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Celebrating recent art graduates

UB hosts inaugural grad exhibition
  • ‘Untitled’ oil on canvas painting by Christopher Outten, 2017.

Published: Jun 24, 2017

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In this season, celebrating academic accomplishment and reward has sparked much hope and expectation for young Bahamians. Among these are the first graduates of the University of The Bahamas (UB), who celebrated a significant moment in the institution’s transition with its inaugural Spring Commencement on May 25th. As many of UB’s alumni plan to transition into their careers or continue their education, over the past six months art and art education graduates were preparing for their rite of passage into the professional art community. Their induction in the form of a graduate exhibition presented a very intimate collection of work that reflects on their experiences at UB.


UB’s Visual Arts Department hosted an opening reception for its ‘Grad Show 2017’ on Thursday, June 22nd at Hillside House from 6 - 8 p.m. The event celebrated the university’s historic milestone along with the journey and achievements of its first graduates including Schuylar Cheng, Kiana Christie, Moriah Lightbourn, Spurgeonique Morley, Christopher Outten and Nowé Harris-Smith.


Schuylar Cheng

Schuylar Cheng (AA, Art) has interests in painting and interactive design. His recent artwork is concerned with narratives, fairy tales and self-reflection. Cheng considers the unpredictable endings within fairy tales. In his acrylic painting “Breadcrumbs” he depicts an alternative reality based on the tale of Hansel and Gretel, who he reimagines as dark and deceptive characters. Cheng plans to continue his studies in Gaming Design at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands. Reflecting on his fondest memory at UB, he said “I valued the support and time spent with other art majors and UB students. In my final year, I spent most of my time in Ceramics and this is where many of my true friendships were made.”


Kiana Christie

Kiana Christie (AA, Art) has interests in digital and traditional illustration, particularly character development inspired by cartoon personalities. “My woodblock print ‘Jam‘ is inspired by cartoons, specifically those that would've come about in the early ’90s where cartoon animals were at their peak.” Christie intends to continue her studies in Graphic Design next spring. Reflecting on her most cherished memory at UB, Christie said “Sure, I was greatly annoyed when I had to come in on a Saturday to finish my ceramic work, but the extra time I got to spend with my classmates were wonderful and unforgettable times.”


Moriah Lightbourn

Moriah Lightbourn (AA, Art) is a multi-disciplinary artist who enjoys working in new and unfamiliar media and techniques. Her artwork often presents surreal compositions inspired by personal realities. In her self-portrait, Lightbourn portrays herself in contemplation, an empty gaze engulfed by the cosmic dreamlike halo. Lightbourn plans to continue her studies in Material Art & Design at Ontario College of Art and Design in 2018. Lightbourn remembers her dearest memory saying “Initially, enrolled as an architecture major, I wasn't content and felt like I belonged more in my Bahamian Art History class, taught by Keisha Oliver than any other class. The curatorial project for this class was a collaboration with art and art education majors. I was paired with Nowé Harris-Smith. The passion Nowé showed in and about her work intrigued me and was the beginning of my transition into realizing my future in the arts.”


Spurgeonique Morley

Spurgeonique Morley (BA, Art Education), although having a natural talent for all areas of fine art, is a ceramicist at heart. Morley exhibited a few pieces from her 2013 ceramic series “Jus’ Cuz She Phat” and a few later works expanded from the collection. This fall Morley plans to begin her teaching practice with the Ministry of Education and eventually pursue her graduate studies in Fine Art. She recalls her most cherished memory at UB, “In 2013, I participated in my first national art experience, “Transforming Spaces” and sold all six of the original pieces on the first day.”


Christopher Outten

Christopher Outten (AA, Art) is a visual artist whose work is rooted in expressionism. Concerned with the art of layering and gestural mark-making, his creative practice is less thematic and more interested in process. Outten’s “Untitled” oil painting on canvas that began as a figure drawing exists as an abstract narrative straddling the lines of purity and corruption. He is currently working and intends to continue his studies in Painting and Anthropology in 2018. Reflecting on his fondest memory at UB Outten said “I will miss those days where I could bond and grow with my peers. Late nights in the studio working on assignments together allowed us to experience each other creative process, priceless moments.”


Nowé Harris-Smith

Nowé Harris-Smith (BA, Art Education) is a mixed-media artist and photographer, who explores concepts of humanism and abstraction. “The Painted Experiments” is a project started in Harris-Smith’s junior year where she painted the faces and bodies of friends and former classmates to explore paint and its correlation to skin. Having investigated this process for more than a year, Harris-Smith has established an exceptional and progressive collection of work. She plans to teach in the public school system and eventually abroad before pursuing her graduate studies in Fine Art. Reflecting on her fondest memory at UB, Harris-Smith said “I cherished my final critique in Advanced Painting with Heino Schmid. This was my last art course as an art education major. It was here I truly realized this was what I was meant to do and I always appreciated the creativity and happiness Schmid fostered.”



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