Parked at the entrance of the Promenade Gardens was a set of buses from Berbice that had transported schoolchildren from that county to behold the beauty and splendour of the garden.
When you look at the face of things, all that we deem as art and culture resides in the capital of Georgetown. The Botanical and Promenade Gardens, National Art Gallery, Burrowes School of Art, National Museum, National Cultural Centre, National Park, Theatre Guild, Walter Roth Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Indian Arrival Monument, Non-Aligned Monument, Museum of African Heritage, National School of Dance, National Archives – all are in the county of Demerara.
The lack of these cultural institutions in the counties of Berbice and Essequibo limits the artistic talents of its people. I remember having the opportunity to see the Floriade, the world flower show described as the art of nature. It gave one a sense of understanding as to how Europe produced such outstanding artists. The magnificence and beauty of those flowers compelled one to put paint to canvas, even if you did not have the talent.
Gardens and art galleries will do the same for the citizens of these counties. It will inspire young minds and may yet produce a Da Vinci, Van Gogh or Picasso. New Amsterdam had a small but beautiful garden that was mowed down to build the High Court. Building galleries in the two counties will display the art that is stacked up at the National Art Gallery in such a manner that it elicited caustic comments from an artist who is having an exhibition there. The rotation of the art pieces will prolong their life as well as having them viewed as was intended.
It is time that the PPP build art galleries and gardens in Berbice and Essequibo, the model of PPP private-public partnership seems the way to go.