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Diverse art helps us connect with visitors

Generating discussion: this sculpture by Kaws was unveiled at the Hamilton Princess last week (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dear Sir,

I am writing in response to Ms Williams’s letter “Debatable Art Choice at Hamilton Princess”.

It is common that contemporary artwork generates controversy and discussion; in fact, I think this kind of discussion is healthy.

I do not work for Hamilton Princess, but I have a pretty good idea what they are doing.

If you look around the Hamilton Princess, the choice of artwork is changing to reflect more global and contemporary appreciation. Bermuda tourism is seeking to build relationships with a younger tourist demographic in the hope they will continue to return to the island for years to come.

Artwork is a strong yet subtle way of communicating, “We get you and your generation”.

With the approaching America’s Cup, the Hamilton Princess is situating itself in a position to reflect relevance through outward-facing artistic appreciation.

I would also have preferred a piece by Graham Foster or Desmond Fountain, but I understand this sculpture is not for us locals.

Kaws is from New Jersey and his artwork is regularly featured in the New York City art scene.

Those who enjoyed the America’s Cup World Series on the Hudson River this month are likely to follow this event down to Bermuda as tourists.

When they recognise a “local” artist from their city on display here in Bermuda, this will evoke a feeling of familiarity and friendship with Bermuda.

The island wants to strengthen tourist bonds with New Yorkers and other East Coast tourists; recognisable iconography through public artwork is a strategic way of achieving this goal.

It is my belief that the tourists who are seeking to find Bermudian artwork will have no problem finding this through the Bermuda National Gallery, Bermuda Society of Art, Masterworks Museum of Bermuda, Bermuda Arts Centre and other such establishments.