Queen’s Park Gallery
The work of the Queens Park Gallery is situated in the heart of Bridgetown. The Gallery’s opening hours are, 9 am to 5:30 pm Tuesday to Saturday. The Gallery may be contacted at 427-2345 or 429-3117
The Queen’s House, the traditional home of the Gallery is located in and is part of the listed buildings on the UNESCO designation of a World Heritage site, ‘Bridgetown and its Historic Garrisons’. Queen’s Park opened as the only park in the city on June 9, 1909 by Lady Gilbert-Carter, wife of the Governor at the time. Lady Gilbert-Carter was responsible for the design of the Park as well as many interesting buildings such as Ilaro Court and the Empire Theatre.
The Queen’s Park Gallery first played a significant role in the development of Visual Arts in Barbados, since it was traditionally a venue for the Visual Arts displays during the Annual Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition. This continued when it was one of the exhibition venues for CARIFESTA Visual Arts in 1981 and later became a full time gallery.
Queen’s Park is unique in that it provides the services of a curator, gallery attendants, a guard, the organization and publicity of the exhibition with the Gallery taking a commission on sales. This facility has allowed many artists, who would not otherwise have been able to mount exhibitions and sell their work, to do so.
The Gallery plays a major role in the development of the Visual Arts in several ways. One of these ways is in having a Curator, who consistently meets with artists to view and discuss their work, offering technical and aesthetic advice. This contributes in a strong measure to the sustainability of a local Art Market.
The initiatives of the Curator – Queen’s Park Gallery are:
- To present and receive cultural objects and information
- To establish certain works as a norm or a cannon
- To alter how the public perceives the work, whether it is a patchwork quilt, an animated film or a block of coral
- To expand the appreciation of contemporary art
- To change the notion of artistic work and competency as well as contributing to the current status of the artist
- To conceptualize exhibitions and oversee the mounting of the exhibition
- To generate and cultivate an audience
- To educate the public
- To create explanatory material such as wall texts and catalogues
- To arrange private views, sales and publicity of the exhibition
- To engage visitors to the exhibition in discussion of the work
- To present lectures on the work or Barbadian art in general
The Queen’s Park Gallery is unique among the galleries in Barbados in that we have a very wide constituency. There are exhibitions by Barbadian icons with an international reputation, emerging artists and artists exhibiting for the first time.
Queen’s Park has always been a popular meeting place in Bridgetown. The gallery hosts many small meetings of people in the various Arts, as the location is central and pleasant.
At the Gallery, we create a welcoming environment. Many of our visitors are repeat clients, who enjoy the art and educational experience.
Catalogues are important part of the Gallery’s contribution to Art in Barbados. Art lovers as well as CAPE, CSET and university scholars rely on these catalogues for information on art in Barbados. The Queen’s Park Gallery is the greatest repository of printed material, available for purchase on the Visual Arts in Barbados. The Foundation has received requests for copies of our catalogues from institutions such as the Tate Library in London to enhance their Caribbean Art section.