Jamaica Biennial 2017: Call for Submissions – Juried Section


The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to invite submissions for the juried section of upcoming Jamaica Biennial, which will now be held from February 26 to May 28, 2017 and will thus be the Jamaica Biennial 2017.

The Jamaica Biennial, previously known as the National Biennial, is the National Gallery’s flagship biennial exhibition. Designed to encourage the development of art in Jamaica and its local and international exposure, the Jamaica Biennial includes works of art in all media and genres by a wide variety of artists who enter the exhibition through the jury system or by special invitation. The juried section is open to all artists resident in Jamaica and of immediate Jamaican descent, irrespective of residence. While thus mainly focused on the Jamaican and Jamaican Diaspora artists, the exhibition now also includes a select number of specially invited Caribbean and other international artists. The exhibition will be shown at the National Gallery of Jamaica in Kingston; National Gallery West in Montego Bay; and other venues to be announced.

The new deadline for submissions by juried artists is now Monday, December 12, 2016. Relevant documents can be downloaded here: the Jamaica Biennial 2017, and the Jamaica Biennial 2017 – entry form. Please email <info@natgalja.org.jm> or call (876) 922-1561 or -3 if you have any questions or need to discuss your submission.

Letters to the invited artists are being dispatched.

Electronic submissions should be sent to <info@natgalja.org.jm>, directly or, in case of large files, via a reliable file transfer service such as WeTransfer. Please use “Jamaica Biennial 2017” and the name of the artist in the subject header for all electronic submissions.

“Spiritual Yards: Home Ground of Jamaica’s Intuitives – Selections from the Wayne and Myrene Cox Collection” Opens on December 11


The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to present Spiritual Yards: Home Ground of Jamaica’s Intuitives, which features selections from the Wayne and Myrene Cox Collection. The exhibition opens on Sunday, December 11, with the formalities starting at 1:30 pm, starting with opening remarks by Wayne Cox and followed by a musical performance by the Nexus Performing Arts Company.

The theme of Spiritual Yards was proposed by Wayne Cox, who co-curated this exhibition, and explores how many of the artists who have been recognized as Intuitives are rooted in popular religious and spiritual practices, especially the Revival religions and also Rastafari. Several produced or contributed to so-called spiritual yards, also known as home ground, or sacred spaces that featured ritual and symbolic objects and images that are meant engage or represent the spirits, which was either the start of their artistic practice or remained as its main focus. As Wayne Cox has rightly argued, these spiritual yards are often their most outstanding works of art and their cultural significance in the Jamaican context warrants further exploration. Spiritual Yards features the work of ten such artists, namely Errol Lloyd “Powah” Atherton, Vincent Atherton, Everald Brown, Pastor Winston Brown, Leonard Daley, Reginald English, Elijah (Geneva Mais Jarrett), William “Woody” Josephs, Errol McKenzie, and Sylvester Stephens, along with photographs and video material on their life, work and spiritual yards from the Wayne and Myrene Cox archives. Spiritual Yards will be on view until January 29, 2017.

In what is now an established Holiday Season tradition at the National Gallery of Jamaica, the programme on Sunday, December 11 will include the award-winning Nexus Performing Arts Company, with a performance which will start right after the short 1:30 pm opening function for Spiritual Yards. The Nexus Performing Arts Company was formed in 2001 by Hugh Douse, Artistic Director, voice tutor, singer, actor, conductor, songwriter, and a former Director of Culture in Education. The group has a broad musical repertoire that draws on Gospel, Negro Spirituals, Semi-classical, Popular music including Reggae and show tunes, African and Classical music of the European and African traditions. The performance by Nexus will take the form of a musical tour of the galleries, with selections inspired by the Spiritual Yards exhibition.

Since the last Sunday of December of 2016 coincides with Christmas Day there will be no Last Sundays programme on December 25. The programme presented on December 11 thus takes the place of what would have been our Last Sundays event for December. Admission on December 11 is free but donations are always welcome. The gift and coffee shop will be open for business and the gift shop is well stocked with Jamaican-made art and craft items and a wide selection of Christmas cards that feature outstanding examples of Jamaican art. Proceeds from these ventures and donations help to fund the National Gallery’s programmes and exhibitions.

Last Sundays, November 27, 2016 – feat. Jazmyn


The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programme for November 27, 2016, will feature a special musical performance by emerging artiste Jazmyn.

Multifaceted singer, dancer and artist Jazmyn has been singing on her church’s choir since the tender age of 5, Jazmyn went on to develop her talents at Ardenne High School where she was a member of the music and dance club; and further explored her passion for performing at the University of the West Indies, as a member of the Quilt Performing Arts Company and as a member of the Pop Society and University Dance Society. As an actress, she co-starred alongside No-Maddz in Capture Land, a short film directed by Nabil Elderkin as well as the short film Proscenium which was the winner of the 2015 Jampro Film Festival Best Short Film Audience Award and was nominated for best narrative short film. Her musical style is a mixture of Reggae, Jazz and Soul with Global influences and she will be performing covers as well as previously unheard original compositions. Jazmyn aspires to reach souls through her creative expressions and hopes to expand national and regional appreciation for the arts.

Visitors will also be able to view the Kapo and Edna Manley Galleries, the Historical Galleries, and the A.D. Scott Galleries, A Special Tribute to Barrington Watson as well as a temporary exhibition consisting of selections from the Gallery’s modern Jamaican collection, featuring major works by Albert Huie, Marlon James, Eugene Hyde Everald Brown Colin Garland, Carl Abrahams, David Pottinger, Albert Artwell, Karl Parboosingh, Gloria Escoffery, Rex Dixon, Renee Cox and others.

The National Gallery’s doors will be open from 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday, November 27, 2016 and the programme will start at 1:30 pm. As is customary, admission will be free and there will also be free tours of the National Collection, but contributions to the National Gallery’s donations box are always appreciated. The National Gallery gift and coffee shops will be open for business and proceeds from these ventures help to fund programmes such as Last Sundays as well as our exhibitions.

National Gallery Christmas Cards 2016


Who’s on your Christmas card list this year? Visit the National Gallery Gift Shop today for high quality and affordable holiday greeting cards that will help you to keep in touch with loved ones near and far.

This holiday season, the NGJ Gift Shop celebrates over one century of Jamaican art with 24 holiday greeting cards, featuring richly printed reproductions of paintings and photography selected from the National Art Collection.

Our 2016 selection has works by modern Jamaican artists Carl Abrahams, Michael Lester, Karl Parboosingh, Allan ‘Zion’ Johnson, Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds, Gaston Tabois, Barrington Watson and Osmond Watson. The selection also includes pre-twentieth century and turn-of-the-century artists Isaac Mendes Belisario, Adolphe Duperly and Sons, as well as, Joseph Bartholomew Kidd.

These artworks, which have continually captured the hearts and imaginations of visitors to our museum, portray riveting and exquisite depictions of beautiful landscapes, cityscapes and portraits.

The National Gallery Gift Shop also offers an assortment of fine, Jamaican-made merchandise, including: jewellery, prints, paintings, photographs, postcards, handcrafted woodwork items, T-shirts, ceramics, aromatic spa products and home décor.

There is something for everyone!

We are open Tuesdays to Thursdays, from 10 am to 4:30 pm and on Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm. On Saturdays, 10 am to 3 pm and every last Sunday of the month from 11 am to 4 pm.

The Gift Shop plays an important role in supporting the education and exhibition programmes of the National Gallery of Jamaica and your patronage is very much appreciated.

2016 Teacher’s Seminar on Friday, November 18


The National Gallery of Jamaica invites educators and teachers-in-training to attend our third annual one-day seminar entitled Art Exhibitions as Teaching Tools, which will be held on Friday, November 18, 2016. The seminar will take place from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm, at the National Gallery, and is offered free of cost. Developed specifically for persons who provide education services to student groups from early childhood to secondary school level, the seminar provides an introduction to understanding exhibitions and explores several approaches for developing lesson activities derived from taking student groups to visit exhibitions and displays of artwork in a museum or any other location.  The content and activities of the seminar will be presented by members of the NGJ Education Department and will focus on utilizing aspects of the permanent display to illustrate three main topic areas:

  • An Introduction to Exhibitions
  • Utilizing an Art Exhibition as an Educational Resource
  • Case Study

Though the seminar is based in the practice of art museums, the tour as well as education strategies that will be explored can also be applied to a number of other subject areas. The annual teachers’ seminar, which was initiated in 2014, has enjoyed very positive feedback from past attendees and we look forward to having you join us. Interested persons should contact the Education Department at 922-1561 for further information; no pre-registration is required.

Last Sundays – October 30, 2016, feat. Tribute to Cecil Cooper Exhibition and Music by Peter Lloyd


The National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) will have special opening hours for its Last Sundays on October 30, 2016. The gallery will exceptionally be open to the public from 1:00 to 5:00 pm on that day and will feature the Cecil Cooper Tribute exhibition and a special musical performance by Peter Lloyd, which will start at 2 pm.

October 30 will be the final day to see the National Gallery’s special tribute exhibition honouring renowned Jamaican painter, singer, art educator and NGJ Board member Cecil Cooper C.D. who passed away on September 15, 2016. This exhibit features work that spans his artistic career, including two works from the National Gallery Collection. Cooper worked mainly in paint media, using gestural painting and drawing techniques, and his thematic preoccupation with the joys and anxieties of the human condition, and particularly the central roles of women in society, reflected a romantic temperament that was also evident in his musical work as a classical tenor. Also on view are Selections from the National Collection, the Pre-Twentieth Century Galleries, The Edna Manley Galleries, The Kapo Galleries and the A.D. Scott Collection, which provide a wide-ranging overview of Jamaica’s artistic and cultural history.

International recording artist Peter Lloyd is one of Jamaica’s most respected entertainers. While he is best known as a singer and songwriter, he entered the creative industry as an actor and has also achieved a highly successful career in film and television and music production. His impressive music catalogue includes four number one singles – Tonight in Japan; Searching in the United States, UK and Jamaica, Oh My Darling in Jamaica and Blood On Your Hands worldwide. In recent years the acclaimed singer has had several Top10 singles, Wake Dem Up, Dance Hall Queen, Pose, and Gold Digga to name a few. Currently Peter Lloyd’s newest single Pure Love is poised to be the singer’s next major hit, with the momentum it has generated since its release in March 2016. Peter Lloyd is one of the finest live performers in the Reggae genre and has headlined major festivals and shows across Europe, United States of America and Jamaica. Among the singer’s notable achievements is a feature on CNN’s ROOTS: Our Journeys Home, becoming one of an exclusive group of reggae artiste to appear on CNN. “I give 100% for my fans; my life means nothing without them. My purpose is to heal the world, that’s why they call me the Love Messenger,” says Peter Lloyd.


Peter Lloyd

As is customary, admission will be free on October 30 and there will also be free tours, but contributions to the National Gallery’s donations box are always appreciated. The NGJ gift and coffee shops will be open for business and proceeds from these ventures help to fund programmes such as Last Sundays. The gift shop is fully stocked for the Christmas gift-buying season.

Panel Discussion “Kingston: Filming The City” – October 27 @ 2 pm


On Thursday, October 27, 2016, starting at 2:00 pm, the National Gallery of Jamaica will be hosting a panel discussion entitled Kingston: Filming the City. This event aims to explore the the work of filmmakers in depicting and interpreting Kingston life and its environs. Kingston: Filming the City is part of the educational programming associated with the NGJ’s current feature exhibition Kingston, Part 1: The City and Art, which opened on July 31 and will now close on November 5. The exhibition utilizes paintings, sculpture, ceramics, film and photography to explore the dynamic between Kingston’s growth as a major commercial as well as cultural centre and the development of Jamaican visual art practice and infrastructure.

The focus on film for the panel discussion was inspired by the inclusion of two motion-picture works in the exhibition: Chaotic Beauty (2016), a video by emerging Jamaican digital artist Di-Andre Caprice Davis, and The Harder They Come (1972), the iconic Jamaican film directed by Perry Henzell and written by himself and Trevor Rhone. Both of these productions have featured Kingston not just as a backdrop to story-telling, but as a key location element that informs narrative progression and character development. Some have argued that The Harder They Come is also a portrait of Kingston and a time-capsule representation of urban life in Jamaica in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Kingston has featured in several other memorable, locally produced and international films, including the first James Bond film Dr No (1962), Rockers (1978), Dancehall Queen (1997), Third World Cop (1999), Better Mus’ Come (2010) and Kingston Paradise (2013). Kingston also serves as the locale and backdrop to numerous Jamaican and other music videos, such as Proteje’s Kingston Be Wise (2013).

The discussion on October 27 will be moderated by lecturer of Audio-Visual History at the University of the West Indies (Mona), Dr. Julian Cresser, along with the following panellists:

  • Franklyn “Chappy” St. Juste, veteran cinematographer who has been credited in films such as The Harder They Come (1972), Children of Babylon (1980) and Coolie Pink and Green (2009). St. Juste has also contributed valuable years of service to the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC) and the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC).
  • Natalie Thompson, film producer and managing director of Cinecom. Some of Thompson’s acclaimed productions have included Third World Cop (1999), Knight and Day (2010) and the Marley documentary (2012).
  • Nile Saulter, cinematographer and film director as well as founding member of New Caribbean Cinema. Some of his notable productions include Coast (2011), Pillowman (2013) and Everblessed (2016), a collaboration between himself and Canadian journalist Jeremy Relph.
  • Randall Richards, emerging photographer, videographer and one of the founders of ARRC Creative Media Ltd. Richards’ recent productions have included the music video for music single by Reggae artiste Protogé, Kingston Be Wise (2013).

Also as an accompanying mini-campaign to the Kingston: Filming The City panel discussion, persons are being invited to create 10 to 20 second videos about Kingston and post them to the NGJ Education Department Facebook page, using the hashtag #ngjkingstonfilm. The final day for posting will be on November 4, 2016. All posts will be reviewed by the National Gallery of Jamaica before appearing on the page’s timeline.

The panel discussion is free and open to the public. Persons in attendance will also have an opportunity to view the Kingston, Part 1: The City and Art exhibition.