An artist, a curator, a community builder who inspires others to discover the beauty of the region through Bahamian art.
Born in 1973, John Cox was raised in Nassau and attended the Rhode Island School of Design receiving a BFA in Illustration and MAT in art education.
He began his career at the College of The Bahamas as a faculty member in the art department, teaching both studio as well as theory courses for over a decade. His career path led him to The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas in 2003 working initially in museum education before he became the Chief Curator in 2013. Cox moved to Baha Mar as the Creative Arts Director in 2014 to oversee the resort’s curation, art programming, gallery spaces, exhibits, and events before recently being made Executive Director of Arts and Culture for the resort. He lives on the island with his wife and two children.
There’s an area called Charles Town, which is where the National Gallery is, and you can do a whole loop of art-driven sites. Start at the National Gallery, where the architecture of the gallery itself is striking, as it’s set within an old, protected house. Down the hill from that, just north, is the D’Aguilar Art Foundation (DAF), a small, traditional Bahamian house with collections and collaborations with local artists.
Finally, there’s Hillside House. A studio with a multi-purpose operation that includes a gallery, residences with artists, and even a food operation.
There are fantastic residential neighborhoods on the eastern end of the island, all with great architecture. It’s a lot of mid-century modern mixed with colonial. A good taxi driver can take you through it easily, but it’s more fun to rent a bike at Cycle Unlimited. They have a cycling club, and it’s easy to get one of the club members to take you for a ride around.
If you’re here for an extended amount of time, it’s lovely to have a boat take you around through the Exumas. On a fast boat, you can be there within an hour and then visit all of the cays. If you like diving or snorkeling, there’s also lots of relics too with shipwrecks you can explore, as well as planes that went down ages ago.
The Bahamas are known for their handprinted textiles and straw goods. There is Bahama Hand Prints, a Bahamian Company that’s stood the test of generations – then regenerated again. The garment bags and tablewares are great to take home. There are also generations of straw market vendors too, which is one of the traditions that’s survived. The best area to find them is at the Craft Cottage that’s connected to Doongalik Studios.
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