National Gallery Receives Painting by Spanish Artist Ciria


José Manuel Ciria - The Dream of Inam, from the La Guardia Place series, New York (2006)

The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to announce that it has received a painting by the internationally renowned Spanish artist, José Manuel Ciria, which was donated to its permanent collection by the artist. The handing over of this work took place at the residence of the Spanish Ambassador, H.E. Celsa Nuño on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 and the work was received for the National Gallery by its Chairman, Wayne Chen.

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Stanford Watson – Artist, Art Teacher and Community Art Activist

Stanford Watson - Malnourished Dog from an Independent State (1996), NGJ Collection

Stanford Watson was born in Lucea, Hanover in 1959 as one of eight children. He enjoyed his time growing up in the country, engaging in activities such as swimming in the rivers or the sea, catching crabs and fish, and going to Sunday school, although he outgrew the latter as he expanded his education through reading many books. He attended Ruseas High School and came to Kingston in 1979 to attend the Jamaica School of Art (now Edna Manley College) where he studied painting, which is still his primary medium of visual expression today. As a young man during the socio-political upheavals of the 1970s, Watson became fascinated with ideas of cultural and social revolution, wishing to see the appearance of, and to be involved in, radical movements to challenge the status quo. He soon associated with a group of contemporary artists, which included Omari Ra, Khalfani Ra and Eric Cadien, who shared similar Black Nationalist views and pursued varying modes of expressionism in their works. Continue reading

Jamaica’s Art Pioneers: Roy Reid (1937-2009)

Roy Reid - A Pig is a pig (1986), Collection: Herman van Asbroeck

Royland Reid was born in Portland, December 12, 1937, one of five children. His father was a cultivator and at the age of twelve, having dropped out of school, young Roy began his work in the field as well – a task that he said he didn’t enjoy much. Leaving school at such an early age was detrimental as he remained illiterate during his teens and well into adulthood. It can be assumed that Reid may have inherited his artistic and creative flair from his father, who he described as something of an artist himself; a musician who played the guitar, bass and other stringed instruments, as well as building the instruments himself. Roy Reid was also interested in music and much later on in life would experiment with building speakers, substituting the customary wooden box with an oil drum to “…give one a better sound”. He eventually left home in 1960 to settle in Spanish Town, making a living from doing odd jobs.

Reid described the sixties as his most important and exciting time as it was then that he started to seriously pursue artistic endeavours. “In this time, I taught myself to print using, initially, household enamel and brushes made from goat’s hair.” In 1968 he was employed to the Ministry of Works and Communication. In that same year, he decided to begin publicly promoting his artwork. First, he approached the Director of the Hills Galleries and later Miss M. McGowan of the Junior Centre at the Institute of Jamaica. In 1971, he made his first entry into a public exhibition at the Institute and became a regular entrant for the Institute’s Self-Taught and Annual National Exhibitions up until 1978. He was awarded for his 1972 entry, Happy Reunion Jason Whyte. During this time, he also conquered his illiteracy, teaching himself to read using the Bible. His work was promoted in the United States and he also exhibited in Cuba for the exhibition entitled Jamaican Primitives in 1976. His career as an exhibiting artist quickly and steadily developed and towards the eighties Reid began exhibiting in the UK. Reid was selected as a participating artist in the NGJ’s inaugural Intuitive Eye exhibition of 1979 as well as its two editions since then, Fifteen Intuitives in 1987 and Intuitives III in 2006. In 1987, he was awarded the Institute of Jamaica’s Bronze Musgrave Medal.  In 1999, Roy Reid was inducted into the Caribbean Hall of Fame in the category of the Visual Arts along with Collin Garland, Osmond Watson, Susan Alexander and Carl Abrahams. His work is represented in private collections and the NGJ Collection. Roy Reid, who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and diabetes for some time, succumbed to illness on the morning of January 10, 2009 at his home in the Olympic Gardens area. Continue reading

Jamaica’s Art Pioneers: Karl Parboosingh (1923-1975)

This post – another in our series in Jamaica’s art pioneers – was researched and written by Monique Barnett, our new Curatorial Assistant. Monique is a graduae of the Edna Manley College (Painting) and has previously worked with Ardenne High School and the MultiCare Foundation.

Karl Parboosingh - Cement Company (1966), A.D. Scott Collection, NGJ

At the opening of the Karl Parboosingh Retrospective, held posthumously at the National Gallery of Jamaica on December 15, 1975, the Honourable Michael Manley, Prime Minister and guest speaker, spoke these words about the painter:

Parboo felt strongly that art should be functional…the viewer…must somehow be brought into the situation which the artist’s brush described and must find himself reacting to the message of the artist. And Parboo insisted – there must be a message.

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Slide Show: Dawn Scott – A Cultural Object (1985)

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We present this slide-show on Dawn Scott’s seminal site-specific installation A Cultural Object (1985), in tribute to the artist, who passed away on Tuesday. You can read more about A Cultural Object, which is on permanent view at the NGJ,  by clicking this link.

Photographs: Phillip Rhoden, NGJ

In Memoriam: Dawn Scott (1951-2010)

Dawn Scott at work on A Cultural Object in June 1985 - producing the body cast for the central figure

The National Gallery of Jamaica deeply regrets to announce that the Jamaican artist and designer Dawn Scott has passed away this morning, September 21, 2010.

Born Alison Dawn Scott in Mandeville in 1951, Dawn Scott had her first exhibition in 1971, when she showed a group of paintings, drawings and sculptures at the United States Information Service in Kingston. She started producing figurative batik paintings in the mid 1970s and first exhibited these in 1975 at the Creative Arts Centre of the University of the West Indies Mona Campus. She also lived in Barbados in the late 1970s  and exhibited there at the Queen’s Park Gallery and Yoruba House in 1978.

Figurative batik was Dawn Scott’s main medium for some twenty years, culminating in her solo exhibition Nature Vive (1994) at the Grosvenor Galleries in Kingston. By far her most impactful exhibition, however, was her contribution to Six Options: Gallery Spaces Transformed (1985), the National Gallery’s (and Jamaica’s) first exhibition of installation art. On this occasion, she produced A Cultural Object, a haunting, spiral-shaped “zinc fence” structure which transposed some of the realities of Jamaica’s inner city life into the gallery spaces of the National Gallery.

Dawn Scott has taught textile art at the School of Visual Arts, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, where she recently also served as an external examiner. She was also active as a fashion designer and her handmade, hand-dyed clothes were in great demand, locally, in the 1980s and early 1990s. Around 1980, she had been closely involved in the restoration of the Harmony Hall manse in Tower Isle, St Mary, and designed the ornamental fretwork for the building. Her long-standing interest in interior design and architectural detailing became her primary professional preoccupation in the latter years of her life and she was involved in major projects such as the Island Village in Ocho Rios and the Goldeneye Villas in Oracabessa, Portland, on both of which she collaborated with the acclaimed Jamaican architect Ann Hodges. Each of these projects adapted aspects of Jamaica’s architectural heritage in a contemporary context.

Dawn Scott received the Institute of Jamaica’s Centenary Medal in 1979 and a Bronze Musgrave Medal for merit in the Visual Arts in 1999.

Dawn Scott - Indian Girl (n.d.), batik

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