Panel Discussion “Kingston: Filming The City” – October 27 @ 2 pm


On Thursday, October 27, 2016, starting at 2:00 pm, the National Gallery of Jamaica will be hosting a panel discussion entitled Kingston: Filming the City. This event aims to explore the the work of filmmakers in depicting and interpreting Kingston life and its environs. Kingston: Filming the City is part of the educational programming associated with the NGJ’s current feature exhibition Kingston, Part 1: The City and Art, which opened on July 31 and will now close on November 5. The exhibition utilizes paintings, sculpture, ceramics, film and photography to explore the dynamic between Kingston’s growth as a major commercial as well as cultural centre and the development of Jamaican visual art practice and infrastructure.

The focus on film for the panel discussion was inspired by the inclusion of two motion-picture works in the exhibition: Chaotic Beauty (2016), a video by emerging Jamaican digital artist Di-Andre Caprice Davis, and The Harder They Come (1972), the iconic Jamaican film directed by Perry Henzell and written by himself and Trevor Rhone. Both of these productions have featured Kingston not just as a backdrop to story-telling, but as a key location element that informs narrative progression and character development. Some have argued that The Harder They Come is also a portrait of Kingston and a time-capsule representation of urban life in Jamaica in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Kingston has featured in several other memorable, locally produced and international films, including the first James Bond film Dr No (1962), Rockers (1978), Dancehall Queen (1997), Third World Cop (1999), Better Mus’ Come (2010) and Kingston Paradise (2013). Kingston also serves as the locale and backdrop to numerous Jamaican and other music videos, such as Proteje’s Kingston Be Wise (2013).

The discussion on October 27 will be moderated by lecturer of Audio-Visual History at the University of the West Indies (Mona), Dr. Julian Cresser, along with the following panellists:

  • Franklyn “Chappy” St. Juste, veteran cinematographer who has been credited in films such as The Harder They Come (1972), Children of Babylon (1980) and Coolie Pink and Green (2009). St. Juste has also contributed valuable years of service to the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC) and the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC).
  • Natalie Thompson, film producer and managing director of Cinecom. Some of Thompson’s acclaimed productions have included Third World Cop (1999), Knight and Day (2010) and the Marley documentary (2012).
  • Nile Saulter, cinematographer and film director as well as founding member of New Caribbean Cinema. Some of his notable productions include Coast (2011), Pillowman (2013) and Everblessed (2016), a collaboration between himself and Canadian journalist Jeremy Relph.
  • Randall Richards, emerging photographer, videographer and one of the founders of ARRC Creative Media Ltd. Richards’ recent productions have included the music video for music single by Reggae artiste Protogé, Kingston Be Wise (2013).

Also as an accompanying mini-campaign to the Kingston: Filming The City panel discussion, persons are being invited to create 10 to 20 second videos about Kingston and post them to the NGJ Education Department Facebook page, using the hashtag #ngjkingstonfilm. The final day for posting will be on November 4, 2016. All posts will be reviewed by the National Gallery of Jamaica before appearing on the page’s timeline.

The panel discussion is free and open to the public. Persons in attendance will also have an opportunity to view the Kingston, Part 1: The City and Art exhibition.

“Caribbean in Motion” To Be Shown at National Gallery West

National Gallery West


National Gallery West, the Montego Bay branch of the National Gallery of Jamaica, is pleased to present the Caribbean in Motion: Improving Lives through Artistry and Animation, an exhibition of work by Caribbean animators, which is presented in Jamaica in association with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Caribbean in Motion will be on view at National Gallery West from October 2 to November 20, 2016.

Caribbean in Motion was organized as a partnership between the IDB and the Animae Caribe Caribbean Animation Festival and earlier this year shown at the IDB Cultural Center in Washington, DC. The exhibition highlights some of the most captivating and imaginative animation and illustration in the Caribbean today, including works by Makesi Aquan, Danielle Blaize, Mathew Hudson, Alison Latchman, Anieph Latchman, Wendell McShine, Khia Poitier, Ansar Sattar, Steven Schmid and Marlo Scott. Caribbean in Motion explores the multifaceted social and economic benefits generated by…

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Last Sundays, June 26, 2016/KOTE event – feat. Notis Heavyweight Rockaz and David Gumbs

June 2016 Last Sundays (updated 2)

The National Gallery of Jamaica is presenting a special edition of its Last Sundays on June 26, 2016, on the occasion of the 2016 Kingston on the Edge (KOTE) urban arts festival. The programme features music by Notis Heavyweight Rockaz and, in collaboration with New Local Space (NLS), there will be an interactive video performance by the Martinique-based artist David Gumbs. There will also be opportunity to tour the current exhibition, Digital, and to view the permanent exhibitions.

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Season’s Greetings from the National Gallery of Jamaica!

Isaac Mendes Belisario - Koo, Koo, or Actor-Boy (Sketches of Character) (1837), Aaron & Marjorie Matalon Collection, NGJ

Isaac Mendes Belisario – Koo, Koo, or Actor-Boy (Sketches of Character) (1837), Aaron & Marjorie Matalon Collection, NGJ

On this glorious, sun-filled Christmas morning, we would like to invite you to reflect for a moment on the rich cultural significance of the Holiday Season and Jamaican traditions such as Jonkonnu and Grand Market. Christmas-time activities have been a source of inspiration for many artists in Jamaica, starting with Isaac Mendes Belisario’s Sketches of Character (1837-38), which depicted Jonkonnu and related masquerades during the Emancipation period.

Christmas is traditionally spent with family and for us at the National Gallery the Holiday Season is normally a busy period, with many persons visiting, often in the company of family members. This includes members of the Jamaican Diaspora who are visiting for the Holidays – we welcome them home and are delighted that many use the opportunity to reconnect with their Jamaican heritage.

Osmond Watson - Jonkonnu (1970), Collection: NGJ

Osmond Watson – Jonkonnu (1970), Collection: NGJ

We have a lot to offer this Holiday Season. In Kingston, we have the Explorations IV: Masculinities and Recent Acquisitions exhibitions and, of course, our permanent exhibitions, which include Belisario’s Sketches of Character. Our Last Sundays programme for this month is on Sunday, December 27 and features what is now an annual Holiday tradition: a performance by Nexus Performing Arts Company. This year’s performance will consist of a set inspired by the Masculinities exhibition and takes the form of a musical gallery tour. Doors are open from 11 am to 4 pm and the performance starts at 1:30 pm. Admission is, as always, free on Last Sundays.

At National Gallery West in Montego Bay, we have on view Seven Women Artists, a smaller but equally engaging version of the exhibition we showed in Kingston earlier this year. Continue reading

Summer Workshops 2015


The following was contributed by our Education Department:

In last few years, the NGJ Education Department has been quite keen on developing various innovative educational programmes, particularly during the summer period. Summer is always a good time to target programme formats to different groups, particularly within the demographic of youngsters aged eight years and older. This summer was particularly active, as we piloted some new approaches to our usual programming. Areas of special focus included more extensive community outreach as well as the utilization of the NGJ’s educational and research resources by our young stakeholders.

We began in early July, with our annual collaboration with the MultiCare Foundation’s Summer Art on the Waterfront programme, which has been ongoing since the 1990s. The workshops themselves were held at a location on Church Street, however, the coordinators scheduled two days in which the participants visited the NGJ and created artwork inspired by classics from the permanent collection.


Later that month, we collaborated with Paint Jamaica and the Parade Gardens community collective known as Life Yard, to hold the Fleet Street Summer Workshops from July 20 to 31. These workshops took place in Parade Gardens at 44 Fleet Street, in the vicinity of the remarkable Fleet Street murals, completed in 2014 under the Paint Jamaica programme. With their main task being the creation of designs for palette furniture built by the Life Yard family, it was a welcomed opportunity for the children in residence to engage in visual art activities within their community. The activities also included weekly yoga sessions, conducted by instructor Nadine McNeil a.k.a. The Universal Empress and President of the Jamaica Wrestling Federation, Kevin Wallen, both of whom graciously volunteered their time to the project. In the words of the Universal Empress:

It is a blessing whenever I am given an opportunity to share the gifts of yoga and mindfulness, especially with youth. Their level of attentiveness and absorption is truly a humble sight to behold… Having just completed my Kripalu Yoga in Schools training for which I received a full scholarship, my involvement with the camp was my way of paying it and playing it forward.

We ended the run of summer educational programmes with another project entitled Writivity, Journaling for CSEC, which was targeted to students preparing to sit Visual Arts examinations for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate. Held from August 10 to August 14, a group of energetic teenagers from different schools across Kingston, St Andrew and St Catherine immersed themselves as young documenters and critics of art. Their activities focused on the development and submission of the reflective art journal, which is a requirement for all CSEC Visual Arts candidates.

It was a great summer for us indeed, with lots of laughter, sharing and learning. So as we gear up for September and beyond, we would like to thank the MultiCare Foundation, Paint Jamaica, the Life Yard family and the Caribbean Examinations Council office for helping us make these programmes a success. Special thanks also to yoga instructors Universal Empress and Kevin Wallen; Senior Education Officer at the Ministry of Education, Marlon Williams; as well as one of our regular collaborators, artist and educator Dale Bedasse.

Most of all, we would like to extend a loud and excited THANK YOU to all the children who participated in these programmes and shared so much with us this summer. It was a truly enjoyable and inspiring experience for us and we look forward to bringing you even more exciting and value-filled offerings. P.S. Note to Parents and Guardians: You Are Next!

(Photographs National Gallery of Jamaica and courtesy of Sabriya Simon Photography)

“Xaymaca: Nature and the Landscape in Jamaican Art” Exhibition to Open at National Gallery West on May 8

National Gallery West

Xaymaca e-invite

National Gallery West, the National Gallery of Jamaica’s new branch at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, Sam Sharpe Square, is pleased to present its new exhibition, Xaymaca: Nature and the Landscape in Jamaican Art, which is scheduled to open to the public on Friday, May 8.

Taking the Taino name for the island of Jamaica, which translates as “land of wood and water,” as its point of departure, the Xaymaca exhibition celebrates the spectacular natural beauty of Jamaica, seen through the eyes of Jamaican and visiting artists from the colonial period to the present, but also acknowledges how nature and the land carry the baggage of history and contemporary politics. The exhibition features major works from the National Gallery of Jamaica collection and comprises four sections: plantation era art, with paintings and prints by George Robertson, J.B. Kidd, James Hakewill and John Eaves; early and twentieth photography by A…

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