What Can the Art World Do to Help Hurricane Victims in the Bahamas? Here’s How One Artist and Museum Are Providing Relief

Tavares Strachan is donating proceeds from his new exhibition, while the Pérez Art Museum Miami is collecting supplies.

Damaged houses and debris is seen on devastated Great Abaco Island on September 6, 2019, in the Bahamas. Photo: Jose Jimenez/Getty Images.

Hurricane Dorian has claimed at least 30 lives in the Bahamas, a number that is expected to rise dramatically as the hundreds of currently missing persons become accounted for. To help aid relief efforts,  artists and art organizations are coming together to raise money and supplies.

The Pérez Art Museum Miami is joining forces with its home city of Miami and international relief organization Food For The Poor, to collect supplies for Bahamians impacted the storm. 

“Our neighbors in the Bahamas were hit hard by Hurricane Dorian, and it is our duty as an institution at the crossroads of the Americas to help those affected by this devastation,” museum director Franklin Sirmans said in a statement. The museum “is dedicated to serving the community, and I am proud that the Miami area can come together to show our support for the Bahamas.”

Tavares Strachan. Photo: Brooke DiDonato.

Tavares Strachan. Photo: Brooke DiDonato.

Now through Sunday, September 8, the museum is accepting canned food items, hygiene kits, disposable diapers, and school supplies during regular business hours. The donated supplies will be sent to the Bahamas later this month. (The museum organized a similar campaign in 2016 for Caribbean residents affected by Hurricane Matthew.)

Meanwhile, Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan, who splits his time between New York and the island capital of Nassau, is also contributing to the cause. Yesterday, the artist announced a plan to donate proceeds from his current exhibition at SFA Advisory to World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that supplies meals to disaster victims, and Direct Relief, which provides medical resources.

“People are dying, so every penny at the moment counts,” Strachan told ARTnews, explaining that he was in Nassau for the majority of the storm. “The fate of these islands is dependent on support from outside”

Strachan’s show, “Smalls (from Hidden Histories series),” includes new sculptures, collages, and articles of clothing made by the Bahamas Air and Sea Exploration Center, a Nassau-based community organization founded by the artist. ARTnews reports that 10 percent of profits from the sculptures and collages and 20 percent of proceeds from the clothing will go toward hurricane relief.

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