Belize is Art for Banana Bank's Carr

Carolyn Carr is a wife (husband John, a cowboy and former saddle bronc rider) mother (three grown daughters), grandmother (eight kids to spoil) animal caretaker (including tropical birds, monkeys, and a beautiful jaguar named Tika) and resort operator (the 4,000-acre Banana Bank Lodge & Jungle Equestrian Adventure Center, centrally located in Belize).

She’s also a well-known artist, with galleries onsite at Banana Bank, as well as the Galleria Restaurant and Gift Shop in Belmopan. Her work has been featured in a traveling exhibition sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as well as at the National Gallery in London.

The Kansas native focuses on images representative of people, culture, and wildlife of Central America, with emphasis on Belize. There’s a story behind virtually every painting in her gallery. For example, here’s how she describes the piece featuring two macaw (a tropical parrot species) she calls “Maya Flight”:

“On my first trip to Caracol, far in the distance I could hear their quarreling but could not catch even a glimpse of them. Evening brought on a frenzy of squawking that carried well in the humid air. The macaw, like the Maya that had lived here 2,000 years before were, for me, elusive. They, like the Maya could take flight from this place and not return. As artists tend to do, I took my liberties to paint what I longed to see, the birds in flight, colors ablur, free from the impact of civilization but somehow approachable. I wanted to paint their future as secure even though truthfully, they are highly endangered.”

The Carrs’ lodge has been a mainstay in Belize for nearly 30 years. Banana Bank is an historic site, a former frontier outpost that later became a working cattle ranch, and in the 1950’s and 60’s, became renowned for hosting horse races.