9. October 2014

Exuma for Artists, Crafters, and Creatives

When it comes to a beach-front vacation, most people immediately think about sunbathing and body surfing, snorkeling and sailing, umbrella drinks and lobster tails. But what about artistic inspiration?

Of course, taking a bit of time away from the daily grind can get anyone’s creative juices flowing. But it seems that Exuma, with its turquoise waters, relaxed atmosphere, and cultural heritage, does something special for guests.

Maybe that’s why Hideaways has earned return visits from landscape and seascape painters, photographers, filmmakers, and others in the visual arts, not to mention writers, journal-scribblers, and crafters of all types. (Feel free to knit some wool socks on your verandah. You just might not have an opportunity to wear them here!)

If you count yourself among the creative—or would like to—following are some ideas to help you get in touch with your Bahamian muse:

  • Local art. Look to paintings, sculpture, masks, and other art from Exuma and beyond. The Wenshua Art Gallery, covered here by Bahamian TV, displays and sells pieces that transcend the usual “tourist art.” A visit leaves a strong impression of the intersection of cultures that underlies Bahamian culture, as well as its deep communication with the environment. And any artist will find new things to consider in color and technique.
  • Crafts. You need go no further than the Straw Market to learn a few things about basket weaving and jewelry creation. You’ll also find craft products for sale at roadside stands along the Queen’s Highway (by which we mean Queen’s winding two-lane road…no merging necessary). Sandpiper Arts & Crafts offers everything from pottery to paintings, too, so don’t miss it.
  • Vistas. Whether you translate the views directly into artwork or draw on the locale for inspiration, you can’t beat our white sand beaches, tropical flowers, and colorful houses. (Admittedly, we may be biased.) We can almost guarantee that Exuma will put you in the mood to make something beautiful.
  • People. What writer, portrait painter, or photographer doesn’t need interesting characters? We’ve got them! You can listen to an Exuma historian’s tales most winter Sundays at Chat N Chill, find “Bahama Obama” and his Junkanoo dancing belt wherever there is a band or DJ, or strike up a conversation any of our Elvises (we’ve got three, including the Elvis Water Taxi operator/harbor master and the proprietor of Exuma Point Restaurant). Did we mention Naked Man? Get that story (no actual nudity involved) at Exuma Point and tour his cave!
  • Action. More of a Hemingway? Get out there for some deep sea or bone fishing, SCUBA or snorkeling, sailing, or kite surfing. Even poor Ernest didn’t have such an array of options in his day. You earn your stripes as an artist, even if you simply shoot your adventures on your Go Pro.

Tell us. Have you created any Exuma-inspired art? Post photos or videos to our Facebook wall! We’d love to see!