Dear BNG Community,
Over the past five years I have had the honour of working for a tremendous organisation with an amazing group of people, from the Trustees and Staff to the volunteers, artists, members and donors. It has been a life-changing experience and, while I will miss the gallery and the team very much, I am also looking forward to the dynamic exhibitions and programmes to come.
As I step down from my role, the major focus over the past six months has been finding a new Executive Director to help push the Bermuda National Gallery forward into new and exciting territory. This is a role that requires the ability to switch gears and work across a broad range of needs daily, sometimes by the hour, and today I am thrilled to be able to announce that not only were we able to find a great candidate for the role, but that we were able to promote from within the organisation for this role as well as a newly created role of Director of Exhibitions.
I can safely say that these two Bermudians bring a wealth of experience in arts and culture, and a dedication to sharing our island stories with an honesty and fidelity for which BNG is known, and which our community deserves. On that note, it gives me great pleasure to welcome Jennifer Phillips as the Bermuda National Gallery’s Executive Director and Eve Godet Thomas as the newly appointed Director of Exhibitions.
With Jennifer’s deep understanding of Bermuda’s arts and culture, and her experience in all aspects of BNG operations, as well as her extensive event management background, she is perfectly placed to lead the Bermuda National Gallery forward and provide leadership direction and support across the wide range of the organisation’s needs.
Eve has, over the past three and a half years, been the driving force behind BNG’s exhibition development, while also providing the programming and outreach for the institution. Eve will now move into the newly created role of Director of Exhibitions and will oversee all aspects of the Bermuda National Gallery’s exhibition development, production and curatorial direction.
With these two amazing professionals in place, the Bermuda National Gallery has a great future ahead and I know that they will do justice to Bermuda’s arts and artists.
Peter Lapsley, MFA
Jennifer Philips, Executive Director
Having stepped down as Chair of the Bermuda Arts Council earlier this year, Jennifer Phillips moves into the role of Executive Director of the Bermuda National Gallery. As Chair of the Arts Council for five years, Jennifer oversaw the distribution of government funding to local artists and arts organisations, and organised their annual awards ceremony, and she brings with her a deep knowledge of the local art community.
Officer Administrator at the Bermuda National Gallery since 2015, she has a strong connection to BNG’s membership base. Holding a degree in International Business Administration, she has a keen understanding of the museum’s business needs, having overseen the BNG membership programme, the use of the gallery for private events, and the volunteer programme.
An experienced stage manager, Jennifer has a passion for both the visual and performing arts. She trained as a dancer with the Jackson School of Performing Arts, the National Dance Theatre of Bermuda and United Dance Productions, and performed internationally with the Bermuda Dance Company.
Jennifer was appointed to the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s Board of Directors in May 2022, with a focus on arts, culture and entertainment. She says: “Having been a member of the team at Bermuda National Gallery for eight years, I am delighted to transition into this leadership position as the new Executive Director.
“During Peter’s tenure, BNG has consistently presented a wide array of engaging exhibitions and programming, and I look forward to continuing the Gallery’s positive trajectory, further solidifying the important role this museum plays in our community.”
Eve Godet Thomas, Director of Exhibitions
Bermudian Eve Godet Thomas returned to the island five years ago. Trained at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design and University College London, she brings with her a wealth of international communications experience, including six years as Fashion Director of The Outnet, a division of the Net-A-Porter Group, and a further six as a journalist and stylist on the fashion desk of The Times Newspaper.
Eve joined the Bermuda National Gallery in 2019 as Director of Programming and Engagement, in which capacity she has led the gallery’s communications and events programming. Her involvement in BNG’s exhibitions has grown extensively over the past few years and she curated three of the exhibitions currently on display: Simplicity of Form: Unfolding Abstraction, A Personal Perspective: Photographs by Richard Saunders and The Ocean They Inhabit.
Passionate about the arts and the importance of art education, in January of this year Eve joined the Board of Trustees of Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation. She says: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Peter Lapsley and our designer, Linda Weinraub of design studio Fluent, on expanding the scope of BNG exhibitions.
“Whilst I am incredibly sad to be saying goodbye to Peter, I look forward to an exciting roster of Fall exhibitions coming up, beginning with Threads Unravelling – an exhibition of new textile works by Gherdai Hassell, which opens in the BNG Project Space at the end of September. Gherdai’s first solo exhibition, held at BNG in 2021, was the first that Peter and I co-curated together and so it seems rather fitting that this should be next.
“This is followed in October by Bermuda Wonderland, an exhibition by Bermuda’s best-selling children’s author Elizabeth Mulderig, which reinterprets Bermuda’s nine parishes through the lens of Alice in Wonderland. We are working with a technology company on the use of A.R. to bring the paintings to life and it promises to be an engaging experience for the whole family.”
A Note From The Chairman
Dear BNG Community,
As has been previously announced, Peter Lapsley will be giving up the post of Executive Director of the Bermuda National Gallery with effect from the end of July 2023.
On behalf of the Trustees of the Bermuda Fine Art Trust (BNG), I wish to applaud in superlatives Peter’s stewardship over these past five years – punctuated by the challenges of the pandemic which served to motivate him and his team to respond in a manner that kept us connected not only to our traditional base of support but also, through technology, migrated our programming to a whole new customer base.
The Trustees are very proud of where the BNG is today and its vision for the future. We are particularly grateful to Peter for his guidance and steadfast commitment to ensuring that the transition to a new leadership team was as smooth as any such transition could possibly be.
We extend our very best wishes to Peter as he embraces a new life in Norway with his family.
Gary Phillips, OBE, JP