Camana Bay creatives celebrate UN World Art Day

Man stands in front of artwork
Douglas Cameron Jr. started the Open Canvas event at Karoo after rediscovering a love for painting. — Photo: Davion Cotterell

Every year on 15 April, the United Nations recognises World Art Day. The annual observance celebrates artistic expression and the positive impacts that creativity can have on society.

Two long-term contributors to Camana Bay’s art scene are the Visual Arts Society, a non-profit organisation of art professionals, hobbyists and creative entrepreneurs who regularly participate in the weekly Camana Bay Farmers & Artisans Market, and Open Canvas, a popular event at KARoo that immediately follows the market, and offers artists a space to socialise while working on their latest projects.

Douglas Cameron Jr., co-founder of Peripheral Life & Style, started Open Canvas in his late 20s after rediscovering a love for painting. Wanting a space where visual artists could have creative freedom, he was inspired by open-mic jam nights to design an event that was both social and artistically engaging.

“Our intention is to inspire and motivate people to be social and productive at the same time,” he says. “KARoo and Camana Bay have been very supportive by offering us the venue.”

KARoo also kindly includes complimentary wine or beer for participating artists. The event adds vibrancy to an evening at the bar for patrons of KARoo, who can watch the paintings come to life as they enjoy their food and drink.

For the Visual Arts Society, their long-standing relationship with Camana Bay has provided an energetic space from which to deliver on their mission. Aiming to supply opportunities for community engagement with, and participation in, the arts, the society has been part of many arts-based public events in Camana Bay.

These exhibitions, says VAS Marketing and Events Coordinator Mary McCallum, proved to be excellent platforms for local artists. The society has even collaborated with Cameron on a relaxed exhibition, hosted in the unit that Digicel now occupies, which was mounted on free-standing walls constructed using wooden pallets.

Member artists of VAS continue to participate in the weekly Farmers & Artisans Market, with two tents located near Next Chapter, from which they display and sell work.

Through their efforts over many years, Open Canvas and the Visual Arts Society have both added artistic vibrancy to Camana Bay with beloved events that celebrate Cayman’s creative culture.

This article is featured in the April 2023 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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