Masterworks reopens with giant painting party

  • Big project: Risa Hunter

    Big project: Risa Hunter

  • Masterworks founder and creative director Tom Butterfield (File photograph)

    Masterworks founder and creative director Tom Butterfield (File photograph)


Masterworks will celebrate throwing open its doors again next month with a 200ft-long community art project.

The Paget art museum, which was forced to shut because of the Covid-19 pandemic, will hold Canvasing Our Future, a painting party using “the largest canvas Bermuda has ever seen”.

Rita Hunter, the Masterworks assistant director, said: “The canvas will be 200ft long. We are hoping it will be one of the largest canvases in any of the Atlantic islands as well.”

She added: “The idea is to have community members come out and paint sections.”

The canvas will be installed along the walkway leading to the museum in the Botanical Gardens for the July 11 event.

Members of the public and corporations will be allocated a stretch of the canvas with individual art supplies.

The theme is reimagining Bermuda. Ms Hunter said: “We are really looking at what they want to see from Bermuda.”

She said the past few months had been rough as Covid-19 hit the island, followed by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in the US on May 25, which sparked global Black Lives Matter protests.

Ms Hunter said the gallery wanted to help people deal with their feelings. She added: “Art is quite a cathartic process. It is a way of expressing your emotions through the process.

“There is a certain flow people feel as they engage with art. There is definitely a calming element to creating in the moment.

“But at the same time, not only using your hands, but the visual stimulation is a really important aspect of healing.”

Mr Hunter predicted: “Some art will be very painful and some will be bright and happy. A lot of different emotions have been stirred up through what is going on.”

The completed artwork will be on display in the gallery for at least two months after the event and will hang alongside the current exhibition Follow the Sun.

This is Ms Hunter’s first major project since she took on her role at Masterworks last month.

She said: “I am really excited that we are having this event and I am helping to make it happen.”

Its organisation had been a race against time and the canvas was only ordered this week.

Ms Hunter said: “We have to bring in a large canvas. We have to bring all the paint supplies. We have ordered 100 tubes of every paint colour, and also brushes. We are looking to get it here as soon as possible.”

She added that a post Covid-19 world presented a conflict. Ms Hunter said: “Right now people want open air, but they want to have social-distancing. They also want moments to connect. Finding that balance in a way that feels safe can be challenging.”

Tom Butterfield, the founder of Masterworks and creative director, said: “We are delighted to be bringing our community members together for a creative project that helps us visualise our future commitment to each other as residents of Bermuda.

“Art is our connector and right now we need connection more than ever. Together we are stronger. In this time of suffering, we can learn from and support each other.”

Individuals can walk-in, but groups should reserve a space by e-mail to marketing@masterworksbermuda.org.

The free event will begin at 9am. Entry to Masterworks will be also free in July and August.

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Published Jun 20, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 20, 2020 at 8:01 am)

Masterworks reopens with giant painting party

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