Saturday Art Time Resumes on January 17

1 Saturday Art Time January 17,2014-02-02The National Gallery of Jamaica is delighted to announce the resumption of its innovative child art programme, Saturday Art-Time, on Saturday, January 17, 2015.

The programme, which has been active since September 2009, consists of an exciting range of gallery-based art workshops for children 8 to 15 years old. The workshops are designed to provide an opportunity for children to learn about Jamaican culture and history through the gallery’s permanent collection and exhibitions.

In addition to the variety of art-making techniques customarily taught at the Saturday Art-Time workshops such as drawing, painting, assemblage and collage, the Education Department is excited to introduce Basic Animation workshops for participants aged 12 to 15 years old. Given the increasing integration of animation and other audio-visual approaches as a part of contemporary Jamaican art practice, the coordinators hope that students will begin to develop an appreciation for the use of various technologies that can facilitate expression.

The Saturday Art-Time programme is also planning to hold its third biennial child art exhibition, Art’ iT, previously held in 2011 and 2013. The Art’iT exhibitions feature a selection of imaginative and impactful artworks produced by the participants of the Saturday Art-Time programme and is held shortly after the closing of the annual workshops at the beginning of the summer break, on dates to be announced.

The workshops, funded by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education fund (CHASE), will be held every Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the National Gallery. The workshops are free of cost but space is limited so applicants are encouraged to register as soon as possible. Registration forms are available at the National Gallery or can be downloaded here. For more information, contact the National Gallery’s Education Department at 922-1561 / 3 (Lime landline) or 618-0654 / 5 (Digicel fixed line) or via e-mail at info@natgalja.org.jm.

Jamaica Biennial: The Girl and the Magpie – Love is Not Enough

 

Love Is Not Enough was a dance performance, billed as an “environmental performance”, which was held at the main opening reception of the Jamaica Biennial 2014 on December 14, 2014. The performance involved wearable sculptures  from The Girl and the Magpie‘s Fragile Jamaica collection and was presented in collaboration with dance company eNKompan.E (Neila Ebanks and Kim‐Lee Campbell, Paul Newman, Tristan Rodney, performers), Hans De Man (soundtrack) and The Girl and the Magpie (concept).

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“Nature takes years to grow trees, build fertile soil, develop reefs, etc … humans only need minutes to destroy all of this. And there is no ‘Undo’ button when it comes to the environment.” The Girl and the Magpie proposed the idea of a performance that would use necklaces from the Fragile Jamaica collection, to Hans De Man and eNKompan.E. Together they developed their personal interpretations, through music for Hans and through dance for Neila Ebanks. The resulting performance is a collective translation of the idea of the necessity of the protection of nature’s beauty and fragility. The performance invites the audience to reflect on the fragility of Jamaica’s ecological balance and possible actions for its preservation.

At the performance on December 14, four performers thus wore fragile sculptures made from natural materials native to Jamaica. The performers moved through the gallery space and the crowd, on a soundtrack which slowly increases in intensity. The soundtrack was made from sounds issued from nature, in combination with an organic electronic soundscape. Slowly the performers started breaking and tearing apart the sculptures they were wearing, ending up with their total destruction. At the end, the performers dissappeared and left the shattered pieces behind on the ground.

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Jamaica Biennial 2014 – Hours and Admission

The Jamaica Biennial 2014 continues until March 15, 2015. Viewing hours and admission charges are as follows:

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Installation view – Jamaica Biennial 2014 @ National Gallery of Jamaica (Photo: Deborah Anzinger)

1. NATIONAL GALLERY OF JAMAICA 12 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston (entrance on Orange Street) On view: main exhibition Opening Hours: Tuesday-Thursday: 10 am to 4:30 pm Friday: 10 am to 4 pm Saturday: 10 am to 3 pm Also open every Last Sunday of the month and occasionally for other Sunday functions (Closed on Monday and most Sundays, and on public holidays) Admission: Adults: $400 Seniors and Teachers accompanying students: $ 200 Children under 16 and Students with ID: free Guided tours (max 25 persons): $ 3,000; for schools: $ 2,000 Admission and tours are free on Last Sundays For additional visitor information, click here

Renee Cox - Zulu Man Tree (from Sacred Geometry), digital photograph

Renee Cox – Zulu Man Tree (from Sacred Geometry), digital photograph

2. NATIONAL GALLERY WEST Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay On view: Renee Cox – “Sacred Geometry” Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm (Closed on Monday and on public holidays) Admission: Overseas visitors: US$ 6,; local residents: $ 300; children under 12: free.

Ebony G. Patterson - Lillies, Carnations and Rozebuds (from Dead Treez), installation view at Devon House

Ebony G. Patterson – Lillies, Carnations and Rozebuds (from Dead Treez), installation view at Devon House

3. DEVON HOUSE Hope Road, Kingston 10 On view: Greg Bailey, James Cooper, Laura Facey, Ebony G. Patterson, Oneika Russell, Cosmo Whyte Opening Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm (Closed on weekends and public holidays) Note: Devon House will announce special opening hours on January 26 and February 23, to coincide with the NGJ Last Sundays for those two months. Admission (Basic) Adult: $500 Children under 12: $250 Special Package Adults: $600.00 (inclusive of ice cream) Children under 12: $300 (inclusive of ice cream) Tours Locals with ID: $650 (inclusive of admission and ice cream) Internationals: $ 1150 (inclusive of admission and ice cream) For more information on Devon House, click here. At Devon House, please proceed to the information booth for tickets and directions.

Blue Curry - PARADISE.jpg @ Orange and Port Royal Street, Kingston

Blue Curry – PARADISE.jpg @ Orange and Port Royal Street, Kingston

Finally, Blue Curry’s Jamaica Biennial 2014 project, PARADISE.jpg, can be seen at the following locations on the streets of Kingston: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zJzS2A8y_LoM.kd_IX9HTWjv8

Last Sundays: December 28, 2014, featuring the Jamaica Biennial and Nexus

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The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sunday programme for December 2014 is scheduled for Sunday, December 28, 2014, from 11 am to 4 pm.

Visitors will have the opportunity to view the main exhibition of the recently opened Jamaica Biennial 2014, which comprises work by nearly 100 artists including, for the first time and in addition to the Jamaica-based and Jamaica diaspora artists who entered as invited or juried artists, six specially invited international artists: Renee Cox (Jamaica/USA), Sheena Rose (Barbados), Gilles Elie-dit-Cosaque (Martinique/France), Richard Mark Rawlins (Trinidad), James Cooper (Bermuda) and Blue Curry (Bahamas/UK). The juried artists were, also for the first time, selected by two international curators, Diana Nawi of the Perez Art Museum in Miami and Sara Hermann from the Dominican Republic. The resulting Jamaica Biennial 2014 features a dynamic mix of styles, themes and media, with strong a representation of new media, particularly video, but also of representational and abstract painting. Young and emerging artists are particularly well represented and this includes the co-winners of the inaugural Dawn Scott Memorial Award, Camille Chedda and Kimani Beckford.

The other sections of the Jamaica Biennial 2014 can be seen at Devon House, where work by Greg Bailey, Laura Facey, James Cooper (Bermuda), Cosmo Whyte, Oneika Russell and Aaron Matalon Award winner Ebony G. Patterson are exhibited, and at National Gallery West, which features the work of Renée Cox. One Biennial project, by Blue Curry, can be seen at various locations on the streets of Downtown Kingston.

The featured performance at the National Gallery of Jamaica on Sunday, December 28 will be a by award-winning Nexus Performing Arts Company and will start at 1:30 pm. The Nexus Performing Arts Company was formed in 2001 by Hugh Douse, Artistic Director, voice tutor, singer, actor, conductor, songwriter, and a former Director of Culture in Education. The group has a broad musical repertoire that draws on Gospel, Negro Spirituals, Semi-classical, Popular music including Reggae and Showtunes, African and Classical music of the European and African traditions.

As is now customary, admission to the NGJ will be free and free guided tours will be offered. The gift and coffee shop will be open for business and contributions to the donations box are welcomed. Revenues from our shops and donations help to fund programmes such as the Jamaica Biennial 2014 and our Last Sunday programming.

Jamaica Biennial: “Regal Zeen” by Matthew McCarthy

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During the course of the Jamaica Biennial 2014, which is on view until March 15, at the National Gallery of Jamaica, Devon House, National Gallery West and, for Blue Curry’s project, on the streets of Downtown Kingston, we will be posting short features on projects, works and artists in the exhibition. Here is the first, on Matthew McCarthy and his Regal Zeen project, which was launched as a performance at the Biennial’s main opening reception on December 14.

Matthew McCarthy was born in Kingston in 1992. He is a Jamaica-based illustrator and mural painter who has spent the last five years indulging his obsession with Jamaican street signs, old school dancehall illustrations and global street art movements through an art practice that engages and challenges the traditional art institution. Since his graduation from the Edna Manley College of Visual Art in 2013, McCarthy has exhibited at the NGJ in the New Roots (2013) exhibition of ten emerging artists, and been a key figure in the development of street art in Jamaica, via first the Paint Jamaica project and later the Paint Jamaica initiative. His work looks at issues of identity and politics, articulating hope for the expansion of political and artistic horizons.

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Matthew McCarthy’s Regal Zeen is the start of a new project, a print and online “zeen” that will make regular interventions into Jamaica’s social and artistic environment. McCarthy says: “Regal manifested out of the need to establish a sustainable and artistic lifestyle archive among young like-minded creative individuals, with the greater intention of inspiring a productive change in our environment. These images represent a shift in the very being of our nation’s people towards an expedition of consciousness.” For the December 14 performance, McCarthy and a group of fellow artists “invaded” the  National Gallery wearing African masks. They were accompanied by a mobile sound man, who played conscious music the team had selected, and handed out prints of the Regal Zeen preview to patrons at the function. An e-version of the Regal Zeen preview has been posted to the Draconian Switch magazine website and can be reached by scanning the QR Code at the top of this post.

(Photos courtesy of Nicole Smythe-Johnson)

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The 2014 Aaron Matalon and Dawn Scott Memorial Awards Are Announced

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The National Gallery of Jamaica extends heartiest congratulations to Ebony G. Patterson, the winner of the 2014 Aaron Matalon Award, and Camille Chedda and Kimani Beckford, the co-winners of the inaugural Dawn Scott Memorial Award. Both awards are attached to the Jamaica Biennial 2014 exhibition, which opened with a week of events from December 7 to 14 and continues until March 15, 2015 at the National Gallery of Jamaica and Devon House in Kingston and at National Gallery West in Montego Bay. The awards were announced at the Biennial’s main opening reception at the National Gallery on Sunday, December 14.

The Aaron Matalon Award is granted to the artist who, in the opinion of the combined Exhibitions and Acquisitions committees of the National Gallery made the most outstanding contribution to the Biennial. The award is named after the National Gallery’s late Chairman and benefactor, the Hon. Aaron Matalon, OJ. Awardees receive a unique medal, hand-crafted by the noted jeweller Carol Campbell, and a monetary award. Previous awardees include Phillip Thomas, Norma Rodney Harrack, Renee Cox, Omari Ra and Jasmine Thomas-Girvan.

The 2014 Aaron Matalon Awardee Ebony G. Patterson is a graduate of the Edna Manley College (BFA) and the Sam Fox College of Design and Visual Art at Washington University in St Louis (MFA). She is presently an Associate Professor in the Fine Arts department of the University of Kentucky. Patterson is one of the most outstanding and internationally acclaimed artists to emerge in Jamaica in the last decade and she has received several awards, including the 2011 Rex Nettleford Fellowship in Cultural Studies and the 2012 Bronze Musgrave Medal. Ebony G. Patterson’s is a uniquely Caribbean aesthetic that melds elements of “high” and “low” art and draws from carnival costuming, Haitian sequined flags, and above all the “bling” of Jamaican Dancehall fashion. Her recent work explores the politics of visibility and invisibility, with regards to the cultural and social implications of violence and death in Jamaican society. Her Biennial projects are exhibited at Devon House and consist of two floor-based tapestry installations from the Dead Treez series, titled Lillies, Carnations and Rozebuds and Trunk Stump and Dominoes, that are embellished with needlework, crochet, glitter, and various objects, including clothing, shoes and children’s toys.

The new Dawn Scott Memorial Award was initiated by the internationally renowned art critic Edward M. Gomez in honour of his late friend, the Jamaican artist Allison Dawn Scott. Dawn Scott is best known for her ground-breaking and highly influential mixed media installation A Cultural Object (1985, Collection: National Gallery) but she also produced figurative batik paintings that depict Jamaican life and people with a unique blend of poetry and realism. She also worked as an interior designer who produced innovative, culturally grounded shop designs and architectural detailing. The awardee is personally selected by Mr Gomez and is a granted to an emerging artist in the Biennial who represents the artistically innovative, socially committed spirit of Dawn Scott. The Dawn Scott Memorial Award also involves a monetary grant. Given the very competitive nature of 2014 Biennial, it comes as no surprise that the Dawn Scott Memorial Award was tied between two artists, Kimani Beckford and Camille Chedda, and Edward Gomez consequently decided to split the award between the two. Continue reading