A collection of 53 pieces of art created during the pandemic and exhibited at Cayman Art Week (CAW) in 2021 was donated by Mrs Susan A Olde, OBE to the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority. At a reception held on Thursday 10 November, the collection was unveiled in its new permanent home at the Smith Road Medical Centre.
The collection includes new work by many of Cayman’s best-known artists, including Al Ebanks, Nasaria Suckoo Chollette, Randy Chollette, Guy Harvey, Dready, STOAK’D and Yonier Powery, as well as paintings and photography produced by mid-career and younger emerging artists. Installed with support from Awardart Gallery, the collection is on display across three floors of HSA’s outpatient clinics, from the pharmacy on the ground floor to the cardiology unit, public health and staff rooms on upper floors.
Part of the collection will also soon be on display at district health centres in Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands, as well as the reception area of A&E at the Cayman Islands Hospital and the Chemotherapy Unit at Pines Drive.
Health Services Authority CEO Lizzette Yearwood thanked Mrs Olde for the artworks. “We are most grateful to Mrs Olde for her generosity in donating such a large collection of Caymanian art, it really brightens the space for both patients and staff. Art is well known to have a calming effect and inspires a sense of wellbeing,” she said.
Local philanthropist Susan Olde, who is Patron of Cayman Art Week and Chairperson of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, purchased the artwork at the inaugural Cayman Art Week, launched in response to the impact of the pandemic on Cayman’s creative sector. With borders closed to tourists, local artists lost their primary market for almost two years.
“It is fitting that art created during the pandemic now belongs in a place of wellness,” said Mrs Olde. “This collection brings together commercial needs and philanthropy in a way I hope is uplifting for the artist community as well as those visiting HSA in need of medical care.”
Cayman Art Week is a week-long curated programme of exhibitions, art galleries, open studios and late-night events across all three Cayman Islands. It provides a platform for local artists to connect with buyers and collectors.
In the two years since its launch, Cayman Art Week has helped artists and galleries sell more than $400,000 worth of artwork, as well as highlighting 35 creative venues and more than 100 artists across all three Cayman Islands.
Cayman Art Week founder Natalie Urquhart said, “This remarkable donation of 53 artworks forms what we hope will be a growing art collection at the Health Services Authority. It is also a testament to Mrs Olde’s passion for culture, education and community wellness. We are truly grateful for her unwavering commitment to providing opportunities for artists – from creative students to those most established – and for helping to ensure the arts community remains sustainable in the future.”
Cayman Art Week will return in June 2023. For more information about artists, galleries and event spaces represented at Cayman Art Week, visit https://www.caymanartweek.com.