This special section focuses on the work of women whose artistic practices are grounded in a feminist ethos and engage multiple and nuanced meanings of the Caribbean and its diaspora across linguistic, geographic, material, and formal boundaries. Through diverse written and visual contributions, the section presents the Caribbean as a critical space that recognizes an existing foundation yet facilitates and expands conversations between artists and writers who have shaped and are shaping local and global art discourses using intertextual formal art practices. It aims to mark the archive of Caribbean art history through its focus on the remarkable contributions of women from the Dutch-, English-, Spanish-, French-, and Creole-speaking Caribbean to the making of this history as well as the ongoing cultivation of arts practice and discourses.

This special section focuses on the works of women whose artistic practices are grounded in a feminist ethos and engage multiple and nuanced meanings of the Caribbean and its diaspora across linguistic, geographic, material, and formal boundaries. Through diverse written and visual contributions, it presents the Caribbean as a critical space that recognizes an existing foundation yet facilitates and expands conversations between artists and writers who have shaped and are shaping local and global art discourses using intertextual formal art practices. The section contributes to the recent flourishing of critical writing, art exhibitions, conferences, colloquia, informal and formal artist-led initiatives, and online platforms that are being deployed across the Caribbean as exhibition venue, critical interface, and medium. It conceives of the Caribbean as a space created within and through local and global formations.

It may seem retardataire to not only devote an entire section to the art of Caribbean women but also think through the concepts of feminism and art in relation to this work.1 Is feminism an applicable lens? And if so, surely feminist art practices and histories have done their work. Surely we have entered a new gender-neutral phase of criticality in relation to contemporary art. Surely we no longer need the lens of gender to productively analyze contemporary practices. While we work toward that perfect moment, recent events in the Caribbean, such as the defeat of the gender-equality referendum in The Bahamas, map a reality that suggests that in at least one aspect of the transnational feminist movement, gender equality and social justice remain elusive, to the detriment of us all. The art world is not immune to this reality.2

Even so, this special section seeks not to engage feminist artistic practice as politics (though it is inherently political) but to directly consider its power and potentialities as aesthetic and conceptual provocateur. By feminism and feminist, we refer to a history of revolution and struggle and a philosophy of being that recognizes what Chicana feminist Cherríe Moraga calls “theory in the flesh,” one that values the literal space women occupy in critical artistic practices and lived realities.3 The artists assembled in this special section materialize particular critical frameworks by mobilizing symbolic and material forms. It is in this vein that Moraga's “theory in the flesh” brings efficacy to the ways the figure of the body, both the epidermal and corporeal, is central to an artist's work, exploring how the body can become a marker within a set of critical frameworks, which at its core yields emancipatory spaces. This special section's point of departure is in conversation with the work of the late Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta, whose body and bodily fluid earth sculptures resonated with dynamism and vitality, and also the work of Haitian artist Luce Turnier, whose abstract portraits of market women and men presented the complex and complicated nature/politics of class, color, and representation in Haiti during the 1950s and 1960s. This section presents new possibilities, both in the written and visual forms, of seeing and comprehending works in which the artist's personal or presumed intentions may not have been read as “feminist” at the time of their creation but nevertheless marked a feminist ethos within formal aesthetics practices. This can be seen in Edna Manley's pathos-driven Beadseller (1922) and more determined Market Women (1936), which are often overlooked for the more nationalistic Negro Aroused (1935). However, it is through her astute observation of the women in the Mandeville marketplace that Negro Aroused took shape in her creative imagination.4

To that end, an essential element of the project seeks to expand on what is valued as an archive of the present. What is shared by the coeditors is a desire to stimulate a dialogue that is not simply about including a woman's perspective but about visualizing an aesthetic language that has at its heart a reformulated cultural and political landscape. We did not conceive of this section as a corrective or to be the first or last word on contemporaneity in Caribbean art. Rather, it is the opening of a conversation that will critically attend to the work of Caribbean women artists working today, by assessing their art in relation to histories of artistic production and making plain their continuing role in the overall expansion of the visual arts—as artists, collectors, writers, leaders of educational and arts institutions, founders of artist collectives, editors, and curators. In each of these generative spheres, women have assumed major leadership roles in the Caribbean. As artists with material, formal, aesthetic, and performance practices that possess nuanced and extensive conceptual depth; as the directors and chief curators of most national art and arts education institutions in the Caribbean; as founders and operators of innovative artist-run spaces; as cultivators and guardians of some of the largest art collections in the region; and as leading art scholars in the growing and significant field of Caribbean art, women have shaped and continue to fully participate in and play leading roles in cultivating contemporary Caribbean artistic, critical, and curatorial spaces, practices, and discourses inside and outside the geographical limits of the region. Women's artistic vision and leadership have shaped the ways modernism in the Caribbean has been imagined and actualized. With this in mind, it is important to consider the ways women as cultural producers, cultural provocateurs, and cultural agents contribute to the development of art in the region as practicing artists and through the creation of public and private support systems.

Early-twentieth-century art in the Spanish, English, and Dutch Caribbean generally emerged from colonial foundations with “pioneer” women artists, often upper middle class and white, working with landscape, portrait, and genre painting. In the British, Dutch, and the French Caribbean, not including Haiti, these artists were either foreigners settling in the region, such as Nola Hatterman in Suriname, Austrian watercolorist Fela de Kuh in Barbados, and American landscape painter Helen Countess Czemin in the Turks and Caicos Islands; or natives returning to the islands after studying in art institutions in the mother country—in Haiti, Luce Turnier; in Barbados, Kathleen Hawkins, Golde White, and Aileen Hamilton; in Cuba, Amelia Peláez del Casal and Rita Longo; in Trinidad, Sybil Atteck; in Puerto Rico, Myrna Báez; in the Dominican Republic, Clara Ledesma, Celeste Woss y Gil, and Ada Balcacer; in St. Vincent, Ruby Nanton; and in Jamaica, Edna Manley, Gloria Escoffrey, and Rhoda Jackson, among many others. Artists in their own right, these women often founded and taught art in schools and encouraged interest in local subject matter. Indigenous landscapes and life became subjects of interest, although still observed from a comparatively colonial perspective, except in the case of Peláez del Casal and Longo in Cuba, whose work was greatly impacted by European modernism.

By mid-century, as these artists continued to produce work, oftentimes within paralyzing and disempowering institutional structures, there was a maturing of artistic consciousness as a new generation of women began to pursue art through a multiplicity of media and styles. This period was dominated by political change in many of the French-, English-, and Spanish-speaking islands as they embraced or pushed against nationalist consciousnesses leading up to independence and departmentalization or continued territorialization in the 1960s and 1970s. In this extended phase, women played an important role in establishing what these social and political changes might mean in the arts, cultivating a nascent Caribbean aesthetic that extended themes that simultaneously engaged representations of local people, proto-feminist imagery, and European modernism. One sees this consciousness expressed in various ways in the work of a range of artists such as Patricia Bishop (Trinidad), Hope Brooks (Jamaica), Stephanie Correia (Guyana), Bernadette Persaud (Guyana), and Clara Morera (Cuba), but also with self-taught artists in Haiti such as Louisiane Saint-Fleurant, whose work inspired the Saint-Soleil school. Morera's work emerged during the postrevolution moment at the time when visualizing the African and Caribbean influence in Cuban art and culture and its Afro-religious foundation were central to the building of a national identity embedded in cultural pride. Equally, Saint-Soleil, guided by Saint-Fleurant, impressed upon its artists the symbiotic relationship between religion and nationalism. Saint-Fleurant's oeuvre includes organic, bold, and curvaceous drawings and paintings that drew a committed following.

The 1980s and 1990s saw the emergence of numerous artists born in the 1950s and 1960s. They had been trained at local art schools (Cuba), had returned to the region following postsecondary art education overseas, or had chosen to remain abroad after receiving their education, creating work expressive of transnational dialogues with the region. Recognizing the lack of a support system for the arts in the Caribbean, there was a simultaneous drive toward establishing or preserving both public and private national art institutions. Women often spearheaded these initiatives. In Haiti, Francine Murat served as director of the Centre d'art for more than forty years; in Jamaica, Edna Manley, who had started the Jamaica School of Art in 1975 (later the Edna Manley School of Art), now founded the National Gallery of Jamaica (1986). This exceptional level of female leadership in the English-speaking Caribbean could be seen across the region. In Barbados, the Barbados Community College's Division of Fine Arts was formed under Joyce Daniel's directorship, and the Art Collection Foundation, a private organization, was started in 1985 to collect art for the nation under the chairmanship of artists Norma Talma and Alison Chapman-Andrews. The Barbados Gallery of Art, which emerged from this initiative, was subsequently replaced in 1999 by a government-appointed National Art Gallery Committee, headed by the director of the Barbados Museum, Alissandra Cummins. In Cuba, art historian Yolanda Wood founded the Caribbean Art History Program at the University of Havana (1985), became deputy vice-chancellor of Instituto Superior de Arte de Cuba, and emerged as a major regional curator, along with Marianne de Tolentino, principal consultant and strategist for the Santo Domingo Biennial.

Similarly, Sara Hermann, at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Santo Domingo (where she became the director in 2000); Haydee Venegas, curator and art history professor at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas of Puerto Rico; and the Martinican curator Dominique Brébion, all assumed importance as regional curators in this period. They were joined by other trained art historians, writers, and curators such as the late Jamaica-based Petrine Archer Straw; Veerle Poupeye, a former curator and the current director of the National Gallery of Jamaica; Jennifer Smit (Curaçao); Allison Thompson (Barbados); and Elfrieda Bissember, who became the director of Castellani House, Guyana National Gallery, in 1996. These women worked to build institutions and expand the archive by drafting art histories of their respective nations and stimulating broader conversations with artists in the Caribbean through their writings, public programs, and curatorial initiatives.

The 1990s also saw a thrust toward regional integration. Carib Art, an exhibition of contemporary Caribbean art organized by Ruby Eckmeyer in Curacao (1991), initiated the sharing of artistic expression from all parts of the region. A conference and accompanying exhibition catalogue documented art from the Dutch-, English-, French-, and Spanish-speaking islands. This key meeting of art professionals included (mostly female) curators, art critics, and art historians, some of whom subsequently founded the International Association of Art Critics—Southern Caribbean chapter (AICA-SC) in 1997. The AICA-SC inaugural conference, “Caribbean Art Criticism: Fashioning a Language, Forming a Dialogue,” was held in Barbados in 1998. Here, Veerle Poupeye's survey Caribbean Art (1998) published by Thames and Hudson became a springboard for discussion, as did the exhibition Lips, Sticks, and Marks, held in conjunction with the conference at the Art Foundry. This was perhaps the first consciously feminist regional exhibition and featured the work of seven women artists—Annalee Davis (Barbados), Joscelyn Gardner (Barbados), Susie Dayal (Trinidad), Irénée Shaw (Trinidad), Roberta Stoddart (Jamaica), Alida Martinez (Aruba), and Osaira Muyale (Aruba). The exhibition sparked controversy over its focus on installation art as well as questions around who had the right to make “Caribbean” art. Race and class also played major roles in the reception of this exhibition; some regional critics branded the artists as “white” and privileged and took exception to the all-female lineup of artists. Annie Paul, who wrote an essay for the exhibition catalogue, opined that these artists were not claiming to “represent Caribbeanness, but to represent facets of it emerging from their own highly personal examinations of their inner and outer realities.”5 Despite its controversy, Lips, Sticks, and Marks generated a dialogue that sought to expand and challenge the definition of feminist art produced in the Caribbean.

Around the same time, Virginia Pérez-Ratton began to make valuable contributions to the development of contemporary art in the region. In 1994, she became the first director of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Costa Rica, from where she organized numerous exhibitions, including the important MESóTICAS series. In 1998 she assumed the regional curatorship for Central America and the Caribbean for the 24th São Paulo Biennial and subsequently founded the independent, nonprofit organization TEOR/éTica, which organized Temas Centrales (2000), the first regional symposium on artistic practices and contemporary curatorial possibilities, bringing together artists, curators, and researchers of the region and marking a milestone in terms of networking and research links in Central America and the Caribbean.

Coinciding with this regional drive in the 1990s was growing external interest in the Caribbean, owing partly to the 1992 quincentennial of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, which directed global attention to this part of the world. This led to large-scale exhibitions of Caribbean art in Europe and the United States in which several female artists were represented: for example, Karibische Kunst Heute in Kassel, Germany (1994); Caribbean Visions in Miami (1995); and Caribe Insular: Exclusión, fragmentación y paraíso in Madrid (1998).6 Women artists also began participating more widely in international biennials, both the established ones, such as the São Paulo Biennial, and the newer ones in the region, such as those in Havana and Santo Domingo. These exhibitions offered larger purpose-built exhibition spaces not found in many of the islands, thus allowing for more ambitious and multidimensional projects. At the 26th São Paulo Biennial (1996), Joscelyn Gardner exhibited the first large-scale multimedia installation, with multiple moving projections and sound, to come out of the Southern Caribbean. Meanwhile, female artists of Caribbean descent were also gaining recognition in Europe and the United States, with Sonia Boyce (of Barbadian parentage) and Joy Gregory (of Jamaican parentage) making their marks in London and New York with the exhibition Transforming the Crown (1997); Janine Antoni (The Bahamas), Magdalena Campos Pons (Cuba), and Belkis Ayón (Cuba) exhibiting at the Venice Biennale; and Renée Cox (Jamaica) becoming well established in New York.

In the 1990s, national art galleries were established in Bermuda (1992) and the Cayman Islands (1996). Both are now led by women (Lisa Howie and Natalie Coleman Urquhart, respectively). And in 1999, the Haitian artist Barbara Prézeau-Stephenson founded the AfricAméricA Foundation (now based in Haiti and France). These efforts were supported by the fledgling Museums Association of the Caribbean (established in 1989) and arts-focused journals such as Art-Theme (founded by Dominique Brébion in Martinique) and Artes (established by Yolanda Wood in Cuba).

Other pivotal artistic initiatives led by women in the region during the 1990s include the Xaymaca Residency, organized by Laura Hamilton in 1994–95, which later provided a model for Caribbean Contemporary Arts (CCA), established in 1997 by Charlotte Elias in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to support contemporary art practice in Trinidad in conversation with international practices through hosting community and international workshops and residency programs. In its twenty-thousand-square-foot building, which opened in 2000, CCA housed exhibition spaces; artist studios; educational, lecture, and conference facilities; and a library and archive. An international residency program, begun in collaboration with Triangle Network, was developed through grants from major international art foundations.7 In 1999, and again in 2001, CCA hosted the Big River International Artists' Workshop at Grande Rivière on the north coast of Trinidad. More than twenty artists, mostly from the wider Caribbean region, were invited to each residency, and the experimental work produced there was publicly exhibited.

Since 2000, many initiatives started in the 1990s have come to fruition. In 2003, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas opened under the direction of former artist and art historian Erica Moiah James. In Trinidad, CCA expanded its reach, bringing several international artists and curators to the island and hosting several important meetings, including the Caribbean Crossroads of the World preliminary meeting. Meanwhile in Barbados, the National Art Gallery Committee, in collaboration with the International Curators Forum, held a series of Black Diaspora Visual Art Symposia, which brought international artists such as Kara Walker and Alfredo Jaar to participate in discussions. AICA-SC also gained wider visibility by mounting regional symposia (from Miami to Martinique) supported by exhibitions. The impact of this growing cohort of women-led initiatives on discourses in the Caribbean and beyond became clear when historian and museum director Alissandra Cummins (Barbados) became the first female president of the International Council of Museums in 2004.

The trend for Caribbean art exhibitions in international spaces also continued with Infinite Island, curated by Tumelo Mosaka (New York; 2007–08); Kreyol Factory and Latitudes, curated by Régine Cuzin (France; 2009); Rockstone and Bootheel, curated by Kristina Newman-Scott and Yona Backer (Hartford, Conn.; 2010); Global Caribbean, curated by Edouard Duval-Carrié (United States, France, Puerto Rico, Martinique; 2009–12); Who More Sci-fi Than Us?, curated by Nancy Hoffman (Netherlands; 2012); and Caribbean Crossroads, curated by Elvis Fuentes (United States; 2013, 2015). In most of these exhibitions, the work of women artists was well represented. A highlight was Tatiana Flores's curated exhibition Disillusions: Gendered Visions of the Caribbean (2011) in Washington, DC, which brought together the work of hispanophone and anglophone Caribbean women artists for critical engagement. Beyond simply gathering women artists into one exhibition, Flores's aim for Disillusions was to exhibit artwork that “shatters illusion” and “provides a model of resistance against master narratives, social conventions, gendered prescriptions, and other traditional forms of representation.”8

In recent years, the Caribbean has become a site for the remarkable rise of locally organized artist initiatives developed to better respond to and meet the needs of the expanding art community. Several of these were founded by women and include NLS (Deborah Anzinger) in Jamaica; Groundation Grenada (Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe); the Fresh Milk Art Platform (Annalee Davis) and Projects and Space (Sheena Rose) in Barbados; L'Artocarpe in Guadeloupe; Studio O (Osaira Muyale) and the regional residency program Caribbean Linked (Holly Bynoe and Annalee Davis) in Aruba; Beta-Local, Casa de Cultura Ruth Hernández Torres, El Cuadrado Gris, and Área in Puerto Rico; Quintapata (Raquel Paiewonsky and Belkis Ramírez) in the Dominican Republic; and a revived Centre d'Art in Haiti, among others. These spaces have become extremely important catalysts in their communities, addressing conditions of isolation that Caribbean-based artists often experience. Working independently of, but in collaboration with, more formal national galleries and museums, these artist-led initiatives create dialogue, foster understanding of contemporary practices, build local audiences, support practitioners, and connect the region in substantial ways. They have become places of possibility and a part of a growing global Caribbean arts network linked regionally to newer women-led initiatives, such as Fondation Clément in Martinique; the Ghetto Biennial in Haiti, organized by Leah Gordon; the Biennale Internationale d'Art Contemporain / Martinique (BIAC), under the direction of Johanna Auguiac-Célénice; and the new global platform Tilting Axis, cofounded by Holly Bynoe and Annalee Davis to address issues of sustainability, connectivity, and critical engagement. They demonstrate what is possible at the informal level.

A tool that has had substantial impact on opening up the region's arts has been the Internet, now ubiquitous in the daily lives and work of women artists, activists, and organizers. While the region's archipelagic configuration makes intra-regional travel expensive and arduous, the Internet effectively facilitates significant connectivity. Online women-founded platforms—such as ARC (Bynoe and Nadia Huggins), Repeating Islands (Ivette Romero-Cesareo and Lisa Paravisini-Gebert), Anthurium (Sandra Pouchet Paquet), Caribbean Intransit Arts Journal (Marielle Barrow), the French-based site Uprising-Art (Claire Richer), and Fresh Milk's interactive virtual map of Caribbean Art Spaces (Annalee Davis), along with a plethora of other dynamic platforms—continually open the region to itself and function as crucial research tools for scholars globally.

The custom of curating shows and exhibiting works by Caribbean artists outside the region, common in the 1990s and practiced by institutions or curators flitting in and out of the region, has waned in recent years and is slowly being replaced by more careful engagements, methodical thinking, equitable relationships, and collaborations among institutions and organizations or with independent curators and artists. Many of these new arrangements are being driven by women in leadership positions in the Caribbean and are impacting relationships both inside and outside the geographic archipelago. Examples of this include the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) partnering with the National Gallery of Jamaica to show the work of Jamaican painter John Dunkley at PAMM for a 2017 exhibition; the 27th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Museums Association of the Caribbean, hosted in October 2016 by the National Art Gallery of the Cayman Islands, which has joined forces with the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture and the Association of African American Museums in Miami for the 2017 iteration; the Davidoff Art Initiative, which has partnered with residency programs in the United States, Switzerland, Germany, Colombia, and China, creating residency opportunities for Caribbean artists; again, PAMM's partnership with Res Artis, ARC, Fresh Milk, and the National Art Gallery of the Cayman Islands to grow Tilting Axis; Mondriaan Fonds and Stichting Doen working with Ateliers '89, ARC, and Fresh Milk on Caribbean Linked's regional residency program; and the British Council's recent focus on the arts in the Caribbean and the building of transatlantic links for filmmakers, artists and curators. These collaborative approaches offer an alternative to the imposition of a single curatorial lens or vision that previously dominated the exhibition of Caribbean art in global spaces. The initial results demonstrate the codevelopment of programs, initiatives, and projects within cultural ecosystems both inside and outside the region.

But what drives history in the present moment is the work of artists. The art of Caribbean women practicing today knows no formal boundaries. It breaks apart clear divisions in materiality and form and pushes back against linear lines of “Western”-style historicization. In addition, process and the production of history are not isolated to the role of artist and writer but are now interdependent. Artists also write, and curation is now regarded as an artistic process. This is clearly seen in various collaborations over the years with Trinidadian artist Christopher Cozier and in the work of Haitian artist Sasha Huber. Both artists write on art and use curation as an artistic process.9 At the same time, the work of art historians and cultural theorists such as Krista A. Thompson (The Bahamas/United States) and Nadia Ellis (Jamaica/United States) inspires and interfaces with the work of artists. Thompson's recent project with curator Clare Tancons (Guadeloupe/United States), En Mas (2015), and Ellis's recent work have both critically grappled with the art of Ebony G. Patterson (Jamaica). Patterson's process-driven art, along with the work of artists featured in this issue of Small Axe, are generating new discursive formations. Through their oeuvres, the creolization process, often described as intrinsic to Caribbean formation, becomes fully conceptualized within contemporary arts practices.

To address the depth of generativity briefly described above, we chose a method of engagement that would best translate this complexity in journal form. This section includes critical essays, written by established and emerging writers, curators, and art historians; and reflective essays by emerging artists on their work. It is followed by a portfolio of new work by women artists. By bringing together this collection of critical art writing and art projects, we are gesturing to the dynamism that exists currently in Caribbean art and specifically the work of women in this discourse.

This special section aims to mark the archive of Caribbean art history through its focus on the remarkable contributions of women from the Dutch-, English-, Spanish-, French-, and Creole-speaking Caribbean to the making of this history and the ongoing cultivation of arts practice and discourses. It is of course incomplete, focusing as it does disproportionately on the anglophone Caribbean. But as emphasized earlier, our goal in this project is not to be the final word on this rich and remarkable period. Rather, we hope to provide an emancipative mapping of the aesthetic work of Caribbean women and its histories. We offer this as an opportunity to continue a conversation that moves forward in consideration of the works and voices of women past and present, as they create new visual vocabularies and develop venues that promote the visibility of Caribbean art in global and local art communities.


Feminist art and art histories in an American context moved through several successive waves in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Here we can think about the work of Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, and Adrian Piper. Today feminism has waned as a critical approach bounded to the specificities of a movement as the work of women artists challenges dominant narratives of the art canon and attempts to make a place at the center of the contemporary art world. However, this does not mean that artists have ceased to assert a feminist platform for their work. Kara Walker's monumental sugar sculpture, A Subtlety, was a powerful example of that in 2014. In the Caribbean, many women artists, particularly Cuban artists coming of age in the wake of the Cuban Revolution, rejected what many see as a Western logocentrism in the feminist label but understood the ways the work might speak to an ethos of gender equality/gender justice. See Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard, Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s; History and Impact (New York: Harry Abrams, 1996); Cornelia Butler and Lisa Gabriel Mark, WACK! Art and the Feminist Movement (Boston: MIT Press, 2007); Helene Reckitt and Peggy Phelan, Art and Feminism (London: Phaidon, 2012); and Pedro Pérez Sarduy, Afro-Cuban Voices: On Race and Identity in Contemporary Cuba (Tallahassee: University Press of Florida, 2000).


In an article for ARTnews in June 2015, Maura Reilly observes, “The more closely one examines art-world statistics, the more glaringly obvious it becomes that, despite decades of postcolonial, feminist, anti-racist, and queer activism and theorizing, the majority continues to be defined as white, Euro-American, heterosexual, privileged, and, above all, male. Sexism is still so insidiously woven into the institutional fabric, language, and logic of the mainstream art world that it often goes undetected” (“Taking the Measure of Sexism: Facts, Figures, and Fixes,” 40). This inequality persists not only with artists but at the institutional level, where women directors are paid far less than their male counterparts. These representational asymmetries appear in the Caribbean art world in similar, though not always directly translatable or easily legible, ways. Though women lead many arts institutions, as the vote in The Bahamas indicated, sexism has been so regularized in the Caribbean that it is often protected as tradition. At the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, despite a history of female leadership no female artist has received a full retrospective or mid-career exhibition in its thirteen-year history. We argue that this does not reflect the will of the directors and curators but instead speaks to the complexities of delivering such shows locally. The majority of professional Bahamian artists necessarily work abroad, and the exhibition of their work requires levels of funding the gallery is currently unable to harness.


Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (San Francisco: Aunt Lute Press, 1981).


See David Boxer, Edna Manley: Sculpture (Kingston: National Gallery of Jamaica and Edna Manley Foundation, 1990); and David Boxer and Veerle Poupeye, Modern Jamaican Art (Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 1998).


Annie Paul, Meeting History with Art: “The Myriad of Myself,” in Lips, Sticks and Marks: Seven Women Artists from the Caribbean, exhibition catalogue (St. Philip, Barbados: Art Foundry, 1998). Paul was a member of the founding editorial collective of Small Axe (1996).


Yolanda Wood, “Revistas y trayectorias culturales en el Caribe,” Small Axe, no. 50 (July 2016): 85–91.


The Triangle Network, established in 1985, is an international network of small-scale arts organizations and projects that support and disseminate the work of emerging artists through artist-led workshops, residencies, exhibitions, and outreach events.


Tatiana Flores, ed., Disillusions: Gendered Visions of the Caribbean and Its Diasporas, online exhibition catalogue, 2011,, 6.


See Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions, cocurated by Christopher Cozier and Tatiana Flores, Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, DC, 2011; Sasha Huber and Maria Helena P. T. Machado, (T)Races of Louis Agassiz: Photography, Body, and Science, Yesterday and Today/Rastros e raças de Louis Agassiz: Fotografía, corpo e ciencia, ontem e hoje (São Paulo: Capacete, 2010); and Sasha Huber and Petri Saarikko, eds., Remedies (Huskurer) (Helsinki: Labyrinth, 2010).