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.

“A Critic’s Notebook” by Renowned International Art Critic Edward Gomez

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The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to announce that the New York-based, internationally known art critic and curator Edward M. Gómez will present “A Critic’s Notebook,” a talk about trends in contemporary art and some of the artists who are the subjects of his current research.

The talk will take place on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at the National Gallery of Jamaica, at 12 Ocean Boulevard, Block C, in downtown Kingston. Mr. Gómez’s presentation will begin at 1:30 p.m. The event is free of charge and open to the general public. Artists, art students, art collectors, and art lovers are especially welcome to attend.

Edward M. Gómez is an arts journalist, critic, author, and curator. A senior critical writer for the arts-and-culture magazine Hyperallergic, he is also the senior editor of the outsider-art magazine Raw Vision, and a specialist in Japanese modern art and in the work of self-taught artists. Mr. Gómez, who began his career as a cultural-affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston before going on to work as a writer and correspondent for TIME Magazine in the U.S., France, and Japan, and to serve as the editor of and a contributor to many publications, has long enjoyed a close connection to Jamaica’s vibrant arts community.

He has written about various aspects of Jamaican art history, including the work of the Jamaican Intuitives, and he is the founder of the Dawn Scott Memorial Award, which was previously given to notable artists participating in the National Gallery of Jamaica’s biennial exhibitions (the award is now associated with the museum’s Summer Exhibition). He is the author of numerous books and exhibition catalogues in the art and design fields.

In his talk, Mr. Gómez will describe certain postmodernist critical ideas that are still prevalent in the international art world today, as well as share information about his recent research and curating activities, which have focused on a diverse range of both trained and self-taught artists from different parts of the world, including Japan.

In his remarks, he will cite some of the works from the National Gallery of Jamaica’s 2019 Summer Exhibition, which will open to the public on Sunday, July 28.

Jamaica Biennial 2017 – The Awards

The Jamaica Biennial is one of the big highlights of Jamaica’s cultural calendar, and also a very important one, not only for the local visual arts community but also for the art world of the broader Caribbean region. In recent years, this ambitious, high-profile exhibition has become more international in character, attracting participating artists from the region and beyond. It is fast earning a significant place on the international art world’s map of must-see events.

The Jamaica Biennial 2017 opened last weekend, to record crowds, at its three locations, starting with National Gallery West on February 24 and Devon House on February 25 and culminating with the main opening event at the National Gallery of Jamaica on the Kingston Waterfront on February 26. The Biennial presently attracts two awards, the Aaron Matalon Award and the Dawn Scott Memorial Award and both were announced and presented at the National Gallery on February 26.

The Aaron Matalon Award, which was inaugurated in 2002, is the National Gallery’s award to the artist who made the most outstanding contribution to the Biennial. The award is named in honour of the National Gallery’s past chairman and benefactor, the Hon. Aaron Matalon, O.J. and had, prior to 2017, been granted to Omari Ra, Renee Cox, Norma Rodney Harrack, Phillip Thomas, Laura Facey, Jasmine Thomas-Girvan and Ebony G. Patterson. The award is selected by a committee that consists of members of the National Gallery’s Exhibition and Acquisition Committee. The award consists of a uniquely crafted medal, designed and produced by master jeweller Carol Campbell, and a $ 100,000 cash award. The medal design is customarily based on an iconic work from the National Gallery’s collection and this year’s design was based on the famous Taino Pelican zemi in the historical galleries.

The 2017 Aaron Matalon Award was granted to Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, who had also received the award in 2012 and thus receives this award for the second time – a first in the award’s history. She received the award for her two stunning installations at Devon House: Parallel Realities, Dwelling In The Heartland of My People, in the Devon House dining room, and The Real Princess, which can be seen in the sewing room. Both works comment, with exquisite detail and visual poetry, on the epic histories of the Caribbean and its people, and resonate perfectly with the historical and social significance of the Devon House mansion. Devon House was built in 1881 by George Stiebel, Jamaica’s first black millionaire, as a suburban great house, and today operates as a very popular heritage and recreational site in the city of Kingston.

The Dawn Scott Memorial Award was created and presented by the New York-based art critic Edward M. Gómez and honours the legacy and enduring influence of Alison Dawn Scott (1951-2010), one of Jamaica’s most original artists of the recent past, who was known for her innovative work in drawing and architectural design, as well as in the use of complex fabric-dyeing techniques to create vivid portraits and landscapes representing Jamaican life. The award is given to artists with works on view in the Jamaica Biennial whose art and ideas reflect the artistic values and principles of the late Dawn Scott. The Dawn Scott Memorial Award comes with a cash prize in the amount of U.S.$700, funded by Mr Gomez and Dawn Scott’s daughter, Tsehai “Spoogie” Scott, a Kingston-based, film-production specialist. The inaugural Dawn Scott Memorial Award in 2014 was presented to Camille Chedda and Kimani Beckford.

Alica Brown

Alica Brown – Exchange (2016), painting

For the 2017 award, Gómez split the award among three deserving artist winners: the Jamaican painters Greg Bailey, for his painting Colonial Legacies, and Alicia Brown, for her painting Exchange; as well as the American mixed-media artist Andrea Chung, for her mixed media installation Pure. Chung, who is of Jamaican and Trinidadian ancestry and lives in San Diego, California, USA, is one of the international artists who was invited to contribute a special project. The work of Bailey and Brown can be seen at the National Gallery of Jamaica, while Chung’s work can be seen at Devon House, in the adult bedroom and bathroom.

Greg Bailey - Colonial Legacies (2016), painting

Greg Bailey – Colonial Legacies (2016), painting

Gómez had the following to say about the Biennial submissions of the joint awardees: “With fine technical skill, including a strong sense of composition and superb draughtsmanship, Greg Bailey creates psychologically probing portraits of contemporary figures – usually young, urban, Jamaican men – that make us wonder: What’s on the minds of these subjects? What motivates them? When it comes to the issue of identity, just who do they think they are? By extension, Bailey’s portraits offer a reflected image of a broader society in which some of us might not always know what it is that we are – or should be – striving for, and how chasing certain kinds of goals might shape who we are or what we may become….Marked by excellent draughtsmanship and a skillful use of her materials, Alicia Brown’s Exchange, a head-on portrait of a country man, seen standing out in front of a farm field, is rich in detail. It offers an image of its subject that is as penetrating in its precision as it is compelling, poetic and empathetic in its character and aura….In Pure, Andrea Chung uses handmade, coloured soap to mould vividly accurate sculptures of the outwardly extended, beseeching, comfort-offering hands of elderly women. In fact, they are the hands of actual Jamaican midwives, whose skillful, compassionate intervention at the very start of a new life’s journey represent a first point of contact — physical and spiritual — between members of the human family.”

The National Gallery of Jamaica congratulates and salutes the winners of the 2017 Aaron Matalon and Dawn Scott Memorial awards, and extends its commendations to all artists who are participating in the Jamaica Biennial 2017, which is a very competitive exhibition with many strong and unique submissions. The Biennial continues at all three locations until May 28.

The 2014 Aaron Matalon and Dawn Scott Memorial Awards Are Announced

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The National Gallery of Jamaica extends heartiest congratulations to Ebony G. Patterson, the winner of the 2014 Aaron Matalon Award, and Camille Chedda and Kimani Beckford, the co-winners of the inaugural Dawn Scott Memorial Award. Both awards are attached to the Jamaica Biennial 2014 exhibition, which opened with a week of events from December 7 to 14 and continues until March 15, 2015 at the National Gallery of Jamaica and Devon House in Kingston and at National Gallery West in Montego Bay. The awards were announced at the Biennial’s main opening reception at the National Gallery on Sunday, December 14.

The Aaron Matalon Award is granted to the artist who, in the opinion of the combined Exhibitions and Acquisitions committees of the National Gallery made the most outstanding contribution to the Biennial. The award is named after the National Gallery’s late Chairman and benefactor, the Hon. Aaron Matalon, OJ. Awardees receive a unique medal, hand-crafted by the noted jeweller Carol Campbell, and a monetary award. Previous awardees include Phillip Thomas, Norma Rodney Harrack, Renee Cox, Omari Ra and Jasmine Thomas-Girvan.

The 2014 Aaron Matalon Awardee Ebony G. Patterson is a graduate of the Edna Manley College (BFA) and the Sam Fox College of Design and Visual Art at Washington University in St Louis (MFA). She is presently an Associate Professor in the Fine Arts department of the University of Kentucky. Patterson is one of the most outstanding and internationally acclaimed artists to emerge in Jamaica in the last decade and she has received several awards, including the 2011 Rex Nettleford Fellowship in Cultural Studies and the 2012 Bronze Musgrave Medal. Ebony G. Patterson’s 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. Her recent work explores the politics of visibility and invisibility, with regards to the cultural and social implications of violence and death in Jamaican society. Her Biennial projects are exhibited at Devon House and consist of two floor-based tapestry installations from the Dead Treez series, titled Lillies, Carnations and Rozebuds and Trunk Stump and Dominoes, that are embellished with needlework, crochet, glitter, and various objects, including clothing, shoes and children’s toys.

The new Dawn Scott Memorial Award was initiated by the internationally renowned art critic Edward M. Gomez in honour of his late friend, the Jamaican artist Allison Dawn Scott. Dawn Scott is best known for her ground-breaking and highly influential mixed media installation A Cultural Object (1985, Collection: National Gallery) but she also produced figurative batik paintings that depict Jamaican life and people with a unique blend of poetry and realism. She also worked as an interior designer who produced innovative, culturally grounded shop designs and architectural detailing. The awardee is personally selected by Mr Gomez and is a granted to an emerging artist in the Biennial who represents the artistically innovative, socially committed spirit of Dawn Scott. The Dawn Scott Memorial Award also involves a monetary grant. Given the very competitive nature of 2014 Biennial, it comes as no surprise that the Dawn Scott Memorial Award was tied between two artists, Kimani Beckford and Camille Chedda, and Edward Gomez consequently decided to split the award between the two. Continue reading