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Pedestrian underpass murals – Camana Bay

Cayman: Pedestrian underpass murals in Camana Bay celebrate education and art

A collaboration between Cayman International School (CIS) students, Cayman-based artist, Carlos Garcia and Dart’s Visual Designer Keri Lawrence has brightened the path of pedestrians using the underpasses that connect the east and west sides of Cayman Parkway on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. 

The finished murals depict Cayman’s fauna and flora and echo Dart’s focus on accessibility, design and a celebration of place found across their projects. The underpasses were constructed four years ago and until now were plain grey surfaces. Dart President of Asset Management, Justin Howe, saw an opportunity to bring them to life and involve CIS’ students in the visual design. The school’s art department, Dart’s design team and the National Gallery Cayman Islands (NGCI) collaborated to guide students in the creative design.

Pictured from left, is artist Carlos Garcia, CIS students Erin S., Lilly H., Rosanna S. and Eve M., whose designs inspired the finished mural, and Dart Visual Designer Keri Lawrence who helped shape the students’ designs for Garcia to execute.

As a result, an art competition was born: students received lessons in mural design from Garcia and were then asked to produce designs reflecting Cayman culture. The panel of judges included Garcia, Dart Interior Designer Gina Powell and Dart Design Manager Ross Tibbetts.

“The judges were blown away by the level of talent that was showcased for this competition,” said Powell. “We found it extremely difficult to select one, so we narrowed it down to four winners. My job (alongside Design Manager Ross Tibbetts) was simply to bring all four winning concepts together to create one cohesive story.”

The winning submissions were then interpreted and incorporated into two larger designs by Lawrence. “My task was to reorganise the winning art pieces into the underpass space; I had to take a 2D art piece and reimagine it on a much larger scale,” she explained. 

Using her iPad, Keri intricately redrew and combined elements from the students work to tell the story the students envisioned; and providing the inspiration for Garcia to execute the murals on the underpasses. 

“The final concept revolved around Cayman parrots leading the way to the National Gallery while overlooking flora, fauna and traditional Cayman scenes, showcasing the individual creativity of each student while creating connectivity throughout; that was our primary goal,” Powell said. 

The murals, which were unveiled Wednesday, 6 April, to CIS students, members of the Dart team, and local media, are “really a celebration of the students’ vision and I know many of them are excited to see it come to life here,” said Lawrence. 

One of the winners, student Lilly Haug, was delighted to see the finished project. “I never thought my ideas could look so beautiful, and it inspires me to stay creative even as school becomes more difficult.” 

Artist Garcia added, “As executor of this work, I am pleased to know that the creativity of the students with the help of the professionals in this art space could materialise the artistic vision of the four winning students. Because of this collaboration, we all played a part in transforming an empty, boring space into a work of art while providing a new experience for the art students – an experience in the art of muralism.” 

Erin Shaughness, another student winner, said: “It’s awesome seeing elements from my design featured in the final piece. This project reminded me that I love art.”

CIS art teacher Heather Meinen said, “It was very exciting to see the finished project today as this was something we’ve been collaborating on with Dart, the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, and Carlos since August 2021. The students spent a lot of time developing their ideas – brainstorming, prototyping, reworking and finally creating. All of their hard work paid off! Keri and Carlos’ teams did a great job representing each of the finalist’s pieces in the mural. It was a great experience for us all, and I hope we have more opportunities like this in the future.”

The underpasses are open to the public; the design team involved hope all will walk through the space and take in the beauty of the murals, reflecting images of Cayman parrots, seagrape leaves, an old Caymanian house and more. There are interactive elements in the murals, which offer many opportunities for photo captures. Those strolling through are invited to share their images on social media with the hashtag #CBArt.  

About Camana Bay

A destination within a destination, Camana Bay is a vibrant town located in the heart of Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory. 

Situated on 685 acres between Seven Mile Beach and the North Sound, this mixed-use master-planned community is one of the first examples of New Urbanism in the Caribbean. 

Developed by Dart, Camana Bay offers more than 650,000 square feet of commercial office and retail space as well as 63 luxury apartments available for long-term lease, and condos, townhomes and duplexes at OLEA, Camana Bay’s first for-sale residential project. The town also offers public spaces for all to enjoy, world-class shopping and dining, as well as family-friendly entertainment, events and attractions. 

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