EXHIBITION: Bright Lights & Raw Gems – Portraits From The Bahamian Project

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A major exhibition of Bahamian Project portrait images opens at the Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Gallery on 6th July, 2017 from 6-9pm.


The exhibition will showcase dozens of new, fine art portrait images of people whose character reflects the true beauty of The Bahamas.

The Bahamian Project was created by Duke and Lisa Wells in 2012 in collaboration with Popopstudios and the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Over the past five years, Bahamian Project photographers have created more than 130 high-quality portraits that capture the character of people whose lives have helped shape the heart and soul of The Bahamas.

The portraits tell the story of people from all walks of life, throughout the Islands of The Bahamas.

Some of the portraits are of people who are well-known social and cultural icons (Bright Lights). But the Bahamian Project also includes portraits of unique individuals who, while not as well-known, have led lives that define the essence of Bahamian society (Raw Gems).

“All of the people selected for inclusion display a beauty that is more than skin deep, people whose character forms the basis of our unique cultural identity,” said Project Manager, artist Ana-Lisa Wells.

The archival portraits hold great historical, social and cultural significance as they convey a visual statement about this time in Bahamian history for Bahamians and others to enjoy forever.

It is hoped that the collection of photographs will inspire the foundation of a permanent National Portrait Gallery.

“The Bahamian Project is helping to awaken photography in The Bahamas to a cultural need, to a status which makes it fit to become a full-fledged instrument of culture,” says Duke Wells, the Project’s Co-Founder and Creative Director.

An impressive group of talented photographic artists are participating in the Bahamian Project, including; Melissa Alcena, Dante Carrer, Vado Culmer, Chris Day, Demetrius Francis, Guilden Gilbert, Torrell Glinton, Rosemary Hanna, Paul Harding, Nowé Harris-Smith, Ben Jamieson, Donald Knowles, Scharad Lightbourne, Rashad Penn, Alessandro Sarno, Andre Sheppard, Duke Wells, Ana-Lisa Wells, Lyndah Wells and Sofia Whitehead.

“Each of these photographic artists show their sincere dedication and passion for photography and their abiding love for The Bahamas by volunteering their time on this important Project,” said Mr. Wells, who is also the Lead Photographer.

Representing a broad cross-section of the photographic community in The Bahamas, Bahamian Project photographers are committed to similar standards for high-quality portraiture. However, each artist has developed their own technical and artistic approach, interpreting portrait assignments in their own unique style using lighting, locations, backgrounds and photographic techniques.

“The Project has been a beacon of light for Bahamian society. It shows that we can all work together in creating a community of inclusion,” said Central Bank Gallery Director, Antonius Roberts.

A strong supporter of the Project, Mr. Roberts is the force behind the creation of the decades-old Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Gallery and the architect of the bank’s highly successful art programme.

“Through the Bahamian Project, future generations will have an opportunity to become familiar with the people, throughout our archipelago, who have played an important role in creating a better Bahamas,” Mr Roberts added.

The opening of the exhibition at the Central Bank Gallery is scheduled for Thursday July 6, 2017 at 6:00pm and the show will remain on display until Friday July 28th.