After learning of art workshops for talented, young Abaco artists on Hope Town taught by Walt Bartman, Albury’s Ferry decided to assist these young artists by sponsoring free ferry rides to and from the Cay for the duration of the classes.
Hummingbird Cottage Art Center, an old Loyalist home restored by Jim and Christy Young, was envisioned to be an educational centre for the arts in Abaco. Christy, who hails from Maryland, is herself an artist who is experienced in all mediums but recently discovered a passion for oils under the tutelage of Walt Bartman.
Seven years ago Christy decided to sponsor an Abaco student to attend Walt Bartman’s Outdoor 10 Day Art Workshop which is held in Hope Town annually. This year three students were sponsored, including one from Agape Christian School and, for the first time, two from Abaco Central High School – Eric Sands, Manisha Lewis and Hannah Bonamy.
In an effort to make the sponsorship more meaningful now, as well as for the future, Albury’s Ferry asked the students to produce a painting related to Albury’s Ferry which they would in turn display the painting along with the student’s information in the gift shop at the Crossing in Marsh Harbour.
Denis Knowles, General Manager of Albury’s Ferry said Marlee Mason, an artist who lives in Hope Town, came to him with the idea to assist by sponsoring the ferry transportation. Denis’ son, Darin Knowles, also Operations Manager of Albury’s Ferry, took the idea even further and said “why don’t we, when the students finish the workshop, have them prepare a painting of something regarding the ferries and we will post it in the snack bar.”
“Anytime we can be of help or assist like this we enjoy it,” he said.
Hannah Bonamy, student of Agape Christian School, said that Mr. Bartman taught her a lot. She said it was a great experience and that she was thankful to Ms. Mason and to all the sponsors for making it possible.
Brandin Pinder, student of St. Francis de Sales School, said he got a lot out of Mr. Bartman’s workshop and that the experience helped him learn new things about painting. He said he was thankful for the sponsors who helped him go to the workshop as well as his school teachers.
Marlee Mason is an artist who assists in the sponsorship of Abaco kids to the Outdoor Art Workshop. She said students are suggested by their art teachers for selection.
Ms. Mason also noted that Furniture Plus also sponsors the paint supplies for the students who participate, which is very helpful as there is not a good selection of materials available to Abaco’s talented youth.