Hey, arts aficionados, Bermuda might be a tiny country, but art displays pack its galleries and public spaces. Want to see the locals’ artworks? Head to Bermuda Society of the Arts (BSoA), the oldest art society on the island.
BSoA has loads of changing exhibits, plenty to buy, both big artworks and smaller items in the small gift shop here. It is housed in City Hall, just like Bermuda National Gallery. (It’s worth a visit just to see the cedar staircase in City Hall. Really.) FREE.
Here’s a handy rundown of other places to connect with the arts in Bermuda.
Chewstick is a nonprofit organization that supports and encourages “youth, arts, culture and community.” Sunday open-mic nights are well attended by the young adult (and older) crowd (typically a $10 cover charge). Once a month, Chewstick sponsors TWIGS open-mic night for teens and every Saturday, teens (14 to 18 years old) are invited to the free ChewSLAM Poetry and Spoken word sessions from 2 to 4 p.m. Chewstick recently started up a Friday happy hour.
The national gallery collection is of paintings, sculptures, photographs, video installations and more, and always has something to surprise and delight. BNG’s mission says the museum is “dedicated to bringing the world of art to Bermuda and Bermuda’s art to the world.”
Roam the galleries, check out the incredible collection of works that are all scenes from Bermuda and stop and enjoy current installations. (In St. George’s? Check out the BNG East: Bridge House, 1 Bridge Street, St. George)
Over the course of each January and February, Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts brings a wide variety of artists to the island for performances, workshops and free demonstrations. These events are well-attended, so if you are interested, get your tickets early (full tickets, for the entire series, are available, as are tickets for individual performances).
The schedule covers a lot of bases, from Latin music to classical to opera to shows for children—voice, dance, instrumental and more. Watch for “Festival Freebies,” demos and interactions with some of the artists. The Freebies are held at different venues around Hamilton and are one of the big bargains of the event.
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Check out the local masterworks of today at Bermuda Arts Centre at Dockyard. Three or four artists work on site here, and you are welcome to wander into their studios, even as they are painting. These artists are local masters painting scenes they know and love in Bermuda. The Centre also opens new shows every six weeks or so, much of the work that of its members. Great gift shop with original art AND art-quality prints.
Masterworks is located in a reclaimed arrowroot factory (arrowroot was once an export). The museum’s mission is to feature Bermuda-inspired art, and Bermuda has, apparently, inspired some of the best. Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keefe, Charles DeMuth are just some of the famous names you’ll see here. Exhibits are wide ranging and feature paintings, photos, local artists, international artists, visiting artists in residence and more. Free tours of the museum (11 a.m., every second Wednesday of the month at press time) may get you into the “vault” where you’ll find yourself just inches away from Winslow Homer’s glorious work or O’Keefe’s studies.
Stop in for a snack or a meal at Homer’s Cafe, on premises and stroll around the Botanical Gardens before you head off.