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A New Resort in the Bahamas Focuses on Art

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This December a $3.5 billion development called Baha Mar will open on 3,000 square feet of uninterrupted beachfront in Nassau, Bahamas. Situated on the Bahamian Riviera, it will be the largest single-phase resort project in the history of the Caribbean, featuring properties from Rosewood, Mondrian and Hyatt, as well as the Baha Mar Hotel & Casino, golf and tennis facilities and an ESPA spa.

The scope is impressive, but at the heart of the project is a decidedly local touch: Bahamian art is infused throughout the 1,000-acre resort—including guest rooms, meeting and leisure spaces, shops, galleries and the 40 dining options—giving guests a way to engage with and learn about their surrounds.

“I think, in a way, the art becomes cultural wayfinding,” says John Cox, Baha Mar’s new creative artistic director. “I think it’s important that the beacons you put out there have a cultural compass, that they direct you to more and encourage exploration instead of forgetfulness.”

The forthcoming Art Gallery at Baha Mar, which will be located in the Hyatt Convention Center, will showcase the largest collection of local art in the Bahamas, featuring new works by Bahamian artists and exhibits that will occasionally draw from the Dawn Davies Collection and the D’Aguilar Art Foundation (two Bahamas-based art institutions). To further expand the experience and foster the creative community, an artist-in-residence program will provide local and overseas artists the opportunity to create more focused and provocative works in branded studio spaces.

“The best way to describe Bahamian art is by describing what it isn’t,” says Cox. “It isn’t static, predictable or singular. Real Bahamian art is reflective, immediate and diverse and taps into the very essence of the complexity of our collective culture.” Opening December 2014; 242-677-9000; bahamar.com.

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