Art A[u]ction for Haiti – Catalogue

National Gallery of Jamaica - Sunday, April 18, 2010


UPDATED APRIL 18: Two errors were made in the catalogue, pertaining to Lot 17 and Lot 81. For the correction, click here: errata catalogue



Event Information

The Art A[u]ction for Haiti Committee, in association with the Edna Manley Foundation, the National Gallery of Jamaica, Hi-Qo Galleries, Harmony Hall, the Mutual Gallery and Art Centre, and Roktowa, is pleased to present: Art A[u]ction for Haiti, a fundraiser to assist with the recovery of the Haitian art world. Several artists and collectors have made outright donations to this benefit while others have made partial donations — all are received with gratitude. The proceeds of this benefit will therefore support the reconstruction and revival of the Centre d’Art, and the sculptors’ collective of the Grand Rue inner city community, which had in December 2009 hosted the Ghetto Biennale in which Jamaica’s Ebony Patterson participated. A portion of the proceeds will also go the upcoming residency of nine Haitian artists, including three Grand Rue sculptors, at the Roktowa studio facility in West Kingston.

Art Sale: The sale section consists of works of art that will be offered at fixed price and that will be on view at the NGJ, along with the auction preview, from Wednesday, April 14 to Sunday, April 18. Viewing and sales hours are: Wednesday and Thursday: 10 am to 4:30 pm, Friday: 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 3 pm, Sunday: 11 am to 3 pm.

Art Auction: The auction preview will be at the NGJ during the same hours as the works in the art sale – see above. The auction itself will take place on Sunday, April 18, from 3 to 6 pm, at the NGJ. Bidders must be registered by 2:45 pm. Absentee bids will be entertained but duly completed absentee bid forms should be received by the NGJ by Saturday, April 17 at 3 pm. They may be mailed, couriered, delivered or faxed (to 1.876.922-8544).

For more information about this fundraiser, please contact the NGJ at 1.876.922-1561 or -3; 1.876.618-0654 or -5; or at

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Art A[u]ction for Haiti – Press Release

John Dunkley, Three Spanish Jars (n.d.)

The Art A[u]ction for Haiti Committee, in association with the Edna Manley Foundation, the National Gallery of Jamaica, Hi-Qo Galleries, Harmony Hall, the Mutual Gallery and Art Centre, and Roktowa, is pleased to present: Art A[u]ction for Haiti, a fundraiser to assist with the recovery of the Haitian art world.

This collaborative effort is the initiative of concerned members of the Jamaican Art community who are responding to not only the physical devastation of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on the 12th of January 2010 but also to the cultural and economic losses. Many are aware of the physical destruction and loss of life that occurred as there has been widespread coverage in the media. There has however been very little coverage on the devastation to Haiti’s cultural sector.

The Haitian art world suffered great losses in the earthquake. Museums and art galleries were extensively damaged, among them Port-au-Prince’s historic Centre d’Art, which in the mid 20th century launched Haitian art into the international arena, which was completely destroyed. The Haitian art collection at the College de Saint Pierre was also devastated, as were the famous murals of the Holy Trinity Cathedral. The devastation has also affected the artists’ collectives of the Haitian capital, most of which operate in the inner-cities and provide much-needed income for the artists and their communities. Continue reading

Art A[u]ction for Haiti

Support this good cause!

The production and sale of art has, since the mid 20th century, been an important source of income for Haitians of all walks of life. Inevitably, these activities have been severely disrupted by the recent earthquake, to the cultural and, not to be overlooked, economic detriment of those involved. Art A[u]ction for Haiti is a benefit auction to assist with the reconstruction of Haiti’s art world, spearheaded by the Edna Manley Foundation, hosted by the NGJ and supported by a wide range of stakeholders in the Jamaican art world.The proceeds will go to the revival of the historic Centre d’Art, whose landmark building was almost completely destroyed, and the sculptors of the Grand Rue, an inner-city community arts project.

Artists and collectors are invited to contribute works to this fundraising auction, as outright donations or on a commission basis. The deadline for submissions has been extended to Saturday, April 3. Contact the persons listed on the flyer for more information and to make arrangements for your contribution.

The auction preview will take place from April 14 to 18 and the auction itself will be held on Sunday, April 18, starting at 3 pm. Look out for more information on this event soon.

Please support this worthwhile cause and help us to spread the word!

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Omari S. Ra – Afrikan (b. 1960)

Omari Ra – Figure with Mask, 1987, private collection

This post focuses on one of the major figures in contemporary Jamaican art, Omari S. Ra. His work also provides an interesting perspective on the symbolic significance of Haiti in the African Diaspora, which has new poignancy in the aftermath of the devastating Haiti earthquake and which has motivated the timing of this post. The text is adapted from the doctoral dissertation of Veerle Poupeye, the NGJ’s Executive Director (all rights reserved by the author).

Omari Ra, also known as Afrikan, is one of the most significant artists to emerge from the 1980s and his work has helped to define the course of contemporary Jamaican art in the last twenty-five years. He was born in Kingston in 1960 as Robert Cookhorne but later changed his name to the Afrocentric Omari S. Ra. He graduated in 1983 from what was then the Jamaica School of Art (now Edna Manley College) and has more recently completed MFA studies at the University in Massachusetts in Dartmouth. Informed by his radical African Nationalist politics, Omari Ra’s work provides provocative, satirical commentaries on the historical and contemporary issues that have shaped the African Diaspora. Ra was originally a painter, who worked mainly in mixed media and collage on paper, but his recent work includes three-dimensional objects and installations and large drawings on fabric. Ra has exhibited regularly at the National Gallery, including the National Biennials, where he won the prestigious Aaron Matalon Award in 2004, and Curator’s Eye I (2004), which was curated by Lowery Stokes-Simms, then Director of the Studio Museum in Harlem. His overseas exhibitions include the 1986 and 1994 Havana Biennale and the 1995 Johannesburg Biennale. He lectures in Painting at the Edna Manley College, where he currently also heads the Painting Department.

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Ebony G. Patterson

Ebony G. Patterson, Untitled - Haitian Flag Project - Ghetto Biennale, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, December 2009

Ebony G. Patterson recently participated in the Ghetto Biennale, an alternative international art event in the Grand Rue slum of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that was positioned as “as a counter exhibition, disrupting conventional art scene exclusions, as well as a bold conversion of global power systems, centers of art production, and cultural transmission”. She presented an installation of “flags” that brought her provocative “Gangstas for Life” iconography in dialogue with the spiritual splendor of the traditional Haitian Vodou flags or “drapos.” Ebony, who divides her time between Jamaica and Kentucky, is one of Jamaica’s most critically acclaimed and exciting emerging artists and her recent contribution to the Ghetto Biennale presents a good opportunity to share some of her work with our readers.

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