Last Sundays April 28, 2019 to Screen Blowin’ In The Reggae Wind

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programming for April 28, 2019 will feature a film screening of Blowin’In The Reggae Wind. On view will be The 25th Art of Reggae Exhibition, displaying the winner and top 100 entries for the International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC) and a tribute to Lawrence Edwards.

A perfect complement to our most recent exhibit, the documentary, Blowin’ In The Reggae Wind (French title: Le Souffle Du Reggae) directed by Jérémie Cuvillier and co-written by Jérémie Kroubo Dagnini focuses on the global impact of Reggae music. “This documentary is an immersion into the contemporary Reggae scene, seeking to understand how and with what force this musical style continues to inspire artists around the world. This engaging story will take the audience on a journey from France to Jamaica, to ultimately end in Africa, land of origins.”

Le souffle du Reggae.

The National Gallery of Jamaica will be open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, with the film screening beginning at 1:30 p.m. As per usual on Last Sundays, admission is free, but contributions to our Donations Box, located in the lobby, are appreciated. These donations help to fund our in house exhibitions and our Last Sundays programming. The National Gallery’s Gift Shop and Coffee Shop will be open for business.

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Last Sundays: The 25th Art of Reggae Exhibition Reception

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The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programming for March 31, 2019 will feature the Pimento Band as well as the winner and top 100 entries for the International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC) in The 25th Art of Reggae Exhibition. There will also be a speech by IRPC founder Maria Papaefstathiou and IRPC board member Carolyn Cooper.

Grand Winner_Vinicio-Sejas-Bolivia

The 25th Art of Reggae Exhibition is hosted by the IRPC, which was founded in 2011 by Michael Thompson (1958-2016) and Maria Papaefstathiou. The contest aims to highlight positive Reggae music and the impact it has had around the globe. The long term goal is to create a Kingston based Reggae Hall of Fame museum and performance centre that wil facilitate and celebrate Reggae. In addition to that IRPC aims gain support for the Alpha Boys School, an vocational institution located in Kingston. It was founded in 1880 by the Sisters of Mercy. It is geared towards underprivileged youth and has been home to many notable Reggae artists such as Yellowman and Desmond Dekker.

Maria Papaefstathiou (Image courtesy of her website https://www.itsjustme.net/

Born in Athens, Greece, Maria Papaefstathiou is a graphic designer who has been practicing since 1996. Her main focus and research is in poster design. She is the founder and editor of the blog Graphic Art News where she selects high quality international works including designs, illustrations and art to teach and inspire other designers. Graphic Art News has been known to be used an educational tool to many.

Carolyn-Cooper

A Jamaican author and scholar, Prof. Carolyn Cooper is a consultant on culture and development. A woman of many accolades, Cooper received a scholarship to complete her B.A in English at UWI, Mona and fellowships to complete bother M.A and PhD at the University of Toronto. She has authored the books Sound Clash: Jamaican Dancehall Culture at Large (2004) and Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender and the ‘Vulgar’ Body of Jamaican Popular Culture (1993). She also initiated the International Reggae Studies Centre at UWI.

The reception will feature a special musical performance by the Pimento Band. The band, though only a little over a year old, features musicians with over thirty years of experience in the local and international music scenes. The roster includes Leebert “Gibby” Morrison, bass player on Peter Tosh’s album’s Mama Africa and the Grammy award winning No Nuclear War, Orlando “Lando” Bolt of the Live Wyya Band, and past student of Alpha Boys Everol “Stingwray” Wray who has been featured on the album The Miseducation of Lauren Hill. The bands repertoire ranges from Ska to Reggae to a style they have dubbed progressive Mento.

The National Gallery of Jamaica will be open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, with the Pimento Band’s performance beginning at 1:30 p.m. As per usual on Last Sundays, admission is free, but contributions to our Donations Box, located in the lobby, are appreciated. These donations help to fund our in house exhibitions and our Last Sundays programming. The National Gallery’s Gift Shop and Coffee Shop will be open for business.

Last Sundays February 24, 2019 to feature Tribe Sankofa

Last Sundays_FlyerThe National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programming for February 24, 2019 will feature Tribe Sankofa as well as tours of our current exhibition, Beyond Fashion. We will also have on display the winner and entries for the International Reggae Poster Competition in The Art of Reggae Exhibition and the five finalists of the Government of Jamaica Houses of Parliament Design Competition.

February marks both Black History and Reggae month. It is a month that acknowledges and honours the achievements of black people throughout history and despite immense racial adversity. It is also a month that celebrates reggae music and it’s contribution to the development of Jamaica, musically, culturally and economically. With this in mind this Last Sundays will feature two new exhibitions.

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The Art of Reggae Exhibition is hosted by the Reggae Poster Contest. The Reggae Poster Contest was founded in 2011 by Michael Thompson and Maria Papaefstathiou and aims to highlight reggae around the globe, create a locally based Reggae Hall of Fame museum and gain support for the Alpha Boys School.

IMG_3686The second phase of the Government of Jamaica Houses of Parliament Design Compettition is being hosted at the National Gallery of Jamaica. Patrons may view the proposals, site models and renderings of the top 5 finalists until February 28, 2019. The competition stipulates that at least 50% of each team be of Jamaican heritage or citizenship and, as such, the new House of Parliament will not only be a place where decisions regarding the Jamaican people are made, but a place created by it’s people. There is also a People’s Choice Award where citizens are encouraged to vote on the design of their choice.

8Tribe Sankofa is a performing arts collective formed by Fabian Thomas. It is a vibrant and eclectic group of multi-talented performers who combine their artistry to add an exciting new dimension to the performing arts landscape of locally and internationally. Their niche is “….borrowed and original spoken word/poetry, soulful song-styling uniquely blended with other visual and performing arts”. Tribe Sankofa has shared their unique offerings in diverse spaces including the Poetry Society of Jamaica, Bookophilia, Lignum Vitae Awards, Gungo Walk Alternative Music and Arts Festival, Arts in the Park and the Investiture of the Poet Laureate of Jamaica to name a few. In addition to multiple medals and awards at Tallawah Dramatic Arts Festival and the Jamaica Cultural Development’s Speech and Drama competitions, the collective has also staged its own productions: Black Bodies, A Tribe Ting and their signature annual production Word Soul. This Last Sundays Tribe Sankofa presents BLACKness (an every month thing) ‘A celebration of blackness, spoken, sung and felt’.

The National Gallery of Jamaica will be open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, with Tribe Sankofa’s performance beginning at 1:30 p.m. As per usual on Last Sundays, admission is free, but contributions to our Donations Box, located in the lobby, are appreciated. These donations help to fund exhibitions like Beyond Fashion and our Last Sundays programming. The National Gallery’s Gift Shop and Coffee Shop will be open for business.

Opening: The Art of Reggae Exhibition

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This Tuesday February 12, 2019 the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) will be opening the 25th Art of Reggae Exhibition held by the International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC). At the NGJ, we will have the top 100 designs on view, in addition to the winning 2018 entry by Vinicio Sejas of Bolivia. The posters in this exhibition will give an expansive view of how reggae may be interpreted and represented from a variety of perspectives.

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The IRPC was founded in 2011 by graphic designers Michael Thompson (1958-2016) and Maria Papaefstathiou. The contest aims to highlight how widespread and impactful reggae has become across the globe. Its long term aim, is to construct a Reggae Hall of Fame museum and performance centre in Kingston, Jamaica that lauds Jamaican music in all it’s capacities, forms and iterations.

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“I am thrilled that the 25th International Reggae Poster Contest Exhibition will be held at the National Gallery of Jamaica in Kingston, three months after the show at the Sangster International Airport. Almost seven years ago, the very first exhibition was held at the National Gallery. I must thank the Acting Director, Dr. Jonathan Greenland, and our sponsors Geoff Lewis, owner of PaperBoy and Dr. Rafael Echevarne, CEO of MBJ airports, who all immediately embraced the idea. Reggae Music has the power to draw creative people from around the world to participate in this poster contest, which is such an excellent manifestation of Bob Marley’s “One Love” vision.” – Maria Papaefstathiou

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Another major goal of the IRPC is to raise awareness and support for the Alpha Boys School, which has produced a number of notable reggae icons such as artists Desmond Dekker, Yellowman and Don Drummond of the Skatalites. The IRPC believes that the school should become a template for other vocational institutions of its kind.

Taj Francis (Jamaica) – 5th place, International Reggae Poster Contest

Taj Francis – The Upsetter (2012), fifth place winner in the First International Reggae Poster Contest

The Jamaican graphic designer and illustrator Taj Francis placed fifth in the International Reggae Poster Contest, of which the best 100 entries can currently be seen at the NGJ. His poster is a tribute to “The Upsetter” – Lee Scratch Perry. The design not only captures this seminal Jamaican musician’s eccentric appearance but also visualizes Scratch’s dub philosophy, as related to Doug Wendt in an interview from the mid 1990s:

“Everyone who started dub music must have heart. Your heart goes boop boop, boop-boop; that’s the beat of the drum. A brain goes tick-tick, tick tick; that’s the bass. Your brain is your bass and your heart is your drum. So make sure your heart is not corrupted because what you send out comes back to your heart. If you send out a good heartwave it’ll come back with a dub you see flying in a cloud of good news. So you start from a good heart and a clean brain – drum and bass. You can have guitarists and pianists around, if they are not confusing, but I prefer drum and bass”

Taj is a recent graduate of the Edna Manley College’s School of Visual Art, with a major in Illustration and has been doing art for as long as he can remember. The media used for his artworks are the usual pen and ink, brush and ink, spray paint, and digital illustration and painting and he thus combines traditional and new media. Taj has a unique graphic style which relies on elaborate, psychedelic patterns, contrasting textures, 3-D effects offset against 2-D backgrounds, and bold splashes of colour – it can be described as “contemporary baroque” and resonates with Jamaican and global pop culture. His artwork is inspired by music, a strong social conscience, and a passion for what he does. Much of his current free-lance work is for the music industry and he is also working on a clothing line where he does custom artwork on sneakers.

Taj Francis

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