On Abaco, a picturesque and remote Caribbean island sits a small white sand enclave known as Little Harbour. This quiet and picturesque cay is a haven for eccentrics and art enthusiasts who prize the bohemian lifestyle. At the heart of this community sits the remarkable Johnston Art Foundry: the only art foundry within the 700 stunning islands of The Bahamas. Owner and artist Pete Johnston and gallery director Richard Appaldo wait to welcome you to their slice of paradise and proudly display their signature bronze casting process. While Little Harbour may be an unexpected place to find a gallery preserving a 5000-year-old sculpting method, the story behind the Johnston Art Foundry is almost as arresting as the sculptures themselves!
Canadian art professor Randolph Johnston and his eccentric family sailed to Abaco Island in the 1950s and began their Bahamian adventure. Choosing a cave by the beach as their new home, the Johnston family established a small art community for like-minded vagabonds. They named it Little Harbour. This refuge for creatives became the backdrop for the studio of their dreams and the Johnstons invited resident artists to take part. Today, Little Harbour has about 50 homes, a small selection of sailing clubs and Pete’s Pub, an open-air eatery also erected by the Johnston’s.
Pete Johnston adopted his father’s technical and meticulous sculpting method and creates animal and human figures in a signature glistening bronze style. The collaborative 12-step process is called the “Lost Wax” method. The masterfully detailed sculptures have received international acclaim and a piece, titled St Peter: Fisher of Men even sits in the Vatican Museum in Rome.
Though tucked away in the northernmost region of The Bahamas, the awe-inspiring Johnston Foundry is easily accessible on the Island of Abaco. All you need is a vehicle and the willingness to venture off the beaten path. There are no 5-star resorts or luxury properties and the main road is comprised of fine, white sand. The simple life in Little Harbour is an alluring escape and a Johnston sculpture is the perfect way to bring home the magic of the island If you are interested in the foundry process or if serene life on Little Harbour sounds like the life for you, please visit The Johnston Art Foundry for more information.