Last Sundays July 29, 2018 to feature the Rhumbaka Mento Band

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programming for July 29th will feature a musical performance by the Rhumbaka Mento Band. Visitors will have a last chance to view the exhibitions John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night and Daylight Come: Picturing Dunkley’s Jamaica.

Mento music originates from Jamaica’s plantation days and comprises of both African and European influences, sharing similarities to Trinidadian calypso. It predates genres such as ska and reggae and was the first form of popular Jamaican music to be recorded commercially. The instruments commonly used in mento are unique: the banjo, fife, maraca and the rumba box, from which “Rhumbaka” takes part of its name.

The Rhumbaka Mento Band

ABOUT THE PERFORMERS

St. Catherine’s “Rhumbakah”, the modern day mento band, is very idiosyncratic. Emerging from Charlemont High School, it consists of talented young men aiming to spread mento music through the band’s unique sound and look. The band, which was founded in 2017,  is directed and managed by Nigel Powell.

To date the Rhumbaka Mento Band has performed at the University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor’s Christmas Dinner, the Ministry of Education’s GSAT awards, the JCDC Customer Appreciation Awards Ceremony and the Nestle CEO reception and other other events.

ABOUT THE EXHIBITIONS

John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night was originally exhibited at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). It was curated by Diana Nawi and co-curated by independent Jamaican curator Nicole Smythe-Johnson. The exhibition focuses on intuitive Jamaican artist John Dunkley (1891-1947) who is known for his darkly coloured paintings, rich with fantastical landscapes.

Alongside the John Dunkley exhibition is Daylight Come: Picturing Dunkley’s Jamaica, which explores the events in Jamaica during Dunkley’s time. Daylight Come… looks at the works of Dunkley’s contemporaries, Albert Huie, Henry Daley, David Miller Snr and Jnr, amongst others and the transitory shift into the Jamaican Nationalist era.

Both exhibitions close on this Last Sundays, July 29, 2018.

Doors will open to the public from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. The performance by the Rhumbakah Mento Band will begin at 1:30 p.m. As is customary on Last Sundays, admission and guided tours are free, but contributions to the Donations Box located in the Coffee Shop are appreciated. These donations help to fund our Last Sunday’s events. The National Gallery’s Gift Shop and Coffee Shop will also be open for business.

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Last Sundays June 24 to ft. Amina Blackwood-Meeks + Anomaly

 

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programming for June 24th will feature storytelling by Amina Blackwood-Meeks and the visual and performing arts group Anomaly. The exhibitions John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night and Daylight Come: Picturing Dunkley’s Jamaica will also be on view.

 

Storyteller, Amina Blackwood-Meeks

 

Performing arts group, Anomaly

 

ABOUT THE PERFORMERS

Both exhibitions are filled with stories of Jamaican histories which are rich in their potential to inspire storytellers and on this Last Sunday we welcome writer, director, performer, and custodian of the oral tradition, Dr. Amina Blackwood-Meeks. Widely acclaimed for her contribution to the renaissance of the traditional Caribbean storytelling art form, Blackwood-Meeks communicates both traditional and modern tales and her “…deep, rich, dramatic and deliberate voice brings stories from the heads of the ancestors, connecting ancient wit and wisdom with modern needs.” Her performance on Sunday has been inspired by closely interfacing with the current exhibitions and is guaranteed to delight children and adults alike.   See her website at http://aminablackwoodmeeks.com/.

Formed in 2016, the creative arts company Anomaly interweaves dance and drama to bring about the personal and social development of their performers and audiences. Anomaly has produced an annual creative arts festival and a creative arts summer camp for children. In their own words “We believe in the interaction of creative minds to amplify the art industry in Jamaica.”

ABOUT THE EXHIBITIONS

Originally exhibited at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) in 2017 and considered to be one of the most exciting shows that year in the USA, John Dunkley Neither Day nor Night showcases a once in a lifetime compilation of the work of renowned Jamaican Intuitive artist, John Dunkley (1891-1947). Born in Savanna-la-Mar, Dunkley was of the generation of Jamaicans who travelled to Panama, Costa Rica and Cuba at the beginning of the 20th Century seeking opportunities for work and advancement. His moody paintings and whimsical sculptures reflect his life, experiences and views on Jamaica’s fledgling nationalist movement. The National Gallery’s version of the exhibition, which opened on April 29 and closes on July 29, contains important new work not shown at PAMM.

Exploring themes of tourism, immigration and the emergence of cultural nationalism during Dunkley’s lifetime; Daylight Come…Picturing Dunkley’s Jamaica acts as a complement to John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night. The exhibition contains rare photographs, artefacts and film footage from the turn of the century leading into the Jamaican Nationalist era and provides further context to Dunkley’s creative output. It explores the work of his contemporaries David Miller Snr and David Miller Jnr, Carl Abrahams, Albert Huie, David Pottinger, Ralph Campbell and Henry Daley among others; and shows the move from ethnographic and oftentimes disparaging depictions of Jamaicans, to the attempts at social and cultural empowerment by the aforementioned artists and others of the Jamaican Cultural Nationalist movement of the early 1900s. This exhibition, which opened on May 27, will also be on view until July 29.

Doors will open to the public from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Storytelling by Amina Blackwood-Meeks will begin at 1:30 p.m followed by Anomaly’s performance. As is customary on Last Sundays, admission and guided tours are free, but contributions to the Donations Box located in the Coffee Shop are appreciated. These donations help to fund our Last Sunday’s events. The National Gallery’s Gift Shop and Coffee Shop will also be open for business.

“Daylight Come…Picturing Dunkley’s Jamaica” to open at National Gallery’s on Last Sundays on May 27, 2018

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programme for the month of May will mark the opening of a new exhibition Daylight Come…Picturing Dunkley’s Jamaica. It will also feature a special ensemble musical performance as part of Lupus Awareness month activities.

Daylight Come…Picturing Dunkley’s Jamaica complements the John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night exhibition which opened on April 29.This retrospective of Dunkley’s work was curated by independent curator Diana Nawi, formerly of the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), and Nicole Smythe-Johnson, independent Jamaican curator and writer. Originally shown at PAMM in 2017, this version includes six works that were not part of that initial exhibition.

John Dunkley – Diamond Wedding (1940), Collection: National Gallery of Jamaica (Gift of Cassie Dunkley)

This new exhibition Daylight Come… explores themes such as tourism, immigration and the emergence of cultural nationalism in Jamaica during Dunkley’s lifetime. The exhibition provides further context to Dunkley’s creative output; exploring the works of his contemporaries David Miller Snr and David Miller Jnr, Carl Abrahams, Albert Huie, David Pottinger, Ralph Campbell and Henry Daley among others. This exhibition will be on view until July 29, 2018.

The Millers in 1964

May is Lupus Awareness Month and the special musical performance this Last Sundays serves as one of the activities to raise awareness to this life-altering disease. The music, poetry and dance that will be performed are all inspired by the emotional states experienced by someone with Lupus. The various performers include members of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica, the Jamaica Youth Chorale, the Porter Centre for Knowledge and The Music House.

Edna Manley – Prayer/Kneeling Figure, (1937)

As is now customary for our Sunday programmes, the doors will be open to the public from 11 am to 4 pm and the special musical performance starts at 1:30 pm. Admission and guided tours will be free. The gift and coffee shop will also be open for business.

 

Last Sundays March 25, 2018 to feature Tribe Sankofa

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programming for March will feature a special performance by Tribe Sankofa, presenting from their repertoire: A Tribe Ting. Their production will also include a performance by special guest Jamila Falak. Visitors will have a last opportunity to view our exhibitions Portraits in Dialogue and Engaging Abstraction, both, part of our Explorations series before they close.

Tribe Sankofa

Tribe Sankofa is a performing arts collective brought together by Fabian Thomas and comprised of multi-talented performers. This vibrant and eclectic collective combines their artistry to add an exciting new dimension to the performing arts landscape both locally and globally. Their niche, as described by founder Thomas is seen as “…borrowed and original spoken word/poetry, soulful song styling blended with other visual and performing arts.”

Jamila Falak

The National Gallery’s Explorations V and VI are part of an open ended series of exhibitions that examine major themes and issues in Jamaica’s art and visual culture. Exploration V: Portraits in Dialogue, examines through visual juxtaposition, the complicated and often times political significance of portraiture in Jamaican art. Exploration VI: Engaging Abstraction, offers a look into abstraction as a modern and contemporary image-making approach, of which up until the 1960’s, was considered contradictory to ideas of representation.  The significant impact of abstraction on Jamaica and Caribbean art can be seen in our collection which features numerous works of art that qualify as abstract, or at least abstracted.

As is customary for our Sunday programmes, the doors will open to the public from 11 am to 4 pm, with Tribe Sankofa’s performance at 1:30 pm. Admission is free and free guided tours will be also be available to. Our Gift and Coffee shop will  also be open for business and contributions to the donation box will be welcomed. The revenue from our Gift shop and donation box help to fund programmes such as our Explorations series as well as our Last Sundays programming.

Last Sundays February 25, 2018 to feature Sonnishea

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programming for February will feature a musical performance by Sonnette McKenzie, known to the musical fraternity as Sonnishea. The exhibitions Explorations V: Portraits in Dialogue and Exploration VI: Engaging Abstraction will also be on view.

February 25 will also mark the reopening of the National Gallery of Jamaica’s  A.D. Scott Collection. Ainsworth David Scott O.D. (A.D. Scott) was a steadfast collector of Jamaican art. He founded the Olympia International Art Centre and played a pivotal role in the formalization of the National Gallery through service as both the board director and as a benefactor. A.D. Scott believed strongly in the inclusion of art in business and that the visual arts could further cultural development. The works in this collection offer insight into the Post-Independence Jamaican Art Movement and the works on display are a selection of the  sixty-two donated to the National Gallery  from his personal collection . Some of the artists included in the collection are Carl Abrahams, Albert Huie, Eugene Hyde, Alvin Marriott, Karl Parboosingh and Barrington Watson.

Barrington Watson – Athlete’s Nightmare II (1966), A.D. Scott Collection: NGJ

This Sunday’s performer, Sonnishea, is a talented singer, songwriter and poet, whose love of music spans multiple genres. She began singing at the age of five on the children’s choir of her local church, of which her parents were the directors. She was part of Glenmuir High School’s winning Junior Festival Choir in 2005 and 2007 and went on to sing lead in several performances of the Glenmuir Choir. Sonnishea then joined The Quilt Performing Arts Company where she was provided a platform to not only expand her talents but to touch a multitude of audiences. She is now a member of the UWI Classical and Jazz Ensemble and has performed in their 2016 and 2017 season shows. This Last Sunday opening will mark Sonnishea’s debut as an independent performer and she looks forward to where this new path may lead her.

Sonnishea

Doors will be open to the public from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm; Sonnishea’s performance will begin at 1:30 p.m and, as is customary on Last Sundays, admission and guided tours are free. The Gift Shop and Coffee Shop will be open for business, with food, drink and unique locally made items for purchase. There is a donations box and any contributions will be appreciated. Donations are used to help fund exhibitions and programmes such as our Explorations series and Last Sundays events.

 

Last Sundays on January 28, 2018 to feature the EarthKry band

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programme for the month of January will feature a special musical performance by the EarthKry band. Visitors will also be able to view editions V and VI in our Explorations exhibition series, Portraits in Dialogue and Engaging Abstraction. January 28 will also mark the reopening of the Kapo Galleries.

The EarthKry band, featuring keyboard player Phillip Mcfarlane, drummer Kieron Cunningham, bass guitarist Kamardo Blake and vocalist/guitarist Aldayne Haughton, continues their mission to voice the grievances of the downtrodden through their music. Drawing their inspiration from Bob Marley and The Wailers, The Beatles, John Holt, Black Uhuru and Steel Pulse, the group offers a genre-spanning fresh and universal sound. After the release of their debut album Survival at the end of June in 2017, the group embarked on a successful tour of North America and Europe spreading their message of authentic roots and culture. We welcome back to the National Gallery the EarthKry band as they embark on their Survival Winter Tour 2018.

“We are excited to go back on the road. Recording music for prosperity is important, but to play live is a different feeling and a must. Especially for us as musician, that connection that we feel with those that come to see us, is unparalleled. Each touch of our instruments carries the roots rock and reggae through vibrations directly to them. We are conscious that our music connects with people as worldwide we all go through financial hardships, personal struggles, health issues, war crisis, abuse.” – EarthKry

The EarthKry Band

Portraits in Dialogue offers an open-ended survey of the oftentimes conflicted politics of artistic portraiture in the development of Jamaican art from the 18th century to the present. Issues explored include representations of surrounding race, class, and gender, as well as the perspectives of the artist. The second exhibition, Engaging Abstraction, examines abstraction as a modern and contemporary image-making approach that deviates from the more literal and popularized representational choices practiced by artists from Jamaica, the Caribbean and its Diaspora. The significant impact of abstraction on Jamaican and Caribbean art can be seen in our collection which features numerous works of art that qualify as abstract, or at least as abstracted.

This Last Sundays will also see the reopening of the Kapo Galleries, which celebrate the work of Jamaica’s foremost Intuitive artist Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds. The newly reinstalled gallery features both sculptures and paintings from three of our collections: the Larry Wirth Collection, The John Pringle Collection and the Aaron and Marjorie Matalon Collection. The works showcase the life, interests and spiritual beliefs of this Zion Revivalist leader.

Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds – Revivalists (1969), Larry Wirth Collection, NGJ

As is now customary for our Sunday programmes, the doors will be open to the public from 11 am to 4 pm and EarthKry’s performance starts at 1:30 pm. Admission and guided tours will be free. The gift and coffee shop will also be open for business and and contributions to the donations box are welcomed. Revenues from our shops and donations help to fund programmes such as the Explorations exhibitions and our Last Sundays programming.