Chantal Bethel, Bahamian Artist and Lyndah Wells, Photographer

Chantal Bethel, Lyndah Wells, Laurie Tuchel

Chantal Bethel and Lyndah Wells are two of the three artists working on our new project HATTITUDES. (I’m the 3rd and yes, the one who will be recording the story of our fashionable island ladies and their love of hats). So, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce both of them to you, even though they are each very well-known and loved here on Grand Bahama.

Chantal Bethel, born in Haiti and educated in Belgium has lived in The Bahamas for over 30 years.  Having studied Business Administration in Belgium, she worked  in that field for almost two decades before her life changed direction when  she began her journey as an artist. As a painter, she trained with master artists  Jeannie Dobie in Belgium, Selina Trieff in the USA and  Antonius Roberts in The Bahamas, who continues as her mentor today. She went on to pursue further studies in painting and drawing at the Haliburton School of the Arts in Canada.  A 2006 encounter with fallen palm fronds while out taking a walk gave birth to a new vision:  transforming the crown shaft of the Royal Palm tree into a sculptural medium.  This  intuitive process  developed into her Royal Collection. Chantal’s paintings and sculptures can be found in many private and public collections in The Bahamas and abroad.  Most recently one of her works was selected  for the permanent collection in the Haitian Embassy in Washington D.C.

Lyndah Wells was born in Nigeria and raised in England before moving to Grand Bahama five years ago.  Always passionate about art, design and beauty, and with a background in graphic design, Lyndah was soon capturing the beauty of The Bahamas and its inhabitants through the lens of her camera.  She quickly developed a devoted following for her original concepts and beautifully shot photographs.  Her interest in high fashion and her innate sensitivity to subject matter, whether it be portraits or magazine fashion shoots, is giving her an increasingly well recognized name both here and abroad.  She has been featured in several international magazines and websites including: Nu Woman Magazine, Stylezine Magazine, Bahamas Investor, Keep the Faith Magazine and Bella Naija’s online blog.  Her love of photography radiates from her images.

And as for me, Laurie Tuchel, my degree in anthropology combined with a passion for exploring the people and culture of my adopted Bahamaland, has led me to delve further into the heritage of Grand Bahama. I moved to Grand Bahama 8 years ago after living in England and the United States for many years with my husband and family.  I am a Co-Founder of the Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation and believe completely in the importance of  exhibiting and preserving the island’s history…. and where little or no artifacts exist, I believe that the use of art to showcase that history can provide a refreshing new way to look at the concept of heritage.  I hope that as you read about our journey HATTITUDES,  you too will enjoy getting to know the  people of Grand Bahama as they share their stories… and hats… with us!


About The Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation

The Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation was founded several years ago to tell the story of our island's heritage by intertwining Art and History together. Through our Artist in Residence Program, we develop fresh ways to collect the oral stories of our islanders, which are recorded through multi-media projects. Last year, A QUESTION OF FAITH: THE JOURNEY OF FREETOWN told the story of the first freed slave settlement on Grand Bahama. Our Artist in Residence, Lauren Austin, a fiber artist now living in China, led our group of multi-generational participants in monthly workshops designing memory quilts. As part of the project, articles of historical/personal interest were brought in to be discussed and documented. The project ended in a well received public exhibition, where the original artwork, historical photographs and Bahamian music were displayed. We are now beginning our next project, HATTITUDES: Hats and the Bahamian Ladies who wear them. A collaborative art circle will be used to interview and photograph modern day ladies with a love of hat fashion. We will try to uncover the link between Colonial and African heritage in today's hat fashions and the influence on them in Bahamian culture.
This entry was posted in Art, Books, Exhibitions, Grand Bahama, Hats, History, Oral History, Paintings, Photography, Portraits, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Chantal Bethel, Bahamian Artist and Lyndah Wells, Photographer

  1. Karen Clarke says:

    Hi Laurie:

    Fascinating. I had know idea re this project. Yet another subject to talk about when I return.

    • Hi Karen,
      Thanks so much for your positive response. I’ll look forward to sharing our adventure with you.
      I’d love to link into the blog site if you think it would be appropriate. I’m not sure yet how to do that but I’m going to learn soon. Our angel, Paula Farington will be giving me a tutorial in the near future.

  2. Good luck with the new project! With a winning team like yours it can’t help but be great! Cheers!

  3. Jo Morasco says:


    I think Hattitudes is a marvelous idea, and a lot of fun. The Bahamian ladies wear their hats so beautifully, and with so much pride. Can not wait to see the exhibit.

  4. Years ago, I knew a man who believed that a woman’s personality changes completely the moment she puts on a hat. His theory was that the hatband cut off circulation to her brain and it made her ditzy or bossy or both. If he were alive, he would be looking for evidence of his theory at work in “Hattitudes” and he would say that the very title proves his point.

  5. Kay Hardy says:

    I adore hats and have quite a large collection.I wear them and feel instantly better . I have lots of comments from fellow church members about my hats

  6. Tara Doherty says:

    Laurie, I loved reading your blog!
    You are a beautiful inspiration in so many ways!
    All the best with your project – xo

  7. Hi I’m planning a trip to the Bahamas to reserach costume and fashion histroy in the Caribbean and I’d really like to get intouch with Laurie Tuchel or anyone from The Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation.
    Could someone please get intouch and let me know if anyone would be available to offer me assistance.

    Many Thanks

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