MAL FLANDERS of Tarpum Bay

Mal Flanders, who passed away around 2004, certainly left an artistic legacy in Eleuthera. A quote from "Bahamas Issues" about Mal follows:

"....Mal Flanders immigrated to the Bahamas during the early seventies when Eleuthera was a buzzing tourist paradise with more than eight major hotel properties in operation in South Eleuthera. Mr. Flanders and his wife, Kay, made Eleuthera their home for many years until their separation in the early eighties. Mal Flanders stayed on in Eleuthera in order to practice his unique treatment of Bahamian art and subject matter.

Mal Flanders was very well known for his unique brand of Bahamian Caricature artistry. Since its inception in the early seventies the Mal and Kay Flanders Art studio attracted thousands of locals and tourist visitors in to see his signature artwork.

Those people familiar with the artist returned and told friends and colleagues of his outstanding paintings. Mal was a quiet man who reserved his time for developing and creating his unique brand of art. Each piece of the artists work depicts some local or national Bahamian symbol or caricature.

During his early years on the island Mal Flanders brought to Eleuthera the artistry of films. Back then very few locals had televisions and depended on Mals weekend film shows in the local schoolhouse as a source of entertainment on the weekends. Many Tbaymen will remember Mals taste for films like the three stooges and other comedy films which he piled on in the local school room cinema collecting only a token twenty five cents from each customer for his sharing of films. Mal Flanders went on to become one of the villages most influential people as he plied his talent in the art studio next to his home, top of the hill Bernard hill, Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera. Many visitors got a chance to prize the talented artists work by purchasing or simply taking a tour of the artistís studio.

Some people may not know but Mal Flanders began in art at a News Paper in Miami Florida, possibly the Miami Herald, as a cartoon artist. Until his move to Eleuthera in the early seventies Mal was an important member of the news paper circuit in South Florida. He was a much sought after commodity in the art world both during and after his cartoon caricature days. Mal Flanders will be sadly missed by the community of Tarpum Bay. In addition to being on of the main attractions on the tourist circuit in Tarpum Bay with his art studio Mal Flanders became an international celebrity of sorts with his unique brand of Bahamian Art work. His natural inclination to be in the background working on his craft resulted in his not being much of a publicity seeker he rather chose to remain a low key, friendly artist with a wonderful smile and disposition I know everyone in Tarpum Bay will remember for a life time. It is not known exactly on a global scale at this moment what kind of impact Mal Flanders had on the art world in general but one thing we in Tarpum Bay all knew was that he was one of the most humble, friendly unassuming, talented, characters we have ever come across. Mal Flanders will be most sadly missed in Tarpum Bay. Who will replace such fantastic Artistry?