Phillip Thomas – The N-Train (2008)
On October 22, three Jamaican artists were awarded Musgrave Medals by the Institute of Jamaica: Petrona Morrison (Gold), Jasmine Thomas-Girvan (Silver) and Phillip Thomas (Bronze). The NGJ congratulates them and, as has become customary, is publishing the citations on its blog, starting with Phillip Thomas:
“The Institute of Jamaica recognizes Mr Phillip Thomas for merit in the field of Art.
Phillip Thomas currently teaches painting at the Edna Manley College’s School of Art, his alma mater, where he attained a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Painting and in the process earned the coveted Albert Huie Prize for painting. He also earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from the New York Academy of Art, where he was awarded a one year post graduate fellowship. He has recently completed a residency at The Prince’s Drawing School Dimplex Studio at Dumfries House in Scotland.
Phillip Thomas – An Upper Saint Andrew Concubine, triptych, mixed media on canvas, National Biennial 2012
Thomas has exhibited widely in Jamaica and internationally. He won the Public Award in the Mutual Gallery’s Under-40 Artist of the Year competition in 2008 and he is a regular exhibitor at the National Gallery of Jamaica, where he was awarded the prestigious Aaron Matalon Award for his submission to the 2008 Biennial. He is represented internationally by the Richard J. Demato Gallery in Sag Harbor, New York.
Ebony G. Patterson was awarded the Institute of Jamaica’s Bronze Musgrave medal in 2012 and, as has become customary, is honoured with a small tribute exhibition in the 2012 National Biennial. The following is the citation that was read as the Musgrave Award Ceremony at the Institute on October 10, 2012:
The Institute of Jamaica recognizes Miss Ebony G. Patterson for merit in the field of Art.
Ebony G. Patterson is one of the most compelling emerging talents in Jamaican art. After graduating from the Edna Manley College in 2004, she obtained her Masters in Fine Arts at the Washington University in St. Louis in 2006.
Ebony G. Patterson – Untitled III (Khani and Krew, From the Disciplez Series, 2009), mixed media on paper, Collection: Herman van Asbroeck
A regular exhibitor a the National Gallery since 2006, she had her greatest impact to date in the Young Talent V exhibition, with photographically derived, embellished tapestries and the decorated body of a car mounted on a plinth as a “sculpture.” Hers is a uniquely Caribbean aesthetic that melds elements of “high” and “low” art and draws from carnival costuming, Haitian sequined flags, and above all the “bling” of Jamaican Dancehall fashion. Always concerned with issues of gender, sexuality and the body, Patterson’s current work explores changing notions of masculinity in Jamaican society.
Bryan McFarlane – Masking Face, 1984, oil on canvas, 91 x 152.5 cm, Collection: NGJ (Gift of the Artist in honour of the NGJ’s 20th anniversary)
Bryan McFarlane was awarded the Institute of Jamaica’s Silver Musgrave medal in 2012 and, as has become customary, is honoured with a small tribute exhibition in the 2012 National Biennial. The following is the citation that was read as the Musgrave Award Ceremony at the Institute on October 10, 2012:
The Institute of Jamaica recognizes Professor Bryan McFarlane for outstanding merit in the field of Art.
Born in historic Moore Town, Portland, Bryan McFarlane’s artistic career began with his enrollment in the Jamaica School of Art, from where he graduated in 1976. He earned a Masters of Fine Art at the Massachusetts College of Art in 1983. Since then McFarlane has distinguished himself as a painter with an extensive local and international exhibition record and as a Professor of painting who has taught at prestigious tertiary institutions.
Bryan McFarlane – Untitled (From the Egg Series), 2001, oil on canvas,
127 x 106.7 cm, Collection: Mr & Mrs Wayne Gallimore
Omari S. Ra – Self-Portrait (2012)
Omari S. Ra was awarded the Institute of Jamaica’s Silver Musgrave medal in 2011 and, as has become customary, is honoured with a small tribute exhibition in the 2012 National Biennial. The following is the citation that was read as the Musgrave Award Ceremony at the Institute in 2011:
The Institute of Jamaica recognizes Omari Sediki Ra for outstanding merit in the field of Art.
Omari Sediki Ra (also known as “Afrikan”) was born in Kingston, 1960. He studied painting at the Jamaica School of Art (now the Edna Manley School of the Visual Arts) and graduated in 1983. More recently, he completed his Master of Fine Arts studies at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth. Omari Ra’s exhibition repertoire is quite extensive beginning with his 1983 graduation group exhibition at the Jamaica School of Art and the first Young Talent exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica in 1985. That same year, Ra held his first solo exhibition at the Suti Gallery in Berne, Switzerland. Ra continues to be a regular participant in major Jamaican exhibitions such as Curator’s Eye I and the National Biennial – where, for the latter, he was awarded the prestigious Aaron Matalon Award in 2004. Ra has continually maintained his international presence, exhibiting throughout Europe and the Americas. Important international exhibitions include the 1986 and 1994 Havana Biennale and the 1995 Johannesburg Biennale.
Omari S. Ra – Jesus Christ (1986), mixed media on canvas, Collection: NGJ (Guy McIntosh Donation)
The Jamaican Intuitive painter Gaston Tabois in 2010 received a Silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica, the NGJ’s parent organization. As has become customary for artists who have been awarded Musgrave medals, the 2010 National Biennial includes a special tribute exhibition of his work. Below is the citation for Gaston Tabois’ Silver Musgrave medal.
Gaston Tabois – Road Menders (1956), Collection: NGJ
The Institute of Jamaica recognizes Gaston Tabois for outstanding merit in the field of Art.
Born in Trout Hall, Clarendon in 1924, Tabois’ early years were spent on his parents small farm in the village of Rock River, a few miles from Chapelton, where as an only child he received the full attention of a doting mother who instilled in him a sense of order, discipline and of pride in completing every set task with a maximum of constructive effort. The late Gloria Escoffery, author of a memorable account of Tabois’ journey as an artist, adds other early lessons from his mother:
Today Tabois has his mother to thank not only for the moral
standards she set for him…, but also for the example of those nimble
fingers as they brought to life the intricate designs she embroidered
on the bridal gowns of Rock River belles (…) without realizing that
he was learning, Tabois came to understand the importance of
planning, of careful craftsmanship, of giving thought to the
materials, or ground on which one worked, the tools and medium
one selects for a particular job.
The Jamaican ceramicist Gene Pearson in 2010 received a Silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica, the NGJ’s parent organization. As has become customary for artists who have been awarded Musgrave medals, the 2010 National Biennial includes a special tribute exhibition of his work. Below is the citation for Gene Pearson’s Silver Musgrave medal.
Installation view - Gene Pearson exhibition in 2010 National Biennial
The Institute of Jamaica recognizes Gene Pearson, O.D., for outstanding merit in the field of Art.
Ceramicist and sculptor Gene Hendricks Pearson was born in 1946 in St. Catherine, Jamaica. He attended the Jamaica School of Art; now the Edna College of the Visual and Performing Arts, where he studied under Jamaica’s Master Potter Cecil Baugh and was one of the School’s first graduates with a diploma in ceramics in 1965. He subsequently taught at the Jamaica School of Art, for some eighteen years, and has also taught ceramics at the Calabar and Vere Technical High schools. At present, he works exclusively as a studio artist and divides his time between Jamaica and California. A keen cultural entrepreneur, he recently opened a gallery in New Kingston – the Gene Pearson Gallery – where he sells his ceramic and sculptural work.