May 22, 2022

The Cayman Islands National Gallery celebrates 20 Years

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This year marks The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI) 20th Anniversary. Over the past two decades, the country’s leading public visual arts organization has welcomed over a quarter of a million visitors, produced countless world class exhibitions, and provided up to 60 monthly educational programmes for the community. Throughout this time the organization has played a vital role in preserving the heritage and history of the Cayman Islands while simultaneously fostering cultural growth.

NGCI now looks to the future with The Infinity Ball. This year’s highly anticipated 20th Anniversary gala sets out to commemorate the institution’s past while embracing the decades ahead. The event takes place Friday, 1 December 2017 starting at 6:30 PM. The NGCI Sculpture Gardens and Lower Exhibition Hall will be transformed into a futuristic backdrop, where guests will be invited to engage with the theme and décor by wearing “futuristic inspired” black tie to the event. The evening will include special presentations, live performances, futuristic cocktails, and dancing under the stars until the early hours. Longtime supporters of the organization will also be presented with special commemorative awards at the event.

“Our 20th anniversary marks a big achievement for the organization and to all those who have helped it grown over the years: donors, artists, board and staff members, contributors, students, teachers and more. The Infinity Ball will celebrate what has been achieved and what can be achieved as the Gallery continues to evolve. By purchasing a ticket to the National Gallery’s Infinity Ball, you are investing in the institution’s future as we look ahead to the next few decades.” says NGCI Director Natalie Urquhart.

The National Gallery has developed a reputation for hosting elaborate ‘art-inspired’ events, and The Infinity Ball promises to be another exciting evening. “Prepare to be enthralled by the sights, sounds and sensations of a fashion forward event that brings people together and celebrates creativity,” explains NGCI Events Coordinator Alyssa Manderson. “We’re excited to share the Gallery’s successes and celebrate the museum’s future within our community.” Tickets include a reception with a specialty welcome cocktail and canapés, a three-course fine dining experience with a vegetarian option, complimentary red and white wine throughout dinner, live music and entertainment, bottle service upon request, a champion bartender creating futuristic cocktails throughout the evening, a lively after-party and a few surprises!

Ticket sales are open until 22 November 2017. Reservations will only be completed once full payment has been received. Due increased demand, NGCI will not be able to hold tickets/tables without payment. Due to multiple terrains in the Sculpture Gardens, please choose your footwear accordingly.

For more information and to book tickets email [email protected] or call (345) 945 8111.

Ticket Details

• Individual Ticket CI $195

• Pack of Ten Tickets CI $1,900

• Premium Table CI $3,000

Premium Table Includes:

o Professional Group Photo

o Two Bottles of Champagne

o Recognition in Gala program and website

o Prime Table Positioning

About the National Gallery’s Twenty-year History

The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands has come a long way in 20 years. Starting officially in 1997 as a roving education programme and twenty years on, it is now housed in the first purpose-built art museum facility in the Anglophone Caribbean.

The idea of a national art museum started even further back. In 1995, just before Michael Gore ended his term of office as Governor of the Cayman Islands, his wife Monica made a memorable statement. She picked a seed from a tree in the garden of Government House and handed it to McKeeva Bush, the Minister responsible for culture, with the words, “This seed represents the beginning of a National Gallery for the Cayman Islands. Please will you make sure it grows?” Mrs Gore had been aware for some time that a National Gallery for the Islands was warranted. It was fortuitous that incoming Governor John Owen’s wife Carol was an artist and, as the organization’s first Chairperson, and along with the Gallery’s first Director Leslie Bigelman, the notion of the Gallery began to emerge.

The Gallery opened the doors of its first dedicated space in 1997 with a 1200-square-foot facility in Alexandria Place, donated by Caymanian entrepreneur Richard Christiansen. It functioned as a small art gallery and education centre with a mission to raise awareness about the importance of arts education in schools and to promote and preserve the arts of the Cayman Islands. That same year, Owen, Bigelman and the Gallery Board started a campaign for a purpose-built gallery space and philanthropist Helen Harquail donated four acres of real estate just off Seven Mile Beach. A local architectural competition was held architect Danny Owen was awarded the task of conceiving the multi-purpose art museum, the museum we see today after fourteen years of strategic fundraising.

Under a change of leadership in 2004, when Nancy Barnard was appointed Director, the NGCI’s education mission continued to expand. Passionate about arts education, Barnard – with the support of corporate partners such as Walkers, Rawlinson & Hunter, Coutts, Deutsche Bank, Butterfield, EY, State Street, and Dart – grew education offerings to include workshops and rehabilitation opportunities at HM Fairbanks and HM Northward prisons, Eagle House, Bonaventure Boys Home, Francis Bodden Girls Home, Caribbean Haven and others, in addition to expanding the Gallery’s traditional continuing education series and school programming. Most of this was achieved when the Gallery was in its second home in Harbour Place, a space supported by Board Member Andreas Ugland.

In 2009, with community engagement at an all-time high, incoming Director Natalie Urquhart and the National Gallery Board made a bold move to reinvigorate the capital campaign and building project. In 2012, the Gallery unveiled its new building, with Urquhart focused on putting structures in place to support the long-term growth of the organization and focusing on a mission that is richly complex. The last few years have seen visitor traffic doubling; expanded education programmes and creative career development support; increased opportunities for Caymanian artists both locally and regionally; and the growth of the National Art Collection, which now holds more than 200 artworks and offers an unparalleled record of the Cayman Islands’ rich artistic and cultural history.

Today, the National Gallery hosts over 60 educational and outreach programmes and events each month as well as ongoing lectures, screenings and temporary exhibitions. The facility is also home to an exhibition of the Permanent Art Collection of the Cayman Islands. These programmes aim to capture every age group in our community, from the youngest pre-schoolers to senior citizens, and combine arts education with enriching creative experiences that foster innovation, help build self-esteem and strengthen social ties.


NGCI has carried out this mission for twenty years, the last five years of which have been housed in the NGCI’s purpose-built facility, the first of its kind in the Anglophone Caribbean. Since this move the organization has grown from strength to strength having:

• Welcomed over 100,000 visits to our facility

• Hosted over 6,000 school students on tours

• Held over 2,700 education and outreach classes

• Mounted over 50 exhibitions

• Increased the Permanent Art Collection by 100%

• Held 20 fundraising events or projects

• Awarded 6 undergraduate scholarships; 12 paid internships via our Creative Careers programme

• Been the recipient of a Top Employer Award for 4 years

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