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Harbour Island, The Bahamas
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Culture
May / 08 / 2020
"Local artists, get your best work ready."

Mixing and mingling among the bustling art community in Tampa, Florida, Lavarrick King senses a resurgence of the art community in the place he calls home. He’s eager to lead the way to his home on the island of Eleuthera, and the famous pink sands of Harbour Island.

Lavarrick was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas. He says he was always good at drawing, but it was only later in life that he discovered his affinity for fine arts. He explains, “I was thirty-three and didn’t know how to paint. I had natural talent but nothing else. I wanted to catch a break from the city life, so I decided to move to Eleuthera. I slowly got back into the arts. My friends encouraged me to go to Harbour Island and sell drawings and paintings. I saw there was a market for my work, and after ten years I grew into the artist I am today.”  

lavarrick.jpgAs a local Bahamian artist, Lavarrick sees the beauty in the island’s history, scenery, and people. He selects the most difficult scenes he can find to transfer onto canvas through his use of acrylics, or onto cold pressed paper through his use of watercolor. His works of fine art are realistic. He says, “I like to challenge myself. I don’t like to do what is easy. My first exhibition, I focused on the sites of Eleuthera using acrylics. And my second, I did local faces using watercolor.” 

Getting discovered on the island is a challenge. Lavarrick states, “the local art community is small. There are only about twenty fine artists on Eleuthera. With a population of around 2,500 people, that’s pretty small. But there are opportunities to grow talent and marketability.” He continues, “that’s why I am spending some time in Tampa. I am making connections here and understanding how to better market myself and others. I want to help the artists back home. There are many foreign artists having success in local galleries. But I want to ensure that local artists have the skills and opportunities they need to create great works of art and earn some money while doing it.”

Lavarrick remembers one such opportunity offered to him by the developers of Briland Club. While he was working as a bartender at Ocean Tally, in Eleuthera, he says,  “They came in and noticed the art on the walls. They asked if it was mine. They wanted to feature authentic, local Bahamian art in the Briland Club project. To start the collection, they purchased some of my artwork on the spot. Later, I did a commissioned art piece for them.”

And to my local artists, get your best work ready. It’s going to sell.

When asked how he thought the Briland Club project would affect other local artists, artisans, and entertainers, Lavarrick says, “I have seen the development plans. Briland Club is going to offer everyone on the island more chances for success. There’s going to be boutiques for artisans and jewelry. The musicians, no doubt, will be ready to make the party happen. And to my local artists, get your best work ready. It’s going to sell. I encourage everyone to get on board.”

painting.jpgLavarrick explains his entrepreneurial idea is to build a framework of local artists that can use Briland Club as a primary place to showcase their work. “When I can return from Tampa to The Bahamas, I want to create a culture where young artists can see how it’s done and grow into mature artists and sell their work. There can be a vibrant art community here. We just have to make it happen together.”

Lavarrick King’s artwork can be viewed at Facebook.com/MistaKing.