Putting his personal touch on the mural entitled “Heal,” Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Philip Davis topped the list of many who stopped by the community project in Downtown Freeport, Grand Bahama when he visited on April 18, 2024.

The masterpiece, a creation of Bahamian artist Ben Ferguson, Jr. which got underway on April 2, is situated on the south wall of the Seventeen Centre and is part of an inter-island travelling exhibition (ITE) sponsored by The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.

The goal of the ITE Community Mural Project is to create murals that comment on the indomitable Bahamian spirit through the lens of climate crisis and speaks to healing, survival, humanity and rebirth.

Before initiating the piece, Ferguson, a Grand Bahama native, invited members of the community to join him in creating the artwork which depicts the journey of healing and the importance of destigmatizing mental health discussions post Hurricane Dorian and the Covid 19 pandemic.

Over the next two weeks, individuals from all walks of life, from bankers, to security officers, construction workers, lawyers, teachers, students, artisans, aspiring artisans and those who didn’t believe they had an artistic bone in their body, stopped by to lend a helping hand and put their stamp on the artwork.

Prime Minister Davis commended the artwork’s role in sparking conversations and reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting mental health initiatives.

The mural is also intended to spark discussions on the importance of preserving and sharing Bahamian history, culture and traditions with future generations as an invaluable educational tool.

Ferguson is looking forward to creating more indoor and outdoor murals to enhance spaces and captivate viewers.

He also hopes his Heal mural, which symbolizes resilience and the need for a supportive community in addressing mental health challenges, will serve as a catalyst for continued dialogue and action surrounding mental health on the island, encouraging individuals to seek help and support when needed while inspiring understanding, empathy and healing within the community.

By LEDEDRA MARCHE/Bahamas Information Services

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