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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Remembering Seya Parboosingh (1925-2010)

Seya Parboosingh - Sharing at the Table (1999), Aaron and Marjorie Matalon Collection, NGJ

The NGJ deeply regrets the passing of Seya Parboosingh on Friday, August 13. This is our tribute to Seya.

The painter and poet Seya Parboosingh, née Samila Joseph, was born in 1925, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She was of Lebanese descent. She attended the University of Iowa, where she concentrated on creative writing. Seya met and married Jamaican artist Karl Parboosingh in New York in 1957 and began to paint under his direction. The couple settled in Jamaica in 1958 and that year they had their first joint exhibition at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library. Seya spent most of her active life in Jamaica and was a well-recognized member of the Jamaican artistic community. She received the Institute of Jamaica’s Bronze Musgrave Medal for art in 1988. Continue reading