The Big Art Auction exhibition to open at National Gallery of the Cayman Islands’

By Lindsey Turnbull on 21st April, 2017

Big Art Auction

Auctioneer Philip Paschalides put artwork under the hammer at the Big Art Auction

This Monday will see the exhibition opening of The Big Art Auction 4, the fourth biennial art exhibition and auction held in support of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands’ (NGCI). Held every other year, the two-week exhibition features work by leading contemporary artists before they are auctioned at an entertaining “Sotheby’s styled” evening reception.

This year’s Big Art Auction will see artwork by celebrated local artists Randy Chollette, Nasaria Suckoo Chollette, John Bird, David Bridgeman, Hannah Cook, Kathryn Elphinstone, John Davies, Marc Laurenson, Saba, Mikael Seffer, Gordon Solomon, Kaitlyn Elphinstone, Avril Ward, Joanne Sibley, John Broad, and Horacio Esteban; along with emerging artists Simon Tatum, Brandon Saunders and Wil Bignal.

Part of the proceeds from funds raised at the Big Art Auction go to the artists and part to the NGCI Art Fund. The 50/50 split is an effort to ensure the project remains sustainable and of benefit to both parties. Big Art Auction 4 Chairperson, Jennifer Woodford says, “The National Gallery receives no government funding to purchase or commission artwork for the National Collection and so we rely on raising vital funds from the private sector to continue this important work. We wish to extend a huge thank you to our participating artists for part-donating their work to the Big Art Auction 4.

Funds raised at the event will be allocated to collection development, artwork conservation, and collection-based educational initiatives. Ms Urquhart comments, “Education is central to the NGCI’s mission of promoting the appreciation and practice of the visual arts of the Cayman Islands. Museums and galleries like NGCI are now considered to be amongst the most effective places to enrich what is being taught in school, as our collections are representative examples of what is taught in the classroom. Artworks on display are surrounded by contextual and interpretive materials and storytelling, and they have the ability to arouse interest and curiosity by bringing Caymanian history alive. Importantly, NGCI collection-based learning goes far beyond teaching art skills to include cognitive development, cross curricular learning opportunities (maths, literacy, social studies, and history), teambuilding, confidence growth and so on.”

The exhibition opens on Monday, 24 April, with a public reception that evening from 5.00-7.00pm. It will run until 4 May and the BAA4 catalogue will be available for viewing online throughout this period. During the exhibition, curator-led private viewings can also be organised for potential collectors and interested parties. The exhibition will culminate in an elegant, invite-only reception and auction on Thursday, 4 May.

To arrange a private viewing contact the National Gallery’s Art Fund at or call (345) 945 8111.