Last week, we highlighted some of the ways to explore the Caribbean beyond the beach: namely, by visiting museums. But there are also scores of small, excellent art galleries across the region, from small boutiques to larger exhibition spaces. This isn’t a list of all the best art galleries in the region; rather, it’s a sampling of the diversity of spaces and works you can enjoy when you’re in the Caribbean. We thought we’d bring you some suggestions for the rest of 2014, from the Bahamas to the north to Trinidad to the south.
Gallery of West Indian Art — Jamaica
This gallery and store in Montego Bay has been around for more than four decades, and has a particularly strong collection of art by Cuban and Haitian painters.
Walter Otero Contemporary Art — Puerto Rico
This cutting-edge gallery in San Juan isn’t just the top modern art gallery in San Juan — it’s at the forefront in the entire region.
Cayman Islands National Gallery — Grand Cayman
The namesake national gallery of the Cayman Islands has a wonderful permanent collection focusing on local art and an increasingly interesting exhibition calendar featuring works from abroad — most recently, Jamaica.
Cheddie’s Carving Studio — Anguilla
This tiny but fascinating gallery in Anguilla features the eclectic work of local artist Cheddie Richardson, who sculpts fascinating pieces using mostly driftwood, coral and stone.
Casa Cortes – Puerto Rico
Art can be oh so sweet. Casa Cortes combines the best of two worlds: art and chocolate, making for a decidedly unique experience. Casa Cortes combines works from Latin American and Caribbean artists with, yes, a chocolate bar.
Fondation Clement — Martinique
Yes, it’s an art gallery on the grounds of a rhum distillery. Fondation Clement’s elegant gallery regularly features world-class work, including a current exhibition focusing on the works of Aime Cesaire, Pablo Picasso and Wilfreo Lam.
Art Studio Insight — Aruba
This gallery in the Paradera Park neighbourhood of Aruba largely focuses on visual art, under the stewardship of Venezuelan-born Alida Martinez.
Nena Sanchez Gallery — Curacao
Nena Sanchez’s work is, much like Curacao, a kaleidoscope of colours. And her bright, vibrant work is displayed at her eponymous gallery in the Punda area of Willemstad.
Martine Cotten – Atelier d’Art — Guadeloupe Islands
The island of Terre-de-Haut is a bit of a work of art in itself, but it’s also home to Martine Cotten’s signature gallery featuring largely local, Creole-influenced scenes.
Galerie Monnin — Haiti
It’s hard to walk a block in Haiti without being surrounded by art in some form. But the country, long one of the Caribbean’s artistic hubs, is home to some seriously good galleries, including Monnin, located in the Petion-Ville suburb of Port-au-Prince.
101 Art Gallery — Trinidad
Trinidad has a rich a cultural scene as anywhere in the region, and that includes its visual art. And the excellent 101 is a great place to begin.
The Eva Wilkin Mill Galleria — Nevis
The renowned artist Dame Eva Wilkin, who was actually born on Montserrat, is the most famous to call Nevis home. This gallery featuring her works is set inside an 18th century mill.
D’Aguilar Art Foundation — Bahamas
The D’Aguilar gallery is the lasting legacy of noted Bahamian collector Vincent D’Aguilar, right in the heart of historic downtown Nassau.
Janart Gallery Bonaire — Bonaire
This small boutique-gallery features works for sale by artist Janice Huckaby, an expat who has lived on the Dutch Caribbean island for more than 20 years.