Lakaii KnowlesBarefoot Marketing
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- On this, the 16th year of Festival Noel, the organizing committee has chosen the youth of Grand Bahama as its muse. This year’s featured artists will not be one but five young Bahamian artists. Aaron Hanna, Veronica Dorsett, Lakaii Knowles, Maquelle Monroe and Kikko Knowles (Forbes) will co-headline Festival Noel 2010.
“This year my committee and I wanted to show off our home grown talent,“ noted GB BNT Chairman, Karin Sanchez. “We have some very talented high school graduates producing beautiful work – I am very excited to see their work showcased in our gallery.”
The five young artists represent a wonderful new talent pool on the island. Thanks to Cecilia Bodie, BNT Education Specialist and their art teachers, these young Bahamians will be able to showcase their talents at the Glory Banks Gallery in a joint exhibition. Each of the five artists attended local schools on the island and are thrilled to be exhibiting to the public, for some it will be the first time.
Born in Freeport but raised in Hawksbill, Aaron Hanna is one of seven children who found his passion for art at the early age of eight. Educated at Jack Hayward High, Aaron fine-tuned his craft from sketching characters from books to exquisitely detailed portraits and murals. “Two of my murals are on display at Cafe Magnolia and at the Freeport Harbour,” noted Aaron. “I am hopeful Festival guests will enjoy my work.”
Fellow Jack Hayward student, Lakaii Knowles, will also showcase her work for the guests at Festival Noel. Knowles hails from Eight Mile Rock and found her passion for painting while attending St. Vincent de Paul Primary. Once at secondary school, both her teachers Mr. Gobin and Mrs. Robinson encouraged and guided her creative talents. “I love painting portraits of people using oil paints,” noted Knowles. “It’s rewarding to see the smile on their face when I have completed a portrait of them.”
Joining the talented group will be Veronica Dorsett, a recent Sunland Baptist Academy graduate. Veronica did not really study art until she was 14 at which time she became captivated by the creative process and soon began to experiment with many different mediums. “Through the guidance of my art teacher, Mr. Bill Nelson, and the skills I’ve learned at workshops over the years, I’ve been able to accomplish quite a lot with my work and next year I will further my studies at College of The Bahamas.”
Fellow Sunland graduate, Marquelle Munroe was born in Nassau, but raised in Freeport. She attended Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School and completed high school at Sunland Baptist Academy in 2005. “Throughout my school years art was always a major hobby and a passion of mine,” noted Monroe. “From 2nd grade, I discovered that I have the gift of creativity and an artistic ability, thanks to the help of my primary school art teacher, Mrs. Darville.”
Rounding out the artists will be Kiko Forbes, an Eight Mile Rock High School Graduate in the class of 2008. Forbes’ work has been showcased twice now in the RBC/FINCO national calendars, winning first place both times he entered. One of eight children, Forbes continues to craft his talents and he is thrilled to be showcasing as a guest artist for the Bahamas National Trust.
Festival Noel, which is slated annually on the first Friday of December, will start at 7pm at the Rand Nature Centre. Sponsored by Bristol Wines & Spirits the wine tasting, art show and student chef competition brings out hundreds to support the Bahamas National Trust in Grand Bahama each year.
Veronica DorsettThis year’s event is also co-sponsored by Savemore food store, Cool 96, Freeport Advertising, Bahamian Brewery & Beverage Co., Unexso, Freeport Container Port, Grand Bahama Airport Company and the Freeport Harbour Company. “Without these sponsors we would not be able to finance this event and ensure that each ticket sold brings the BNT a 100% profit,” noted Sarah Kirkby, Barefoot Marketing.
Veronica DorsettTickets are on sale now for $50 in advance and $55 on the day at Bristol Wines and Spirits, the Rand Nature Centre and Barefoot Marketing. “Tickets for our BNT members are reduced to $45 but only in advance and can only be purchased at the Rand Nature Centre. All tickets on Friday, the 3rd will be $55,” said Sanchez. “We are encouraging everyone to buy their tickets early as we are limited in numbers.”