On March 5th, Bliss Coffee House hosts their first art exhibition, featuring new work of artist and owner Leanne Russell.
The first of its kind in Abaco, the contemporary solo show will showcase 25 new pieces under the theme of “The 10,000 Things”.
In an attempt to catalyse shows of this kind in Abaco, the Coffee House, located in Royal Harbour Plaza, Marsh Harbour, will be converted into a contemporary art space for the duration of the show; scheduled to run from March 5th to April 2nd.
Growing up in Green Turtle Cay, Leanne was inspired by the beauty of the cays and began painting at the age of 8. Earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing and Finance from St. Mary’s University in 2002, she returned home to work in the hospitality industry and began painting again. She has since participated in multiple shows in Nassau and Kansas City, culminating in being a featured artist in the prestigious National Art Exhibition of The Bahamas, at The National Art Gallery in 2014. Her first curatorial experience came last year, co-curating a tribute show for master artist Chan Pratt in Nassau. She is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Curatorial Studies from New York University.
For her first solo exhibition Leanne has chosen to create a completely new body of work consisting of photographic triptychs incorporating the work of Alton Lowe and Colynn Reese, and realism paintings on canvas and upcyled antique shutters. The show will also feature collaborative work with Bahamian fashion and lifestyle photographer Scharad Lightbourne.
Dedicated to the memory of her grandmother, Eileen Russell, the show is named after a novel that the artist read in 2010. “It really resonated. At the time my grandmother was battling terminal cancer, and it provided me with a new perspective. It’s a little nostalgic and whimsical, but I feel like it captures her spirit and the impact that she had on my life and my art”, Leanne explains.
Leanne has remained committed to promoting fine art in Abaco, stating that it has been her dream to reproduce the feel of larger exhibitions she has participated in abroad back home for patrons to experience locally. “This represents three years of work for me. I have toyed with the idea for a long time, considered having my solo show in Nassau, but it never seemed right. When I became partner in the coffee house last year, I really began taking the idea seriously, knowing that this would be the perfect place and time to finally have my show- I couldn’t see myself not having this in Abaco.” Incorporating a live feed of the opening, she hopes to have an interactive show that will allow art lovers all over the world to enjoy the show in real time via the internet.
Summarizing what patrons can expect, the artist states, “It’s about connectivity, and how people’s lives become intrinsically linked- this is why I eventually chose the collaborators and the materials that you will see in the show as well as the idea of making it accessible to a larger audience through technology that is now available.”
The opening of the show begins at 7PM, on March 5th, and will feature live music from local talent, complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Ferry service will be available for persons travelling from Hope Town.