City Art Fest

Artist at Work

Dr Edwin M.E. Smith

Turning a private practice into a public one, Dr Edwin M.E. Smith created one of his signature duct tape works live at the City Art Fest. It was an important moment for the artist and educator, who is passionate about the importance of creating opportunities for the audience to witness, and interact with, artists as art is being made.

Having found inspiration in the work of Richard Saunders for many years, Dr Smith felt at home working within the Personal Perspective: Photographs by Richard Saunders exhibition. Detached from the main gallery, the Ondaatje Wing provided a sanctuary amidst the hustle and bustle of the day and allowed him to work quietly, whilst simultaneously sharing his process with visitors.

We caught up with Dr Smith to discuss what it was like to work in front of an audience and why everyone should know, and be able to speak readily about, the artists in their own community.

BNG: Thank you for taking part in the City Art Fest! It was wonderful to have so many artists involved, all doing different things across the two galleries in celebration of BNG and BSoA’s joint centenary. What was your experience of the event?

ES: It was great to be in the environment of individuals who wanted to show and talk about their art and practice and those who wanted to see and experience it all. This may be the beginning of something very special.

BNG: Your first duct tape work for BNG was Transience, exhibited in the 2020 Bermuda Biennial. Visitors were awed by the scale and detail of the work and were amazed to discover when they got up close that it was made entirely from duct tape. How did this piece first come about?

ES: I have had students create duct tape installations at Bermuda College but I had never considered it seriously for my own intentions as the primary medium before creating a work in Gibraltar. Within an exercise where the art residency participants created from supplies and materials that were provided – I selected the duct tape. Transience was originally to be a large painting. It was an aesthetic moment for me when, in my planning process, the message and the appropriate medium – duct tape – came together in a perfect fit. Tape is utilitarian, readily available, and associated with a temporary existence. A bonus for me is that traditionally it is available in my desired palette! I feel that I have not exploited this medium and so l want you to look out for more large installations coming from me.

BNG: I remember watching you work on Transience as we were installing the show, methodically piecing it together day after day. It was fascinating to watch. I’m glad that visitors to the Art Fest got to see your process in action. What was it like having people watch you at work?

ES: I enjoyed every minute. Some visitors watched for a bit and then left. Some got in very close and asked lots of questions. Some surprised me when I thought I was alone but then sensed their presence and learned that they had been nearby watching for a little while. I believe there was a lot of genuine interest. For me, if the interest is there, I am glad to share my thinking about the work, my concept, the journey, and art in general. I did not get as much done on the work as I had imagined but I recognise that the objective was more on the interaction.

BNG: Artmaking is often a private process, is that usually the case for you?

ES: You are absolutely correct in that artmaking, especially for visual artists, occurs more in the privacy of a studio. Undisturbed time to contemplate is crucial. Certainly, there are times when I prefer to work in isolation. I usually allow my work to be seen after a certain point or when it is fully complete. However, as an educator, I am used to giving demonstrations, or working alongside my students, to clarify a point or to give some guidance. Also, as there are some works that cannot be done in private due to factors such as scale or location, the artist must be flexible and confident enough to work in an open environment.

BNG: Has your experience of making art live before visitors to the gallery changed the way you approach art making in any way?

ES: This experience has not really changed the way I approach making art. I am meticulous and a planner. I consider my content, my composition, and the appropriate medium. As a teacher, I am very used to necessary prep work. My preparation for the Art Fest included ensuring that the audience would see the work not in its very early stages, but rather developed to a point at which they could visualise it as a completed work. To enable this, I put in a number of hours beforehand and tried to anticipate questions.

BNG: You chose to make your work in the Richard Saunders exhibition, why did you choose that space in particular?

ES: There is a benefit from working in a place slightly set apart from the highest traffic but more important for me was my proximity to Richard Saunders’ work. I was working in a safe, solemn environment. The space was an inspiring haven because Saunders’ life and work has provided inspiration for me for many years. It can be accurately said that Saunders was a monochromatic figurative artist who had an interest in humanity, and in particular the African diaspora. I knew that I could not pass on the opportunity. I anticipated the experience, and I was quite at home.

Newark Nap by Dr Edwin M.E. Smith, 2022. Duct tape on masonite.

BNG: Was Newark Nap a response to the Saunders exhibition in any way?

ES: Newark Nap could be regarded as a response to the Saunders exhibition – but it was not an overt intention. I would say that as I have long enjoyed Saunders’ interest and photography, he may have had an influence on much of what I do – more than on just this particular work.

BNG: What were your takeaways from the experience?

ES: Already, the public is regularly encouraged to visit museums and galleries to view the completed works and perspectives of the artists. I believe that the creation of more opportunities for the audience to witness and interact with artists, particularly as art is being made, is a great idea and may foster more interest and patronage of the arts. The public needs to know and be able to speak readily about the artists in their community.

City Art Fest

City Art Fest 2022

Celebrating 100 Years of Art

Happy City Art Fest 2022!

What a fantastic event City Art Fest turned out to be!

It was an amazing afternoon full of engaging artists, workshops, vendors and activities and we were blown away by the community turnout. We welcomed hundreds of families through the doors of City Hall & Arts Centre over the course of the afternoon and the building and galleries were alive with creativity. Whether it was scavengers hunts throughout the galleries, workshops for kids and adults, talks by artists sharing their processes, or impactful performances by our islands poet’s and performers, there was an engagement with art that was truly inspiring.

On behalf of the Bermuda National Gallery and the Bermuda Society of Art, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of you who helped make the City Art Fest 2022 a success. That includes all those who joined us on the day, the generosity of the artists and vendors who shared their skills, experiences artwork and products with the community, all of the volunteers many of whom started and ended their day helping out and to organizer Amy Murray for bringing the vision to life and managing all the details.

The event would not have been possible with the generous support of the Christian Humann Foundation and the City of Hamilton for working with us to make this a success through sponsorship as well as support from their team.


Peter Lapsley, Executive Director

Art Workshops

A number of free art workshops for all ages took place throughout the day across the two galleries. Louisa Bermingham led an interactive mixed media workshop, Dr Charles Zuill taught silverpoint drawing, Meredith Andrews led an ocean plastics photography workshop, Richard Sutton taught charcoal drawing, Corrina Rego ran a sea plastics art workshop, Seth de Roulet taught photography and Abi Box ended the day with a collage workshop. 

Meet the Artists

From live art by Dr Edwin Smith, the Bermuda Plein Air Group, Amanda Temple and Jacqueline Alma, to artist talks by Graham Foster, John Gardner and Charlie Godet Thomas, to poetry readings and live music by Joy T. Barnum, there was something to take in at every corner of the City Hall & Arts Centre. 

Family Fun

There was something for every member of your family at the City Art Fest, including a bouncy castle, free face painting, a 360 photobooth and prizes to be won in the City Hall & Arts Centre-wide scavenger hunt, as well as free bespoke cookies by Tuck Shop featuring artworks from the 2022 Bermuda Biennial.

Food and Drink

Alongside all the the activities, there were a host of vendors on site, from local artists and artisans to craft beer by Bermuda Craft Brewing, vegan food by Alkaline Triangle, cocktails and mocktails by Mixyz Bermuda and hot chocolate, popcorn and more from Jazzy Treats

Thank you

Thank you to all the BNG and BSoA volunteers, along with all the participating artists, vendors, performers and sponsors who made the City Art Fest 2022 possible!

Christian Humann Foundation | City of Hamilton 

Graham Foster | John Gardner | Tuck Shop | Burrows Lightbourn 

Patrina “Power Girl” O’Connor | Gorham’s Ltd | Stationery Store | BUEI | Bermuda Blueprinting | Mailboxes | Ad Hoc | Pembroke Paint

Corrina Rego | Richard Sutton | Bermuda Plein Air Group | Amanda Temple and Jacqueline Alma | Charles Zuill | Louisa Bermingham | Jahbarri Wilson | Edwin Smith | Meredith Andrews | Graham Foster | John Gardner | Charlie Godet Thomas | Seth de Roulet | Abi Box

Venetia Furbert | Catherine Hay | Jessica Lightbourne | Liana Nanang | Ajala Omodele | Andrea Olivia Ottley | Tiffany Paynter | Charlie Godet Thomas | Joy T Barnum | Yassine Chentouf 

Day Rosia | Indigo Song | Knotty Gal | Bermuda Garden Gnome | Longtail Furniture | Strange Bird | Umami Spice | Wild Herbs and Plants of Bermuda | Bermuda Bookstore | Rebecca Little Jewellery | J & B’s Wood Fired Pizza | Alkaline Triangle | Jazzy Treats | Bermuda Craft Brewing | MIXYZBDA | Interactive Entertainment | Rachel Antonition Face Painting | Bermuda Rentals | Flowers by GiMi | RYL Rentals  

City Art Fest

City Art Fest

December 11

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Bermuda National Gallery and the 70th anniversary of the Bermuda Society of Arts! Join us to celebrate this combined 100 years of art on Sunday, December 11, at the City Art Fest! 
Come for an afternoon of gallery tours, workshops and live performances spanning art, poetry and music. Free activities for the whole family and free admission. Curated selections of arts and craft vendors and local artisan food and drink stands promise to satisfy your tastebuds and offer unique gift options for the festive season.
 With the Bermuda National Gallery named Best Museum and the Bermuda Society of Arts named Best Gallery in the 2022 Best of Bermuda Awards, there is no better time to visit!


Ocean Plastics Photographic Workshop: Inspired by images created for her Flotsam & Jetsam exhibition, Biennial artist Meredith Andrews will be teaching children to create collages from ocean plastics that she has collected along Bermuda’s shoreline. The works will then be photographed. Ages 8-14 (or possibly younger if accompanied an adult).

Interactive Mixed Media Art Workshop: Biennial artist and art educator Louisa Bermingham will be hosting an interactive art experience. Participants will help build a multi-media surface using recycled card, fabrics and oil pastels that will then serve as a canvas for participants to leave their own mark. All ages.

Silverpoint Drawing Workshop: Biennial artist and BNG Founding Trustee Dr Charles Zuill will be presenting the ages old technique of metal point drawing, which was first used by medieval scribes before the invention of pencils. Ages 15 to adult

Charcoal Drawing Workshop: Artist and art educator Richard Sutton will be teaching a traditional approach to drawing with charcoal. Participants will focus on layering to create a realistic shaded effect. Ages 15 to adult.

Sea Plastics Art Workshop: Biennial artist and Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation teacher Corrina Rego will be teaching children to create uniquely beautiful works of art using sea plastics found on Bermuda’s beaches. Ages 5 and up (or possibly younger if accompanied by adult).

Collage Workshop: Biennial artist Abi Box will be leading a collage and drawing workshop exploring the possibilities of shapes and composition through cutting, sticking and tracing to create abstractions and unlock creativity. Ages 10 and up (or possibly younger if accompanied by an adult).

Photography Workshop: Biennial artist and surf photographer Seth de Roulet will be leading a workshop on shape, line and texture and the way we use light to take better photographs. Ages 15 to adult.


John Gardner on Rapid Sketching: Biennial artist and architect John Gardner will be discussing his rapid art technique. The artist, who taught Advanced Architecture at RISD, first developed the technique to break up the monotony of air travel during a period of regular commute between Bermuda and Rhode Island.

Charlie Godet Thomas on Art and Language: Biennial artist Charlie Godet Thomas will be talking about both the use and influence of language in his multi-media work. The artist, who lives in Mexico City, will discussing how he incorporates poetry into his work and what it means to work in a country where your first language isn’t the dominant language and the implications of this on his practice. 

Meet the Artist: Graham Foster: Seven-time Bermuda Biennial artist Graham Foster, best known today for his Hall of History mural, which covers 1,000 square feet of the Commissioner’s House at the National Museum of Bermuda in Dockyard, will be on site to discuss his unique approach to painting.


Photographic Portraits by Amanda Temple and Jacqueline Alma: Participants are invited to have their photograph taken by Amanda Temple in The Birdcage, a 2022 Biennial artwork by Jacqueline Alma which stands on the front lawn of City Hall & Art Centre. People can photographed alone or in a group and are encouraged to bring props to express their own versions of Past, Present and Futurein response to the theme of this year’s exhibition. Please register in advance with Jacqueline at

Live Art with Dr Edwin Smith: Artist and educator Dr Edwin M.E. Smith will be creating an artwork entirely out of duct tape, inspired by Transience, a striking installation produced for the 2020 Bermuda Biennial. Watch the piece come together over a 2-hour period.

Live Painting with the Bermuda Plein Air Group: The Bermuda Plein Air artists, who meet each week to paint “en plein air” at locations across the island, will be painting live. Watch them capture various architectural aspects of the City Hall & Arts Centre in just two hours.

2022 Bermuda Biennial | A Personal Perspective: Photographs by Richard Saunders | Masterpieces of the Renaissance: Selections from the National Collection | BSOA Winter Members Show

Tiffany Paynter | Andrea Ottley | Catherine Hay | Liana Nanang | Ajala Omodele | Yesha Townsend | Jessica Lightbourne | Venetia Furbert | Charlie Godet Thomas

360 Photo Booth | Bouncy Castle | Free Face Painting

Vegan food by Alkaline Triangle | Wood fired pizzas by J&B’s | Coffee by Cafécito | Craft beer by Bermuda Craft Brewing | Hand crafted cocktails and mocktails by Mixyz Bda | Hot chocolate, cotton candy and popcorn by Jazzy Treats

Original artworks by Louisa Bermingham and John Gardner | Limited-edition prints by Graham Foster and Meredith Andrews | Curated selection of arts and craft vendors.

Join us on December 11 to celebrate 100 years of art!
The City Art Fest takes place at City Hall & Arts Centre, Church Street, Hamilton, on Sunday, December 11, from 12pm to 5pm. Free admission. Free parking at City Hall carpark.

Call for Volunteers

If you are keen to support the Bermuda National Gallery and the Bermuda Society of Arts and are able to spare a couple of hours on Sunday, December 11 we’d love your help at the City Art Fest

There are lots of opportunities, including:

  • Decorating City Hall & Arts Centre
  • Welcome/Wayfinding
  • Assisting with workshop activities 
  • Supporting arts & craft vendors
  • Promoting the festival via marketing and flyer distribution
  • Festival documentation
  • Breakdown of the event

For further information please email

Thank you for your support!