Announcement: NGJ Summer Exhibition 2019 Recipients of the Dawn Scott Memorial Award

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Edward M. Gomez announcing the Dawn Scott Memorial Award Winners

The National Gallery of Jamaica is delighted to announce the winners of the 3rd edition of the Dawn Scott Memorial Award, selected by Edward M. Gómez. This year two artists were selected for the award Judith Salmon and Shoshanna Weinberger. 

Official Citation:

Presented in honour and in memory of the Jamaican artist Alison Dawn Scott (1951-2010), whose multifaceted body of work encompassed drawing, painting, sculpture, architectural design, and sophisticated batik fabric-dyeing techniques. Scott’s art often evoked timely social-cultural and political themes.

The Dawn Scott Memorial Award recognises the creativity and originality of the artworks you exhibited in the 2019 Summer Exhibition, as well as aspects of your work that evoke the artistic and philosophical principles that distinguished Dawn Scott’s thinking, teaching, art-making and activism.

Those principles and values include proficiency and innovation in your handling of your materials, fresh ideas about the expressive power of art, and a sense of courage in the way you address your chosen subject matter.

Presented by the art critic and art historian Edward M. Gómez on July 28, 2019, in Kingston, Jamaica.

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Judith Salmon – Mother, Mother, Mother I, II, III (2019). Photo Credit: Franz Marzouca

2019 Dawn Scott Memorial Award presented to JUDITH SALMON, on the occasion of the showing of Mother, Mother, Mother I, II, III in the 2019 Summer Exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica.

Shoshanna Weinberger - Midnight Selfie and Tropical Tan

Shoshanna Weinberger – Midnight Selfies with One Sunset (left) and Tropical Tan (right) (2019). Photo Credit: Artist

2019 Dawn Scott Memorial Award presented to SHOSHANNA WEINBERGER, on the occasion of the showing of Midnight Selfies with one Sunset and Tropical Tan in the 2019 Summer Exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica.

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NGJ Summer Exhibition 2019: Dawn Scott Award

The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to announce the third edition of the Dawn Scott Memorial Award, which will be presented to an artist participating in its National Gallery of Jamaica Summer Exhibition 2019 (the award was formerly part of the Jamaica Biennial). The show will open on Sunday, July 28, and remain on view through October 27, 2019.

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The Jamaican artist Alison Dawn Scott (1951-2010) and the art critic Edward M. Gómez in Kingston, in 2003Photo credit: ©2019 Ballena Studio, Inc.

The Dawn Scott Memorial Award, which comes with a monetary prize, is a private initiative sponsored by the New York-based, internationally known art critic, art historian, and curator Edward M. Gómez to honour the memory and legacy of his close friend and colleague, the late Jamaican artist Alison Dawn Scott (1951-2010). Gómez himself will examine the artworks on view in the 2019 Summer Exhibition and from them choose a work of art and its creator to honour with the award. The prize will be announced during the exhibition’s opening ceremony at the National Gallery of Jamaica on Sunday, July 28.

The award is funded by Gómez and Dawn Scott’s daughter, Tsehai “Spoogie” Scott, a Kingston-based businesswoman and film-production specialist.

In 2014, the artists Camille Chedda and Kimani Beckford were named the recipients of the inaugural Dawn Scott Memorial Award. In 2017, the honour was shared by the Jamaican painters Greg Bailey and Alicia Brown, and by the mixed-media artist Andrea Chung, who is of Jamaican and Trinidadian ancestry and is based California, U.S.A.

Gómez, who worked in the cultural service of the Embassy of the United States in Kingston in the 1980s, has close personal and professional ties to Jamaica and its vibrant arts community. He has written and published numerous articles and essays about Jamaican artists, including the legendary Jamaican Intuitives, which helped introduce their achievements to broad, international audiences. In 2006, he delivered opening remarks at the National Gallery of Jamaica’s Intuitives III exhibition and wrote an essay for its accompanying catalogue.

Gómez says, “The Dawn Scott Memorial Award recognizes the creativity and originality of the work of an artist taking part in the NGJ Summer Exhibition 2019. In keeping with the artistic and philosophical principles that distinguished Dawn Scott’s thinking, teaching, art-making and activism, in selecting a winner of the award, I will look for proficiency and innovation in the artist’s handling of his or her materials, fresh ideas about the expressive power of art, and a sense of courage in the way the artist addresses his or her subject matter.”

Currently the senior editor of Raw Vision, the London-based, international magazine about outsider art and the work of self-taught artists, and a senior critic for the culture magazine Hyperallergic, Gómez has written for the New York Times, the Japan Times (Japan), Reforma (Mexico), and many other publications, including Art & Antiques, Art in America, ARTnews, Art + Auction, Metropolis, and Folk Art. He is the author or co-author of numerous books and exhibition catalogues.

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Dawn Scott, A Cultural Object (1985); detail of a mixed-media work in the collection of the National Gallery of Jamaica Photo credit: National Gallery of Jamaica

In her own work, Scott was known for her fine craftsmanship and draughtsmanship. Using the wax-resist batik process on fabric, she produced emblematic portraits and scenes of Jamaican rural and urban life. In 1985, Scott created one of Jamaican contemporary art’s most influential mixed-media installation works, A Cultural Object, which the National Gallery of Jamaica later acquired. An artistic response to some of the same themes that had been percolating in Jamaican popular music and poetry, this bold work, which has had a strong impact on later generations of local artists, recreates a section of an inner-city neighbourhood. It addresses some of Jamaican and Caribbean society’s most enduring social and economic challenges.

During the last phase of her multifaceted career, Dawn Scott worked with the Kingston-based firm Kingston 10 Architects Ltd on commercial and residential buildings for which she provided original design details. Among them: decorative fretwork based on traditional Caribbean motifs, wall-painting and flooring schemes, and landscaping. Scott, who also worked as an educator, was an active participant in National Gallery of Jamaica exhibitions and regarded the museum as one of the country’s most important cultural institutions.

Gómez says, “With the Dawn Scott Memorial Award, I wish to honour the memory of a very talented Jamaican artist and friend who contributed substantively to the cultural life of her country. At the same time, by means of this award, I would like Jamaican artists to know that their work and that of the National Gallery of Jamaica are worthy of serious, international critical attention. This award helps to convey that kind of recognition, which is most deserved.”

The Dawn Scott Memorial Award is one of two awards attached to the 2019 Summer Exhibition, along with the Aaron Matalon Award, which is awarded to an artist who, in the view of the National Gallery’s Exhibitions and Acquisitions Committees, has contributed the strongest entry to the exhibition. This award will also be announced at the exhibition’s opening ceremony on Sunday, July 28.

Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Juried Artists: Alicia Brown

Alicia Brown – Exchange (2016)

Alicia Brown was one of the winners of the Dawn Scott Memorial Award in the Jamaica Biennial 2017.

Alicia Brown was born in 1981, in St Ann, Jamaica. She attended the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Kingston, Jamaica, and received a diploma in Art Education in 2003 and a BFA in Painting in 2009. Brown also attended the New York Academy of Art in New York and obtained an MFA in Painting in 2014. Her work has been shown at the National Gallery of Jamaica in in the National Biennial 2012 and Young Talent 2015. In 2016, she held a solo show at Studio 174 in Kingston, Jamaica, entitled Copy and Placed. In 2003 and 2004, she was awarded the bronze medal for her entries in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) National Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition. Alicia Brown uses traditional painting techniques and iconographic references to examine contemporary issues of race, beauty and social status. She is based in Kingston, Jamaica.

Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Juried Artists: Kimani Beckford

Kimani Beckford – Young, Gifted and Black (2016)

Here is another feature on one of the artists in the recently closed Jamaica Biennial 2017:

Kimani Beckford was born in 1988, in St Catherine, Jamaica. He attended the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, where he completed his BFA degree in Painting in 2011. In the same year, he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence in Arts and Culture. Most recently his work was featured in the Jamaican Pulse: Art and Politics from Jamaica and the Diaspora (2016) exhibition held in Bristol, United Kingdom. In 2014, he was a recipient of the inaugural Dawn Scott Memorial Award for his submission to the Jamaica Biennial 2014 exhibition held at the National Gallery of Jamaica. Working mostly in paint media, Beckford explores the politics of race and representation in the contemporary context. Beckford lives in St Andrew, Jamaica.

Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Guide to the Devon House Interventions

We present additional information on the Jamaica Biennial 2017 exhibition at Devon House. This document will also be available as a free handout at Devon House. Opening hours there are Mo-Fri 9:30 to 4:30 and on the last Sundays of the month from 11 to 4. Admission rates apply. All Jamaica Biennial exhibitions continue until May 28.

Introduction

As was first done in 2014, the Jamaica Biennial 2017 is shown at more than one location. In addition to the National Gallery itself, where the main exhibition is held, parts of the exhibition are shown at Devon House, which was the National Gallery’s original home in 1974, and at National Gallery West in Montego Bay.

For Devon House, we selected five interventions by artists whose work resonates with the history and context of Devon House, particularly its dual connection to Jamaica’s plantation heritage and to social change, as the great house was built in 1881 by Jamaica’s first black millionaire. The selected work is by Andrea Chung, Laura Facey, Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, Sharon Norwood, Deborah Anzinger and Leasho Johnson. All are displayed in the Devon House interior. Some of these interventions are immediately and provocatively visible, while the others are more subtle and may at first be mistaken as being part of the original furnishings. This makes the process of discovery and engagement involved in viewing the Jamaica Biennial 2016 exhibition at Devon House all the more exciting.

Leasho Johnson, In-a-the-Middle

Location: The Palm Hall

In-a-the-Middle is a mixed-media sculptural floor piece that parodies a dancehall party, or more specifically, a “daggering session.” It is comprised of locally made metal ‘dutch’ pots, cast from scrap metal, fluorescent red paint with papier mâchè and ceramic castings of speakers and legs. The title is a derivative of a dancehall song, Inna The Middle performed by ZJ Liquid, which in the local context is referred to as a “gyal song” – that is, a song that speaks mainly to female party-goers. The “dutch” pot in Jamaican culture is a multi-purpose item and is commonly found in most Jamaican homes.

In-a-the-Middle explores female objectification and the male gaze within dancehall culture, compared with a perspective of the woman as nourishment giver, bread winner and home maker, symbolized in part by the use of the “dutch pot.” He states, “I was trying to describe a kind of negative space that is misogynistic [and] that surrounds a female described space… women becoming the weak default of a culture that puts its men on the podium of social ideals”.

(Photo: Randy Richards)

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, The Table (Parallel Realities Dwelling in the Heartland of My People)

Location: The Dining Room

Awarded the Aaron Matalon Award

The Table (Parallel Realities Dwelling in the Heartland of My People) presents an account of the social, historical and cultural realities of slavery, using various materials and objects. It is set up with a sharp juxtaposition between the indigenous world of Nature, Veve and Taino, against that of Empire with all its assumptions of beauty and civilized behaviour. The Tea Table is laid with fineries like crystal, silverware and China. It lays bare notions of civility in harmony with plunder, murder, rape and genocide, as in the case of the Parsley Massacre in the Dominican Republic in 1937 with its dismembered figures and pools of blood. Historically, the establishment of this Euro-centric status quo has been challenged. This is symbolized in the use of the ‘abeng’, a symbol of subversion by the Maroons as a counter narrative force which disrupts and displaces the genteel setting, celebrating the human capacity for resilience and survival.”

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Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Special Projects: Andrea Chung

 

Throughout the run of the Jamaica Biennial 2017, which continues until May 28, we will be posting short features on the participating artists. This one is the last on the special projects by international invitees, with Andrea Chung as its subject. Andrea Chung’s installation, titled Pure, is on view at Devon House. She is one of the winners of the 2017 Dawn Scott Memorial Award.

Andrea Chung (1978) is an American artist of Jamaican and Trinidadian parentage, who was born in Newark, New Jersey, and currently lives and works in San Diego, California, USA. She holds a BFA in Illustration from the Parsons School of Design, NYC (2000) and an MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Baltimore, Maryland (2008). In her words, “my work examines cultures created under the influence of colonial and post-colonial regimes…I mine foodstuffs, recipes and archival materials such as photographs and tourist publications, in order to reconstruct and create a new series of narratives, which I juxtapose against the stories told by the colony to sell romantic notions about nature and labor.” Chung’s work is strongly focused on process and materials, such as sugar and soap, both of which resonate with the narratives she unravels and reconstructs. Her contribution to the Jamaica Biennial 2017, the mixed media installation Pure, is part of the body of work that is based on the research she has conducted on traditional midwifery in Jamaica.

Website: andreachungart.com