Last Sundays August 25, 2019 to feature Ziah Push

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The National Gallery of Jamaica’s programming for Last Sundays on August 25, 2019 will feature the recently opened National Gallery of Jamaica Summer Exhibition 2019 as well as a performance by the musical artiste Ziah Push.

The NGJ Summer Exhibition is one comprised of both juried and invited artists from Jamaica and the diaspora to provide an inclusive and diverse showing of Jamaican art. The exhibition is varied in the concepts and themes explored by the artists as well as the mediums in which they take form. It is also host to a number of emerging artists that we can look forward to seeing more work from in the future.

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Growing up in Manchester, Jamaica, Ziah had a dream in his head and a passion in his heart, and that was to be a great artiste. Music has always been his biggest curiosity. Playing multiple instruments (guitar, bass, violin and piano) allowed him to perfect his craft as a producer, working closely with legendary producer “Don Corleonie” with credits from names such as Shaggy, Nicki Minaj, Sean Paul, Protoje and Chronixx.

Ziah’s Journey has led him to take the forefront as a recording artiste because he “has something to say”. His most recent Single is entitled “Black Magic Woman” produced  by his “Face The Music” Label and released under Protoje’s “Indigg Collective” Label.

The National Gallery of Jamaica will be open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. The performance will begin at 1:30 pm. 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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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.

Exhibition Opening: National Gallery of Jamaica Summer Exhibition 2019

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The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programming for July 28, 2019 will feature the opening of the inaugural National Gallery of Jamaica Summer Exhibition 2019 and features a musical performance by Jaz Elise. The keynote speaker will be The Honourable Olivia Grange MP, CD, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport. 

This exhibition was developed in the tradition of previous open-submission art exhibitions staged by the National Gallery since 1974. Notable predecessors include the Annual National, the National Biennial and the Jamaica Biennial exhibitions. Similar to those exhibitions, the NGJ Summer Show is comprised of an invited and a juried section and the summer show seeks to unearth new artistic talent, as well as provide an enriching perspective on the already diverse and exciting cohort of Jamaican visual artists, both locally and abroad. A total of one hundred and ninety-two (192) artworks, produced by one hundred and fifteen (115) artists were reviewed by three judges: art historians Petrina Dacres and Erica Moiah James, as well as exhibition designer Sara Shabaka.  The resulting exhibition show will feature ninety-nine (97) artworks, by sixty-eight (68) Jamaican artists, based locally and overseas.

Artworks in the exhibition take on many forms: sculpture, fibre and textile arts, painting, photography, mixed media works, as well as large-scale installations. As is expected with any open submission-based art show, the themes explored by our artists are diverse. Some of the more timeless ones include issues surrounding gender, ancestry, the environment, personas and personalities.

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Raised and molded in the strongly cultured City of Kingston Jamaica, Jaz Elise is an artiste who is on a mission to make great songs and uplift and spread positivity. Born Jasmine Taylor, she began singing in the children’s choir at age 5 and continued to pursue it throughout her life. Jaz Elise also has extensive experience in dancing and acting, performing in the Quilt Performing Arts Company and co-starring in films such as Capture Land (Directed by Nabil Elderkin) and Proscenium. Her style is a mixture of soulful melodies and DJ style and her aim is to tell real stories, give real perspectives and to entertain through her music.

The National Gallery of Jamaica will be open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. The formalities will begin at 1:30 pm and the performance will follow afterwards. 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.

International Reggae Poster Contest Poster Auction Catalogue

This Sunday June 30, 2019 is the International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC) Poster Auction of selected international entries from the 2018 competition and special contributions, including a limited edition serigraph from IRPC co-founder, the late Michael ‘Freestylee’ Thompson. The proceeds from the auction will go to the Alpha Institute School of Music on 26 South Camp Road.

Below is a link to the catalogue of posters up for bidding.

The auction begins promptly at 2:30pm, following a live music performance by Sparrow Martin and The Skasonics at 1:30pm, all of whom are alumni of the vocational institution.

On Saturday June 29, 2019 there will be a related event, Downtown Top Rankin’ at F&B Downtown. There will be a viewing of the limited edition serigraph by IRPC founder Michael Thompson from 8pm – 10pm, as well live painting of the work by 3 artists. These will also be available for purchase during the auction this Last Sundays.

The National Gallery of Jamaica will be open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. 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.

This exhibition has been sponsored by: MBJ Airports Ltd. and Paperboy JA, the exhibition’s printing partner, with support from: Freestyle, It’s Just Me, Graphic Art News and Alpha Institute.

Last Sundays June 30, 2019 to ft. Skasonics + Poster Auction

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The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programming for June 30, 2019 will feature the return of the International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC) charity auction for the first time since the exhibition debuted in 2012. Featuring select international entries from the 2018 competition and special contributions, including a limited edition serigraph from IRPC co-founder, the late Michael ‘Freestylee’ Thompson, the June 30 charity auction will mark the closing of The 25th Art of Reggae Exhibition which opened in February 2019. The auction will open with a live music performance by Sparrow Martin and The Skasonics. Proceeds from poster sales will support the Alpha Institute School of Music on 26 South Camp Road.

The 25th Art of Reggae Exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica includes the top 60 professional poster submissions to the 2018 International Reggae Poster Contest and top 40 student submissions as judged by the IRPC international jury. A total of 28 countries are represented with China (21 posters) and Iran (11 posters) securing the most spots in the top 100. From the whimsical to the geometric, people and places, the abstract and the literal, the posters represent a diverse global artistic perspective with a special and singular focus: Jamaican culture. The exhibition has been 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.

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This year, the IRPC Charity Poster Auction hopes to raise JA$600,000 to underwrite a 2019-2020 scholarship at the Alpha Institute School of Music for a deserving Alpha music student. The National Gallery of Jamaica invites art and culture fans, reggaephiles and world music lovers, to come out and support this worthy cause. The live music will begin at 1:30 pm with the auction starting at 2:30 pm. Major credit cards are accepted, however cheques will not be. Payment must be made on the day of the auction.

The Alpha Institute – formerly Alpha Boys School – a vocational institution located in Kingston, was founded in 1880 and has been operated by the Sisters of Mercy since 1890. It was geared towards underprivileged youth and has been home to many notable Jamaican musicians and artists such as Johnnie Osbourne, Tony Gregory and founding members of the Skatalites, to name a few. Today, Alpha is a day school for youth 16-20 years old along with the Alpha Institute School of Music

Prof. Carolyn Cooper a consultant on culture and development and IRPC board member will make remarks on behalf of the IRPC. A woman of many accolades, Cooper received a scholarship to complete her B.A in English at UWI, Mona and fellowships to complete both her 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 founding of the International Reggae Studies Centre at UWI.

A past student of Alpha, veteran musician Winston “Sparrow” Martin, was also the longest-serving music teacher at the school. Band Master Emeritus at Alpha he was tutored by Rueben Delgado and Lennie Hibbert. He played on The Wailers hit song Stir it Up and American guitarist Eric Gale’s acclaimed jazz/reggae album, Negril. In 2007 he was awarded a Bronze Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica for his contributions to music. The Skasonics band is composed of Alpha graduates who play foundation Jamaican music in a style they consider “the real authentic way.” They have one goal in mind “that is to make you move your feet to the energetic beat.”

The National Gallery of Jamaica will be open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. 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.

This exhibition has been sponsored by: MBJ Airports Ltd. and Paperboy JA, the exhibition’s printing partner, with support from: Freestyle, It’s Just Me, Graphic Art News and Alpha Institute.

Last Sundays: Lupus Awareness Month

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The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programming for the month of May will be the last opportunity to view mark The 25th Art of Reggae Exhibition. It will also feature a screening of the film The Lupus Life and special musical by performances by Evad Campbell and Roshane Wright.

May is Lupus Awareness Month and as part of its observances the National Gallery in partnership with The Music House, will be screening the short documentary film The Lupus Life. Directed by Kevin Jackson the film will offer our audience a glimpse into the daily struggle with the oftentimes invisible disease lupus. Following the film there will also be musical performances by former and current students of The Music House: Evad Campbell and Roshane Wright.

Born and raised in Kingston, Evad Campbell is a keyboardist, musical director, arranger and soundtrack producer. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music Degree at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, with a goal to contribute to the further development of Jamaica’s musical industry. Campbell returns to Jamaica regularly during his breaks from his studies to work with local groups such as Ashe and the UWI Panoridim Steel Orchestra.

Former president and advisor for the RD Drummers, Roshane Wright is a professional percussionist, playing for various artists and performing arts groups such as Jamique Ensemble, Apollo Tafari and L’Acadco: A United Caribbean Dance Force. He has received numerous awards for his drumming and arrangements and is preparing to further his studies at the Humber College in Toronto, Canada.

The National Gallery of Jamaica will be open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, with the entertainment 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.