Loss of a cultural icon
National cultural icon Bill Grace has died after a long battle with cancer.
Grace, who has been living in Israel with his wife for about five years, passed away quietly in his sleep early Friday morning, close friend Senator Professor Emeritus Henry Fraser, a historian said.
Grace was known for his work with music, painting, sculpting, poetry and ceramics, and once taught sculpting and drawing at the Barbados Community College.
“Bill has been described by members of the art community of Barbados as a national treasure and a cultural icon, with a gentle spirit and a blazing passion for art and creativity. His love for Barbados knew no bounds.. He was a Renaissance man, with many gifts and an overwhelming love for nature, beauty and people. Everyone was innocent until proven otherwise and he had an almost saintly love for people, especially those in need and those with a spirit of creativity,” Professor Fraser tells Barbados TODAY.
“He was multi-talented as an artist – formally trained as a studio potter, but working with great originality and success as a sculptor and
painter. In recent years he was known for his mandalas and coral stone sculptures, which represented a philosophical and meditative interpretation of life, peace and harmony.
“He has held many exhibitions of his work – one man and group shows, in Barbados, most recently at the Frangipani Gallery and at Holders House, in Israel and in group shows in North America. He taught for some years at the Barbados Community College, and was twice visiting artist at Skidmore College in New York. His wife, Shuah is from Israel, and they have lived in Israel for the past few years,” the historian said.
The art community is discussing a memorial event and a posthumous, celebratory show of Grace’s work.