Best Art Galleries to Visit in Barbados

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Barbados might be small in size but it certainly isn’t short on artistic talent. The island is home to many artists whose works are as varied as they are wonderful to admire. With styles ranging from realism to impressionism and from modernism to abstract, there is something which will appeal to everyone’s tastes. Here, we’ll look at the different places and spaces where you can see and buy some of Barbados’ finest art.

The Tides Gallery

The Tides, situated in Holetown, is perhaps best known as one of the island’s premier restaurants, serving up nouveau cuisine dishes that are a work of art in themselves. However, co-owner Tammie Beasley also has an exceptional eye for a good piece of art and curates the exhibitions that The Tides puts on.

The works on display often include colourful paintings by leading Barbadian artists. In addition, Tammie searches further afield, bringing in exciting pieces from artists across the Caribbean and from the UK, Europe, USA, Canada and South America.

For the best experience, visit the gallery before enjoying a wonderful meal at The Tides. This way, the experience of seeing all these wonderful works of art will give you lots to chat about over dinner. Make sure you check out the wonderful paintings by Barbadian, Ann Dodson and Peruvian born Franco Belli while you are there.

The Gallery of Caribbean Art

Located in picturesque Speightstown, The Gallery of Caribbean Art is dedicated to promoting the art and artists of the region – and what a wonderful collection of art it has to offer. As soon as you enter the gallery you’ll be instantly struck by the vibrant colours of the paintings and by the huge influence the Caribbean environment has on its artists.

The sea is a common theme, with many underwater paintings showing divers, turtles, corals and tropical fish. You’ll also see wonderfully depicted visions of life in the Caribbean, too, with images of people going about their daily business.

Although most of the works are paintings, you’ll also see sculptures, mosaics and ceramics, including a variety of intriguing face masks. Overall, this is a kaleidoscope of colour and well worth a visit. You can also support the arts in the Caribbean by purchasing any of the pieces which take your fancy.

On The Wall Galleries

There are three On The Wall art galleries in Barbados and you can find these at the Limegrove in Holetown, Champers Restaurant in Bridgetown and at The Earthworks Pottery Gallery in St Thomas. These galleries exhibit some exceptional pieces of Barbadian and Caribbean art, many of which are post-impressionist in style and reminiscent of Gauguin’s Tahiti paintings but with a subject matter that depicts the life and landscape of the region.

Other works include some powerful and interesting abstract pieces, as well as paintings that bring to mind modernists like Picasso and Paul Klee.

Overall, the works on display in these three galleries are by artists that deserve serious recognition and anyone who loves great art cannot but appreciate their skill and vision.

Pelican Crafts Centre

The Pelican Crafts Centre in Bridgetown is home to the Barbados Arts Council whose aim is to nurture artistic expression on the island. Currently, they represent the work of thirteen members, most of whom are painters but which also include photographers and textile artists.

The Pelican Gallery often features group exhibitions of the different artists, all of whose work depicts various aspects of life in and around Barbados. While all the artists’ works are well worth going to see, of particular note are the brightly coloured post-impressionistic paintings of Everick Lynton and Neville Legall and the contemporary pieces by Rasheed Boodhoo and Joanna Crichlow.

The Frangipani Art Gallery

The Frangipani is based at the Sugar Cane Club Hotel at Maynards, near Speightstown. It’s run by Venezuelan artist, Marilda Weatherhead, and features her oil and pastel works, many of which depict ballerinas as well as showing unique views of the life and landscape of Barbados. There are also some interesting portraits to be seen.

Weatherhead is not the only artist on display, however. The wonderful ceramics of the late Bill Grace, one of the island’s best-known artists, can also be seen. In addition, the Frangipani exhibits pieces by artists across the Caribbean and South America.

The Bridge of Tides

The Bridge of Tides is not a gallery but an exceptional mural which has to be seen if you are visiting Speightstown. Perhaps the most spectacular work on the island, it measures 80 feet wide and 20 feet high and is a highly realistic optical illusion. When first seen, you think you are looking through a dilapidated building towards a distant bridge with a cave beyond that. In reality, this is a 2D painting that cleverly creates a 3D illusion. Created by internationally renowned, American artist, John Pugh, it’s one of those artworks that you have to take a photo of for the people back home.

Summing up

With its perfect light, exceptional beauty and colourful people, Barbados offers unlimited inspiration for its artists and this can be found in many of the works seen in its galleries. In addition, the island’s gallery owners are keen to exhibit the works of artists from further afield, letting visitors see art that they might not get the chance to experience anywhere else. So, if you love art and enjoy going to galleries, Barbados has plenty of interesting ones to visit.

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