drawing, sculpture, printmaking and textiles to digital technologies such as stop motion animation and digital drawing, often fusing the two together.
The Bermuda National Gallery runs a variety of education programmes in conjunction with current exhibitions for learners of all ages. Click here for further information.
Registration is now open for the fall semester of the Bermuda National Gallery Youth Arts Council. Starting October 10th, students will meet in the gallery every Saturday morning from 10am to 12pm for a dynamic programme led by artist and educator Sarai Hines.
The BNG Youth Arts Council explores the topics of the day through the lens of art and art-making. Students engage in discussions with their peers, meet artists and makers, create artwork and learn to creatively problem solve.
The free programme, which is aimed at students aged 13-17, provides opportunities for creative and independent thinking by engaging with the arts and culture of today.
Following a successful digital programme in the spring in which students explored the work of Dr Edwin M.E. Smith and Michael Walsh, the artworks in the 2020 Bermuda Biennial will continue to serve as a starting point for their projects.
Registration is free. Spaces are limited. Click here to register today.
Bermuda National Gallery education initiatives are designed to provide opportunities for creative and independent thinking through an exchange of ideas and art education. Alongside technical skills, students develop art appreciation, critical thinking skills and creative problem solving.
Two former BNG education students were recently awarded Bermuda Arts CouncilStudent Grant Awards. $10,000 went to Photini-Dawn Ingham, a former Berkeley Institute student now in the second year of a Diploma in Photography at Durham College of Applied Arts & Technology in Canada. She credits the Bermuda National Gallery Art + Tech programme as cementing her love of photography and opening her eyes to the possibilities of a career behind the camera.
Fellow BNG student Sabriyya Harvey, who was awarded $5,000 by the Bermuda Arts Council, recently returned to Canada to complete the final year of a BFA in Visual Arts at Mount Allison University. The mixed media artist, who achieved the Dean’s List in 2019, is a former Warwick Academy student and member of the Bermuda National Gallery Youth Arts Council.
We caught up with Photini-Dawn and Sabriyya as they return to their studies in Canada, to discuss what winning a Bermuda Arts Council Student Grant Award means to them and how the support of the BNGeducation programmes encouraged them both to pursue a career in the arts.
Student Grant Award: $10,000
Diploma Photography, Durham College of Applied Arts & Technology
BNG: Congratulations on winning the Bermuda Arts Council student grant award. What does it mean to you?
PDI: This bursary has given me the opportunity to go back to college and finish my studies. Without this grant I would have not been able to return to school this upcoming semester so this is a great blessing. With, this I am able to complete my studies and move forward in growing and moving on into fashion and portrait photography.
BNG: You are going into the final year of a Diploma in Photography. What do you hope to gain from the course?
PDI: Durham College has many opportunities for students to grow and to work on their business which prepares you for the working world in this competitive field. I look forward to gaining the knowledge and experience I need to become a successful photographer.
BNG: You told the Arts Council that you were given your first camera at the age of 4. Who gave it to you?
PDI: My uncle gave me my first camera and several other ones after that. He is a lover of photography. He was always wanting me to try new things and photography was one of those that stuck with me. I loved knowing that I could capture the beauty I saw with a click of a button.
BNG:What are your earliest memories of taking photographs?
PDI: My fondest and earliest memories are ones of me and my camera just venturing around my neighbourhood in my own world, capturing the world around me. With all the trees and water surrounding me, I was eager to capture it all.
BNG: You credit the Bermuda National Gallery’s Youth, Camera, Action programme (now the Art + Tech Summer Camp) as your first step into photography. What was your experience of it?
PDI: I loved the Bermuda National Gallery’s photography programme. It was my first step into diving deeper into photography and it gave me the courage to pursue it further. At first photography was simply something fun to do by myself but the feedback I received on the course made me realise that I could actually make something out of what I loved to do.
It gave me my first look into a side of photography that I had not touched yet. It gave me a broader view of the art world and photography. To have fellow photographers and creatives around me gave me a safe space to know that I could be successful in the arts.
BNG: You went on to intern with Nhuri Bashir, co-founder of Burnt House Productions, as well as Pink Sand Entertainment. How did this work experience help you to develop as a photographer?
PDI: Both of these gave me my first experience into the working world of photography. Nhuri taught me technical basics of photography that I built on with practice and later used when I joined Pink Sand Entertainment. Being responsible for capturing those priceless moments at events for Pink Sand developed my skills as a photographer and allowed me to put into practice all that I was learning with Nhuri.
BNG: What advice do you have for young people interested in pursuing photography?
PDI: I would tell young people to not stray away from your passion. A career in photography and the arts will not be the easiest path but push for your dream no matter what people may say. If you work hard enough you will make it. Trust your talents!
BNG: What is next?
PDI: After my diploma, I plan on taking a course in videography in England. I have enjoyed the semester I spent on videography and would like to expand my skill set. I love the idea of videography. It is essentially moving photographs. Being able to capture beauty in different ways has always fascinated me.
Student Grant Award: $5,000
BFA Visual Arts, Mount Allison University, Canada
BNG: Congratulations on winning the Bermuda Arts Council student grant award. What does the award mean to you?
SH: I am so thankful for the opportunity that the Bermuda Arts Council Grant has given me. Covid-19 has been an unpredictable obstacle in my education. The security of knowing that I have this support is something that I will forever be grateful for.
BNG: You are currently completing a BFA in Visual Arts at Mount Allison University. What do you hope to gain from the course?
SH: I am now in the final year of my BFA, which is structured to encourage the formation of my own practice. Most of this year will spent in our individual studios working through ideas. Currently, I am interested in exploring my identity through the deconstruction, abstraction, and reconstruction of African or traditional cultural methods of making in both Bermuda and the Caribbean.
I aim to create work about the dichotomy of my identity to attempt to understand it through the origin of culture, tradition, and language. Through my practice I hope to immortalise narratives and draw connections between our cultural past and present.
BNG: You told the Arts Council that art education is an important component in early childhood development. In what ways do you believe this to be true?
SH: I have come to understand through my work in education, both in Bermuda and Canada, how art can aid different areas of learning for all ages, especially young children.
For very young children, drawing helps with writing and the ability to tune fine motor skills in order to form the shapes for letters. Art education can be an essential interdisciplinary tool that can act as a way of reinforcing academics in other courses through visual learning; encourage creativity and excitement; allow for the opportunity to develop closer looking skills; improve language development and create spaces for cultural learning and understanding as well as public outreach.
BNG: Was this true for you in your own childhood?
SH: The most memorable moments of my early childhood are those times that I was encouraged to create. As I have grown older, I have come to realise that I am still a visual learner and I use this knowledge in my other academic classes.
BNG: You were a member of the 2014 Bermuda National Gallery Youth Arts Council. What was the experience like for you?
SH: It was a memorable experience for me. It was one of the first times where I felt like I had a voice and authority; where my ideas were considered and sometimes even implemented. The experience helped prepare me for leadership positions at Warwick Academy and was developmental in the way that I now consider the responsibility of teamwork.
BNG: Did your involvement in the Youth Arts Council programme encourage you to pursue a career in the arts? In what ways did it influence this decision?
SH: It allowed me to look at the gallery and its programming in a very different way. Being involved in the background of curating an event was an experience that has made me appreciate the hard work and hours behind all the shows that I visit. As a result, I applied to work as an educational assistant at the Owens Art Gallery in Sackville and I am considering a future in gallery education as an option.
It encouraged me to eventually hope to curate my own show as well as validate my art practice at a time when I was making decisions about my future career.
BNG: You intend to work as an art educator. In what ways did your experience both of art education at school and in the BNG Youth Arts Council programme encourage you to pursue this path?
SH: I have realized that my times in class were most enjoyable when I felt like I was learning about something that I was interested in. In the Youth Arts Council, this was manifested through brainstorming ideas with my peers who had similar interests as me. In class, this was through catering to my own creativity with each project. This realisation encouraged me to want to become an educator who caters to the children’s interests.
I consider art education as a way that I can incorporate interdisciplinary connections while keeping the foundations of form, subject and shape. The ways that I can take a class are endless and I’d like to think that I can leave some of those ideas and choices to the individual student so that they can enjoy the experience, whether they share the same interests or not.
BNG: You have worked as art specialist and camp councillor for the Bermuda government summer camp programme for several years. In what ways has this experience cemented your wish to work as an art educator?
Working with my mentors in the summer day camp programme has been a really affirming experience. The programme is a great opportunity for aspiring teachers to experience training in both lesson planning and delivering lessons, as well as the responsibility and difficulty of the profession. Over the past four years I have gained a lot of great friends and crucial experience. Most of all it has taught me how fun art education is.
BNG: What is next after your BFA?
SH: After I graduate in May, I plan to start my Bachelor of Education and remain in Canada. I don’t know exactly where that will take me at the moment and I’ve promised to keep myself open to all of the opportunities that are presented to me. However, I do know that I will continue my practice and further work in painting and sculpture.
The Bermuda National Gallery Youth Arts Council returns next month. This is a free programme aimed at students aged 13-17. Click here to register.
The students in the Bermuda National Gallery Art + Tech Summer Camp have been exploring a wide range of art making processes under the direction of education officer Louisa Bermingham.
Using the exhibitions on display as a starting point for their projects, the students have been focusing on a variety of art making skills – from traditional techniques such as drawing, sculpture, printmaking and textiles to digital technologies such as stop motion animation and digital drawing, often fusing the two together.
What’s Poppin’! Pop Art and Its Influence, currently on display in the Watlington Gallery, provided an introduction to the process of screen printing. Students created their own prints inspired by Lifesavers from Andy Warhol‘s iconic Ads Portfolio, reflecting his fascination with American advertising, consumerism and commercialism.
Gherdai Hassell‘s Interactions Bermuda, currently on display in the Young Gallery as part of Let Me Tell You Something the 2020 Bermuda Biennial, served as a reference point for collage from which students created their own large scale mixed media portraits.
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The students in the Bermuda National Gallery Art + Tech Summer Camp have just completed the first week of the 2020 programme. For the first time, the students have been given exclusive access to the BNG, which remains closed to the public during the week. This allows them to immerse themselves fully in the exhibitions which serve as a starting point for their projects.
The students have been exploring a wide range of art making processes under the direction of education officer Louisa Bermingham and 2020 Bermuda Biennial artist Niamah Frith, with assistance from Lara Hetzel, a recent graduate and artist who specialises in film and photography.
The engaging programme, aimed at students aged 11 to 14, focuses on a variety of art making skills – from traditional techniques such as drawing, sculpture, printmaking and textiles to digital technologies such as stop motion animation and digital drawing, often fusing the two together.
The programme is almost full but there are a few spaces left for August. Book now to avoid disappointment and take advantage of this unique opportunity.
The cost is $200 per week for BNG family members, $250 per week for non members. Bursaries are available, to enquire please email email@example.com.
Please note that due to the restrictions in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19, booking is limited to one week per student.
Week 1 students: Anna Stephenson, 12; Ellianna Goonewardene, 14; Sarah Haziza, 11; Serena Goonewardene, 11; Reese Morby, 12; Grace Flannery, 14; Lia Smith, 12 and Anne-Camille Haziza, 12.
Registration is now open for the Bermuda National Gallery 2020 Art + Tech Summer Camp. Join new education officer Louisa Bermingham for a summer of fun exploring a variety of art mediums and materials.
Students will develop new creative skills from traditional techniques such as drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and textiles to utilizing technology to create stop motion animation and digital drawing.
The camp will be held in the Bermuda National Gallery, which will be closed to the public during the week, immersing the students in the exhibitions which will serve as the starting point for their projects.
The camp is open to children aged 11 to 14 years. The cost is $200 per week for BNG family members/ $250 per week for non members. Become a member today to advantage of the lower price. Bursaries are available for eligible students, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for eligibility.
The camp runs from the 13th July to the 28th August. Booking is limited to one week per student. Click HERE to register!
As the school year draws to a close, we are thrilled to welcome Louisa Bermingham onboard as the Bermuda National Gallery Education Officer. The artist, who trained in textile design before doing a Masters of Art in education, currently teaches art at Paget Primary and sits on the Education Ministry’s Art Curriculum Revising Committee.
Louisa will split her time between the public school system and the gallery, creating opportunities for the BNG to continue to expand its support for art education in Bermuda’s schools whilst leading new approaches in the field.
She has an extensive history with the Bermuda National Gallery; both as an artist and educator, having served as Education Director from 1999 to 2002, during which time she started the gallery’s education outreach from scratch.
Her first point of call for 2020 will be the summer camp programme, in which she will lead students through the exploration of a variety of art mediums and materials, from drawing, sculpture, printmaking and textiles to integrating technology in the form of stop motion animation and digital drawing.
We caught up with Louisa to discuss her vision for the Bermuda National Gallery education programme and how she plans to cement the BNG as the premier resource for art education at all levels of learning.
BNG: You have a long standing relationship with the gallery as an artist. Some of your early work resides in the gallery’s permanent collection. Could you please talk us through your practice?
LB: My artistic practice over the years has progressed from large scale charcoal drawings, to very small scale mixed media and currently painting and ceramics. Each stage has been a reflection of my interests at the time, starting from a fascination with elements from folklore to my mixed media works She was a Hairy Bear, She was Scary Bearwhich reflect personal observations about life and my role as a woman in it.
My Hairy Bear work has just been published as a little book, which is carried at the Bermuda Book Store. Currently, I am working on what I call my happy paintings, which are simple explorations of composition using floral still life and interiors as subject matter. Concurrently with the paintings I’ve been experimenting with ceramics expressing an alternate sculptural dimension for my Hairy Bear series amongst other things.
BNG: You have exhibited numerous times in the Bermuda Biennial as well as the group show Re-Interpreting The European Collection in 2011. How has your relationship with the BNG influenced your trajectory as an artist?
LB: I have found the Bermuda National Gallery provides the incentive to reach for as an artist, from the opportunities provided by applying for the Biennial to the public lectures, discussions and forums to come together to learn and express opinions.
Being included in the Biennials and having work included in the permanent collection has given me the artistic boost and confidence to continue my work. In the same way, being rejected from the Biennial has given me the same boost if that makes sense. It’s made me introspective and critical of my work that has allowed me to grow as an artist. I appreciate both.
BNG: You have over 20 years teaching experience, having taught across the island in both public and private schools as well as the college. How has this shaped your approach as a teacher?
LB: I started teaching at Dellwood middle school in 1997 and have taught the entire range of ages from preschool to adult learners in a broad spectrum of institutions. Having such a broad teaching experiences provides me with a high level of confidence and comfort in my ability. What truly stands out is how my teaching and interacting with students of all ages informs my art work and my art process. It may be something small – perhaps the way a child interprets the meaning of an art image – that is completly new to me but deeply engaging and alternative.
BNG: Why is art so key for children?
LB: Art is integral to child development. It allows for self expression and breeds confidence. The tools, equipment and materials of art making greatly enhance motor development. It also provides an outlet for critical thinking, self reflection and team work all of which heighten learning across the entire school curriculum. Art provides communication tools and analytical thinking skills. Art ensures an avenue for explorations in accountability and how to deal with and learn from mistakes.
Join Louisa at the Bermuda National Gallery 2020 Art + Tech Camp for a summer of fun exploring a variety of art mediums and materials. The camp will be held in the gallery, which will be closed to the public during the week, immersing the students in the 2020 Bermuda Biennial which will serve as the starting point for their projects.
The camp is aimed at students aged 11 to 14 years. Cost: $200 per week for BNG family members/ $250 for non members. Bursaries are available for public school students, please email email@example.com to enquire.
The camp runs from the 13th July through to the 28th August. Booking is limited to one week per student. Hours are 9am – 3pm Monday to Friday at the Bermuda National Gallery, City Hall & Arts Center, Hamilton.
Whilst we all adjust to the new normal, the pandemic is proving particularly challenging for children who are isolated at home and missing both their friends and the routine of school. Two of the most celebrated children’s authors have come to the rescue with initiatives to provide a little light relief from the daily cycle of digital learning, which allow young minds to immerse themselves in the vivid worlds of their own imaginations.
J.K. Rowling recently released The Ickabog, a story she wrote many years ago for her own children and which she read to them every evening before bed, yet which remained unpublished until now.
The story is being published free online, with new chapters released every day. Not only can children enjoy a rare new story from the Harry Potter author, but they also have the chance to illustrate it. Rowling is running an illustration competition for children aged 7 to 12, asking them to submit drawings inspired by the story.
The author will be giving suggestions of what to draw as the story unfolds. Selected illustrations will be included in the hard copy of the book, to be published in November, and royalties will be donated to those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Those with young children will be familiar with the books by the New York Times best selling author and illustrator Mo Willems, whose playful series Don’t Let The Pigeon… is loved by many.
To give children a break in their home school routines, Willems has been broadcasting the Lunch Doodles series live from his home studio every lunchtime, in which he teaches children the art of illustration.
The programme, which recently concluded, ran every day for three weeks in association with the Kennedy Centre. All 15 episodes (and the free to download activities that accompany them) are now available on the museum’s website. Willems has even collaborated with celebrated cellist Yo Yo Ma to create the Yo Yo Mo Show!, a bespoke playlist for little ears to listen to as they doodle.
Carolyn Toogood is a visual arts teacher at Somersfield Academy, where she also runs the Mindful Art Club, an after school programme which encourages primary school students to use art making as way of connecting with their emotions and immersing themselves fully in the present moment.
As we navigate these unprecedented times, Carolyn is sharing a series of mindful art activities with the BNG to help children navigate an uncertain future.
“One of my favourite mindful art practices for children is a gratitude wheel” says Carolyn. “To start, simply draw or trace a circle in the center of a paper and write, “I am grateful for…
Pause here and take a few moments to speak with your child about what they’re grateful for before writing anything down. When they’re ready, they can begin to write (or draw) their choices, with purpose, extending out from the inner circle.
As an art teacher, I often sneak in lessons on the colour wheel, pattern and line at this point. Children will enjoy experimenting with different colours, lines and patterns as if they are rays of sun emanating out from a central circle. I encourage using lots of colour, even painting a watercolour background first, if you have time and the correct paper.
It’s best to work on a wheel over an extended period of time so that a daily gratitude practice can be cultivated. Practicing gratitude might be a new idea for many children but it will help fortify their emotional resilience and is a tested antidote to anxiety. Gratitude is a wonderful way for children to counterbalance the stress of uncertain times by focusing on the positive aspects of their lives.”
We have launched a dynamic digital programme for the Bermuda National Gallery Youth Arts Council in association with artist and educator Sarai Hines.
The freeprogramme, which is aimed at students aged 13-17, provides opportunities for creative and independent thinking by engaging with the arts and culture of today.
We sat down with Sarai to discuss her vision for the programme and how the BNG Youth Arts Council can meet the needs of teens today.
BNG: You graduated with a BFA in Fine Arts with a minor in Child Development from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University in Boston. Did you always want to be an art teacher?
SH: I always knew I that I wanted art to be a part of my life. I didn’t consider being an art teacher until high school. After going on the Spirit of Bermuda at school, I had the pleasure of working closely with Adam Goodwin. The amount of knowledge that he instilled in me in such a short period of time was incredibly inspiring. Unfortunately, he passed away right after our voyage, but his funeral that allowed me to see the true impact that he left on young people and this is when I started to think about being a teacher.
BNG: What role did art and art making play for you when you were growing up?
SH: Art was my voice and my thoughts. After skipping a year at primary school I faced many challenges, mostly bullying, which brought on mixed emotions growing up. Learning art skills grounded me as it required a deep amount of focus to always try and get it right. Later on, I was able to apply those techniques to create imagery that meant something to me and from there it became my form of self-expression.
BNG: As a practicing artist, you have exhibited across the island. How does this affect your approach to teaching?
SH: After both organising and exhibiting in art shows, I’ve grown to understand all of the work that goes into producing an exhibition. The skills that it brings – self confidence, organization, and public speaking to name a few – are things that I like to help to build in each art student that enters my classroom.
BNG: As an educator, you focus on mindfulness and team building. How does art allow you do this?
SH: I am interested in how I can help to grow the whole child and so I plan projects that asks students to use a piece of themselves. Team building allows for the students to feel a sense of comfort and belonging which leads to them being more open in class. It creates an atmosphere of respect. Mindfulness builds on that feeling by allowing students to begin to understand themselves and their experiences. It creates a pause in their day to reflect and put the focus on them.
BNG: You’ve taught both primary and middle school. In what ways have you seen art benefit children at different stages of their development?
SH: Art brings out a form of excitement in youth. In primary school I noticed that art was a form of emotion to the students, it allowed them to express how they were feeling regardless of whether it was a positive or negative emotion. This allowed me to truly get to know my students in terms of their life experiences. In middle school students show a love for the skill in art as they take pride in what they have been able to accomplish. It brings out amazing self-confidence in students which allows me to challenge them to higher expectations because they are eager to learn!
BNG: This is your first time leading the Youth Arts Council. How have you structured the programme and why?
SH: The BNG Youth Arts Council allows me teach a programme that will develop a range of skills to encourage Bermuda’s next generation of creative talent. I have structured the programme to build various skills that will help each student to grow: self-expression, creativity, leadership, public speaking and self-confidence. Through art students will learn to think and do, combined with understanding who they are or who they want to be. I have created a structure that scaffolds a student’s way of thinking but also challenges them to go outside of their comfort zone.
BNG: What do you hope to leave students with when they graduate from the course?
SH: The hope is that the Youth Arts Council allows students to see art in a different way from the traditional school setting and to learn other skills that focus on growing them into who they wish to be as an artist. I hope that students leave with a new perspective on what art means to them. Their growth in their new understanding of both themselves and art will hopefully encourage them to understand that art is life and that their life can be their art.
Registration for the BNG Youth Arts Council is free. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.