About the Exhibition
Life unveils its plans in the most unpredictable ways and moments. One of those moments was in January 2007 when, not a chapter, but a whole new book of my life began. I left my job in gloomy London and ventured to Miami seeking sunshine and a new life and I found myself sitting on a chair on the porch of the Betsy Ross Hotel in Miami Beach. With its elegant old-world architecture and decadent coziness, it became my safe haven in the magic city. Back then I didn’t even have a camera and the future was a total white canvas to fill. I had no idea at the time that the days would unfold in a way that would lead me to explore The Bahamas, a place that so inspired me at first sight with its natural beauty and amazing people, that it prompted me to buy my first camera, and during the following years, led me to dive heart-first into a career in photography.
Exhibiting my photography of The Bahamas at The Betsy, for me, is a great honor. The Betsy is a hotel that, thanks to its new owners, has become an art and cultural beacon for the whole of Miami, where incredible writers, poets, painters, musicians, photographers have showcased their work over the years.The Betsy Hotel has always been the place I wished to hold my first exhibition in Miami. After years of pursuing my dream, here I am, in the very same place I came in search of a new life, and as Lesley Goldwasser, owner of the hotel, mentioned to me, this show has a sense of “b’shert” about it—Yiddish for “meant to be”.
I am pleased to present a small selection of images, gathered over about 13 years of visits to The Bahamas—a neighboring island nation just across the Gulf stream with long established centuries-old founding ties with Miami. The Bahamas is an archipelago of over 700 island and cays where residents share much history, geography, and heritage with the community of South Florida. I hope you will enjoy this glimpse into the everyday grace of The Bahamas, or that it may reignite sparks of your own memories of visits to the islands, so close to South Florida in so many ways. The photos selected for this exhibition aim to portray the country and the true spirit of the Bahamian people. An intersection of joy, music, culture, religious beliefs, and glimpses of multi-generations are seen through common moments of life. To show a part of the beauty and joy I have found in The Bahamas, and to exhibit the photographs at one of my most favorite and beloved places in the world—The Betsy Hotel—is a dream come true.
In September 2018, the infamous Hurricane Dorian hit The Bahamas and a few of its northern islands were totally destroyed. Since then, it’s been a long way to recovery. Unfortunately, when the Corona virus spread, The Bahamas have suffered further and endured major economic disruption. Unemployment skyrocketed to a whopping 50% and vast parts of the population are in danger. A few local non-profit organizations are doing their best to help feed the Bahamian people. Among them is Lend a Hand Bahamas, to which The Betsy Hotel and myself would like to donate 10% of the proceeds coming from the sale of the exhibit photographs. Every little effort helps and we also encourage everyone to make a donation to their website: https://www.lendahandbahamas.org
For further information or just to see The Betsy Hotel and all their cultural programs, you can visit www.thebetsyhotel.com
– Alessandro Sarno
12"x 16" Metallic ultraHD Photo Print
Limited Edition of 10 Prints Signed and Framed.
At The Pineapple Festival
16"x 24" ultraHD Photo Print on Fuji Crystal DP
Edition of 5 Prints Signed and Framed.
8"x 12" ultraHD Photo Print on Fuji Crystal DP
Edition of 10 Prints Signed and Framed.