The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, located in the Grand Cayman Islands, is an inclusive and diverse gallery full of locally and historically significant works of art. Visitors to the gallery can learn about art and even take one of the variety of guided tour options to learn even more from the knowledgeable staff that are both employed and volunteer there.
The National Gallery was built to promote appreciation as well as to help support the practice of creating visual arts across the entire Grand Cayman area. It was established in 1996 that seeks to fulfill their mission and goals by using exhibitions, resident artists, both education and outreach programs, and other research projects. They operate on both a local and a global scale. Their values are innovation, engagement, sustainability, integrity, inclusivity, and excellence. The National Gallery is supported by multiple benefactors in both the private and public/corporate arenas. They moved into their now permanent facility in 2012.
The gallery displays a rotating gallery of temporary and touring exhibitions, all of which are frequently updated on the website so that guests can see what will be on when they visit. They also hold a permanent collection.
The gallery has been given the responsibility of conserving, exhibiting, promoting, and managing the National Arts Collection in the Cayman Islands. It is their main job to continue to find the most significant, both historical and cultural, works of art for display at the gallery. The works displayed at the gallery as the most nationally significant possible. The permanent collection at the National Gallery centers on its core grouping of the most Caymanian artwork and is supplemented by other works from both the region as well as abroad. The intention is to offer as wide a variety of different art media in order to illustrate the many ways that artists have been able to capture the ordinary as well as the extraordinary aspects of what life is like in the Cayman Islands for the last 40+ years.
For visitors who want more structure when they visit the gallery, guided private tours are offered and recommended. There are multiple tour packages available and all tours can accommodate as many as 20 people at a time. Guests can choose whether they would like their tour lead by a curator or by staff/docents - there is an additional cost for curator led tours.
? Full Experience - This tour takes guests through both exhibitions and lasts an hour.
? All Access - This half an hour tour takes guests through the important parts of the National Arts Collection.
? “On Now” - Lasting half an hour, this tour introduces guests to the current temporary exhibitions.
? An Introduction - Curators or staff will introduce guests to both exhibitions over the span of half an hour.
? Flat Rate - Offered a flat rate for either half an hour or full hour tours, these tours are meant for smaller groups with under six people.
The gallery is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10am to 5pm and is closed on Sundays and all major holidays. Admission is offered to all guests free of charge. There are also free worksheets available for children who visit, free wi-fi, and free parking for all guests.
The National Gallery offers a range of different educational opportunities, all meant to help children get more deeply involved in the arts through a better understanding and appreciation of the works there. Using what they call “Minds Inspired” active learning activities and sessions. Using STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math principals), the staff at the museum works to make sure all programs are accessible to everyone (even students from low income families). Teachers are encouraged to contact the staff at the museum for additional information on how to schedule.
Also, for teachers, the website hosts a variety of different teacher resources meant to help teachers connect their students with the arts. There are multiple “discover” sheets that focus on specific artists that are featured at the museum - like David Bridgeman, Nickola McCoy-Snell, and Davin Ebanks - as well as specific styles of art like pointillism. These resources are printable and can be coordinated with a planned field trip to the museum to make sure students can study what they learned on the discover sheets.
When visiting the National Gallery, make sure to stop by The Art Cafe. With a diverse selection of both healthy snacks as well as healthy drink options, and supported locally by The Kirk Market, the cafe is a great treat for any visitor.
National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, Esterely Tibbetts Highway, Grand Cayman, KY1-1002, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-945-8111
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