The biggest drawing festival in the world comes to the National Gallery!

By Tristan Ralston on 1st October, 2015


Every October over 20 countries and 414,000 people celebrate the international drawing festival called The Big Draw. Here in Cayman, we are excited to host The Big Draw for the third year at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI). The Big Draw at the National Gallery offers enjoyable drawing activities for everyone, connecting people of all ages with NGCI exhibitions, the Deutsche Bank Sculpture Gardens, local artists, and each other.

This year’s theme, Every Drawing Tells a Story, highlights the power drawing has to communicate and express our stories through the powerful simplicity of this age-old art. The National Gallery will explore the art of drawing through an exciting programme of free activities, workshops and exhibitions. All of the events listed here are specially designed for those who love to draw, as well as for those who think they can’t!

Gordon Solomon Exhibition | Doctor Moody
18 September – 17 October, Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

The Doctor Moody series is organised in five sections representing five human senses depicted by a variety of personified animals experiencing human moods. “At some point in everyone’s life they will have to reflect on how they handle love, dejection, or judgmental characters. The animal in others baffles the mind, but the spirit within keeps you buoyant as long as there is time. We are all malleable and capable of displaying fortitude as we search for our identity”, says Gordon Solomon. The Doctor Moody series, just like this year’s theme Every Drawing Tells a Story, is an example of the many ways we as humans see ourselves and tell our stories through drawing.

The Big Draw Student Exhibition | Draw Your Heart Out
1 October – 31 October, Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

The Big Draw student exhibition will be held in the NGCI Education Centre and will showcase drawings by top art students from an array of local high schools, including: St. Ignatius Catholic, Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (C.I.F.E.C), John Gray High, Cayman Prep and High, and Clifton Hunter High. The exhibition will overflow into an online gallery of student works which can be viewed online at Admission to the exhibition is free and donations are welcome.

Family Fun Day | The Big Draw Art Festival
3 October, Saturday 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
The National Gallery welcomes families to a full day of interactive drawing activities to celebrate the art of drawing in the Cayman Islands. Admission to all Family Fun Day activities is free! Exercise your drawing skills by taking part in teacher-led drawing stations and other DIY activities. Beverages, sandwiches and snacks will be available for purchase in the Art Café. For additional details, email or call (345) 945 8111.

Sketch Crawl for Kids | Taught by John Broad – Students will meet at 10:00 AM in the Gallery, where John will discuss urban sketching, before embarking on a sketch crawl around the Gallery and its surrounding Deutsche Bank Sculpture Gardens. Participants will sketch landscapes, sculptures, architecture and even each other! Basic drawing materials will be provided, but feel free to bring your own drawing pads, pencils, watercolors, and markers, and don’t forget to wear a hat and sunscreen. There will also be a “Show & Tell” at 12:30 PM in the Dart Auditorium with prizes awarded for the best three drawings! Students are welcome to join in at any time; however, please note that the schedule will remain as mentioned above.

Kids enjoying activities at NGCI

What’s your Story? for Teens and Adults | Taught by Chloe Goodfellow – Participants will join Chloe in the Susan A. Olde Art Studio, as she uses the NGCI National Collection as a stimulus to host this fun and interactive activity based on her story of art. Students will create their own personal story and may use visual or written references to illustrate their piece. Materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own. Come join in and be one of many to share your personal journey through the medium of drawing.

DIY Draw for Everyone | Here you and your family will experience various individual and team activities geared towards our theme Every Drawing tells a Story, including: “Draw and tell”, Storyboarding Flip Books, and more! Family activity sheets and art materials will be available for children of all ages, and can be collected in the gallery for families to use as they explore the temporary exhibition.

On-going Activity | Self-guided Worksheets
1 October – 1 November, Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Throughout the Big Draw festival we will be providing free self-guided worksheets for everyone. These worksheets will be filled with fun activities for all ages and will be readily available at the National Gallery reception desk.

Documentary Film Screening | The Art of Drawing
17 October, Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
We will be screening three short documentaries based on drawing and animation, which will be played in a loop throughout the day. Feel free to drop in at any time!

  1. The Human Camera (45mins),
  2. Why people believe they can’t draw – and how to prove they can | Graham Shaw | TEDxHull (15mins),
  3. Drawing in class: Rachel Smith | TEDxUFM (18mins)

The Gallery Gift Shop | Give the Gift of Drawing
Open Daily – Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Drawing books for adults and children, drawing supplies, workshop gift certificates, and NGCI Memberships will be available throughout the Big Draw festival during the month of October. For more information on what is on offer email

Open Daily – Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is thrilled to launch a brand new Art Café menu, which now offers a wide variety of beverages, snacks for kids and adults, as well as fresh lunch items and pastries. Kindly supported by Kirk Market, the Art Café is an excellent place to spend your morning coffee break, lunch hour or have your next business meeting. The Art Café is open from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and overlooks the beautiful Deutsche Bank Sculpture Gardens at NGCI. Come out and enjoy new products, new hours, and a brand new approach to enhancing your visit at the National Gallery.


Show us your drawings!
Throughout the month of October post your drawings to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #NGCIHashtagDraw. We’ll share your drawing to our online gallery for everyone to see!

For more information about upcoming art happenings at the National Gallery contact our education department at or visit To find out more about the international drawing festival, The Big Draw log on to