In Memoriam, Wallace Campbell, J.P., C.D. (1940 – 2020)

Wallace Campell - The Jamaica Magazine

Wallace Campbell (Credit: The Jamaican Magazine)

The National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) wishes to reflect on the passing of one of Jamaica’s leading art collectors and businessmen, Wallace Ransford Campbell. Campbell began his formal education at the Central Branch School and then moved on to the Excelsior College. He also attended Bowling Green State University in the United States of America, after being awarded a scholarship to study at the institution.  

A veteran and influencer in the Jamaican business community, Campbell was known as a “marketing guru” by his peers for his wit and passion in the field. Admired for his tenacity, Campbell’s marketing acumen led him to become the General Director of Grace Kennedy’s Merchandise Division in 1974. By 1976, he took the risk of leaving the company to purchase and begin operating the Lenn Happ supermarket, which he operated successfully for nearly 30 years before retiring from that enterprise in 2004. An active member of the United Congregation of Israelites and the Synagogue Trust Ltd (The Dictionary of Jamaican Personalities, 8th Edition); he also played a significant role in the Edna Manley Foundation, the Foundation for the Arts and the local Lay Magistrate Association among many other organizations. Campbell served as a member of the NGJ Board of Directors from 1992 to 2011. 

His interest in the visual arts (specifically painting) began in his youth. “From I was six, I started painting and drawing comic strips, cowboy characters like the Lone Ranger… In 1956, my best painting was of Egypt’s President Nasser which was entered in the Denham Shield School art competition” (Interview with O’Neil Lawrence and Roxanne Silent February 8, 2019, hereafter Wallace Campbell interview). 

Masquarade - Osmond Watson (Credit - The Jamaican Magazine)

Osmond Watson – Masquerade (Credit: The Jamaican Magazine)

As an adult, Campbell decided to pursue art collecting seriously, after attending the Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds Benefit Auction held at the NGJ in 1980, where he purchased several pieces. At its height, the Wallace Campbell Collection was reputed to be the largest private art collection in Jamaica, holding over 1,500 works. It archived a number of one-of-a-kind works from Jamaican artists such as David Pottinger, Alvin Marriot, Carl Abrahams, Gloria Escoffery, Henry Daley, Albert Huie, Barrington Watson, Milton George, George Rodney, Kapo, Everald Brown, Osmond Watson, among several others. Representing the wider Caribbean, Campbell acquired works by Hector Hyppolite, Philomé Obin, Seneque Obin, Rigaud Benoit, Wilson Bigaud, Andre Pierre, St Brice, Valcin, Philippe-Auguste, Castera Bazille from Haiti. From Cuba: Wifredo Lam, Víctor Patricio de Landaluze, Mariano Rodriquez, René Portocarrero, Fidelio Ponce de León. His avidly acquired collection of Jamaican and Caribbean artworks significantly contributed to the development and study of art history in the region and influenced the culture of Jamaican art connoisseurship within the local artistic community.

David Boxer - Pieta (Holocaust Series) - The Jamaican Magazine

David Boxer – Pieta (Holocaust Series) (Credit: The Jamaican Magazine)

Through his friendship with art historian and former Chief Curator of the NGJ the late Dr David Boxer, Campbell established a relationship with the Gallery and its curatorial staff that deepened his understanding of Jamaican art historical information, through the exhibitions and research programmes, alongside the general exchange of ideas (Wallace Campbell interview).  Campbell was a generous lender to several of the institution’s key exhibitions including Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds (2007), Materialising Slavery (2007), the Barrington Watson Retrospective (2012), and John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night (2017). Always motivated to conduct independent research into Jamaican and Caribbean art historical information, Campbell systematically acquired artworks that demonstrated in some way the history of Jamaican art. One of his aspirations was the development of a ‘Museum of Caribbean Art’, within which he intended to include: an exploration of the topographical traditions of the eighteenth and nineteenth-century Jamaica; a broadening of the concept of Jamaican Art through an examination of all twentieth-century artists who came to the island from abroad and finally, the incorporation of artists from other Caribbean territories such as Cuba and Haiti. He had also extended the geographical focus of his private collection to include works from artists from outside of the Caribbean, such as those based in London and New York. To that end, he had acquired the home of well-known art patron and Art Deco furniture designer Burnett Webster on Seaview Avenue. Dubbed Seaview Fine Arts, this private gallery served as the venue for several exhibitions focusing on aspects of his collection as well as the works of contemporary Jamaican artists.   

View of the Island of Jamaica Springhead of Roaring River - George Roberston 1777 (Credit - The Jamaican Magazine)

George Roberston – View of the Island of Jamaica, Springhead of Roaring River, 1777 (Credit: The Jamaican Magazine)

His understanding of the value of giving back to society was demonstrated by his willingness to use his art collection in support of events geared towards community development; a remarkable example of the phrase “being empowered to empower others.” In 1996, he donated 100 works of art from his private collection to be featured at the Art and Orchid Exhibition hosted by the District Grand Lodge of Jamaica (B.C.), held at the Pegasus Hotel in aid of the South St. Catherine Community Project. For Campbell, the business of art collecting was an important investment for the future. He believed that young art collectors should aspire to be informed, develop a trained eye and seek advice from professionals in the field. He also felt that all art collectors should develop a relationship with the artists as collecting art was “…more than a hobby, [it is] a way of life that can give you immense pleasure” (Wallace Campbell interview). In 2013, he was awarded the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander Class (CD), for “Outstanding Contribution to the Private Sector [and] the Promotion of the Arts,” by the Government of Jamaica. 

The NGJ’s Board of Directors, management and staff, recognizes Wallace Campbell as an outstanding and accomplished Jamaican, for his work in preserving aspects of Jamaican art history, as well as for his patronage and promotion of the Jamaican arts. 

Further Reading: 

“Kapo Benefit Auction.” Jamaica Gleaner. 11 October 1980, p. 27. 

Murray-Deeks, Loraine. “Collecting Art: The Wallace Campbell Collection.” The Jamaican Art Issue. Summer 2007. 

National Honours and Awards. The National Honours and Awards Act — 1969. https://jis.gov.jm/media/Hons-Awards-Gl-2013-.pdf. 2013. Accessed March 31, 2020. 

The Dictionary of Jamaican Personalities 2004 – 2005. 8th Edition. Selectco Publications Limited.  

In Memoriam, Michael Stanley (1944 – 2020)

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Mike Stanley (provided by Donnette Zacca)

The National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ)  remembers British-born, Jamaica-based artist Michael Stanley as a brilliant post-Abstractionist whose inspirations were drawn from Jamaica’s tropical environment. He moved to the island in the late 1980s, migrating with his wife Margaret – a Jamaican fibre/textile artist and lecturer – and his daughter Suzi. Michael Stanley was born in 1944 in Wales, United Kingdom. His development as a professional painter began as a student at the Chelsea College of Arts in London (1963 – 1967), as an participant of the Young Contemporaries student exhibitions at Chelsea; in 1966 he was awarded second place. As Stanley continued to paint throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he developed a form of visual rhetoric through which he used paint as a kind of language (Global Voices). 

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Michael Stanley – In the Swim

He has had three large one-man exhibitions, including Passion for Paint held at the University of the West Indies (Mona), as well as joint exhibitions with his wife Margaret. He participated in The Annual National Exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica in 2001 and the Jamaica National Biennial 2004 and 2006.  In addition to his career as an artist, Stanley was also an educator. He taught art in London and then Jamaica at the Caribbean School of Architecture at the University of Technology and the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston. 

The NGJ’s Board of Directors, management and staff remembers, Michael Stanley for his stellar contribution to the Jamaican visual arts community. 

Sources: 

n.p. “From London to Kingston, British-Jamaican Artist Mike Stanley Speaks the Language of Paint”. Global Voices. 2016. https://globalvoices.org/2016/10/14/from-london-to- kingston-british-jamaican-artist-mike-stanley-speaks-the-language-of-paint

Jamaica Biennial. Catalogue. National Gallery of Jamaica. December 7 – March 15, 2015.

NOTICE: Closed to Public

COVID-Closure-Notice

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced the closure of cultural and sport facilities, including museums, galleries, and stadia run by the government.

Minister Grange says the closures — with effect from Saturday, 14 March 2020 — are in keeping with the Government’s strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Jamaica and to minimise the potential health impact on the country.

The facilities that will be closed to the public are:

  • African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank;
  • Alexander Bustamante boyhood home at Blenheim, Hanover 
  • Bustamante Museum at Tucker Avenue, St Andrew;
  • Paul Bogle Memorial Park at Stony Gut, St Thomas;
  • Liberty Hall: The Legacy of Marcus Garvey;
  • IOJ Junior Centres; 
  • Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre;
  • Fort Charles;
  • National Gallery of Jamaica;
  • Seville Heritage Park;
  • National Gallery West;
  • Natural History Museum of Jamaica;
  • National Museum Jamaica; 
  • Jamaica Music Museum;
  • National Library of Jamaica;
  • National Stadium;
  • National Aquatics Centre;
  • and Trelawny Stadium

Source: The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport

NGJ Summer Exhibition: Nathan Cunningham

Nathan Cunningham

Nathan Cunningham - Dance with a lady - NG035

Nathan Cunningham – Dance with a lady

Pulling from his life and surroundings Nathan Cunningham creates detailed and colourful drawings that relive past experiences.

Nathan Cunningham - Greatness is what - NG034

Nathan Cunningham – Greatness is what brings all of us together

NGJ Summer Exhibition: Heather Sutherland Wade

Heather Sutherland Wade

Heather Sutherland Wade - Coastline NG011.jpg

Heather Sutherland Wade – Coastline 1 (top) & 2 (bottom)

The desire to paint comes when I am in awe of the beauty that surrounds me.

I am fortunate to live in and enjoy a beautiful part of the island.

I delight in the array of colours, and I see this in nature.

I am fascinated by the beauty that is my country.

Heather Sutherland Wade - Wildflowers - NG052.jpg

Heather Sutherland Wade – Wildflowers

My gift of Art enhances my view. As a landscape artist I feel, I think, I ‘see more abundantly’ when I look at the hills, at the many different views and at studies of our coastline. 

In looking and seeing, I experience His grace. I sense His peace as I am enraptured by a tropical sunrise, fishing boats at rest, the sun lighting the hills or setting behind the mountains.

I am just simply thankful to the Creator for opening Heaven’s windows and allowing me to experience creation from a unique vantage point.

Website: caribbeanartform.com
Instagram: ArtconnectJa
Facebook:  Heathersutherlandwade

NGJ Summer Exhibition:Stafford Schliefer

Stafford Schliefer

Stafford Schliefer - Carnival Night - NG016

“Carnival Night” was inspired by Caribbean and Brazilian carnivals, the latter having been witnessed on some very colourful nights spent on a visit to Rio de Janeiro, in which the brilliance of the procession was surprisingly not at all dulled by the night. The vitality, energy of physical movement was overwhelming – kept in my mind until and throughout execution of “Carnival Night”. The predominantly black background conjures the night time backdrop, while the use of collage alongside brushing with acrylic paints allowed for the incorporation of items such as coloured feathers, fake jewellery, sequins, varicoloured pipe cleaners, and a carnival mask, all affixed with permanent adhesives. 

Stafford Schliefer - Wind and Light - NG025

Stafford Schliefer – Wind and Light – View of Mavis Bank

“Light and Wind, Mavis Bank” was birthed as a result of dramatic cloud formations observed on a trip to Mavis Bank. In keeping with my traditional infatuation with natural movement, the impressionist technique used allowed me to capture the circular and horizontal shifting of clouds, which appeared to be composing / changing the sky’s stage by redistributing sunlight, a phenomenon which never fails to stimulate me. 

Website: www.staffordschliefer.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wayside-Studio/216815391695467