Young Talent 2015 to Open on August 30

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The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to present Young Talent 2015, an exhibition which features ten artists living in and from Jamaica and under forty years old, namely: Greg Bailey, Alicia Brown, Katrina Coombs, Di-Andre Caprice Davis, Monique Gilpin, Domanie Hong, Howard Myrie, Richard Nattoo, Avagay Osborne, and Cosmo Whyte. The exhibition will open on Sunday, August 30, 2015 and will be on view at the National Gallery until November 14, 2015.

The first Young Talent exhibition was held in 1985, as part of JAMFEST 85, when Jamaica hosted the International Youth Conference. Young Talent 85 featured eleven young artists, including Basil Watson, Omari Ra, Khalfani Ra, and Petrine Archer-Straw. As part of the National Gallery’s strategies to uncover and support new developments of Jamaican art, Young Talent exhibitions have been organized intermittently since then, in 1989, 1995, 2002, and most recently in 2010, and many well-known contemporary Jamaican artists had their first major exhibition as part of the Young Talent series. Young Talent V in 2010 was particularly ground-breaking and launched a new generation of artists who have since revolutionized the Jamaican art landscape, such as Ebony G. Patterson, Phillip Thomas, Leasho Johnson and Oneika Russell. The National Gallery has also staged the New Roots exhibition in 2013, which was treated as a spin-off from the Young Talent series and featured artists such as Matthew McCarthy, Olivia McGilchrist, Camille Chedda, and Deborah Anzinger.

To support what is presently an exceptionally energetic and innovative contemporary art scene in Jamaica, the National Gallery now intends to present Young Talent exhibitions every two years, in the years alternating with the Jamaica Biennial. For the present exhibition, Young Talent 2015, the National Gallery opened the selection process with a call for submissions and entries were received from thirty-five artists, from which ten were selected. While most of the selected artists already have an exhibition record, Howard Myrie, Avagay Osborne, and Domanie Hong have just graduated from the Edna Manley College, which continues to be the main engine for development and innovation in Jamaican art.

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Young Talent 2015 includes a healthy range of artistic media and practices, including new and more traditional media, including GIF collages, fibre-based work and representational painting, which coexist productively as part of Jamaica’s emerging contemporary art language. While some of it is also deeply personal, most of the work selected for Young Talent 2015 is explicitly or implicitly political—tackling challenging subjects such as gender violence, social dysfunction, power and marginalization, the politics of the body, and displacement and forced migration—and reflects the complex and unsettling cultural and political events and debates that shape the “post-postcolonial” world. One striking feature of the exhibition is the artists’ engagement with the materiality of their work, which is mined judiciously for its visual poetry and political implications. The result is a compelling and though-provoking exhibition, which should produce healthy debate about current artistic and cultural trends and about the broader social and political questions raised.

The August 30 opening function of Young Talent 2015 is presented as part of the National Gallery’s Last Sundays programme, with doors open from 11 am to 4 pm and the opening function at 1:30 pm. There will be no guest speaker and instead we will be screening a short video documentary on the participating artists. This will be followed by a musical performance by Jah9. As is customary, the event is free and open to the public but donations are welcomed, as these play an important role in funding projects such as Last Sundays and exhibitions such as Young Talent 2015.

Last Sundays, July 26, 2015: Artists Talks, Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists

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The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programme for July 26, 2015 will feature the much-anticipated artists’ talks to accompany its current exhibition Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists, which invites viewers to reflect on the role and status of women in the Jamaican art world. Participating artists will include Miriam Hinds-Smith, Amy Laskin, Prudence Lovell and Berette Macaulay, who will speak about their work and the issues that surround it, in the context of local and global debates about the role and advancement of female artists in the art world.

Visitors will not only be able to view the Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists exhibition but also the Kapo and Edna Manley Galleries, the Historical Galleries, and the A.D. Scott Galleries, as well as a temporary exhibition consisting of sections from the Gallery’s modern Jamaican collection, which is staged while those galleries are being refurbished. The latter exhibition includes major work by Edna Manley, Albert Huie, Carl Abrahams, Koren der Harootian, David Pottinger, Barrington Watson, Eugene Hyde, Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds, Everald Brown, Albert Artwell, Colin Garland, and Gloria Escoffery.

As is customary on Last Sundays, the doors will be open to the public from 11 am to 4 pm and admission, guided tours and children’s activities will be free. Contributions to our donations box are greatly appreciated and help to fund exhibitions and programmes such as the Explorations series and our Last Sundays programming. The gift and coffee shop will also be open for business.

Last Sundays, June 28, 2015 – featuring “Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists” and “The Way Home” by Millicent A. A. Graham

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The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programme for June 28, 2015, is staged in association with the 2015 Kingston on the Edge (KOTE) urban art festival. The programme will feature special tours of the Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists exhibition and the launch of the poetry collection The Way Home by Millicent A.A. Graham.

Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists, which opened on May 31 and continues until August 8, is the third edition of a series of exhibitions that explore the big themes and issues in Jamaican art. It asks whether any concept of women’s art is relevant in Jamaica today and features work by Kereina Chang Fatt, Miriam Hinds-Smith, Berette Macaulay, Amy Laskin, Prudence Lovell, Judith Salmon, and Jasmine Thomas-Girvan. Explorations 3 was curated by National Gallery Senior Curator O”Neil Lawrence.

Millicent Graham

The Way Home is Millicent A.A. Graham’s second poetry collection and is published by Peepal Tree Press; her first collection, The Damp in Things, was published in 2009, also by Peepal Tree Press. Graham is a fellow of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, 2009 and was awarded the Michael and Marylee Fairbanks International Fellowship to Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, 2010. The Way Home will be introduced by the critically acclaimed poet and novelist Velma Pollard, who is a retired senior lecturer and former Dean of the Faculty of Education, UWI Mona. This will be followed by readings from the poetry collection by the first lady of Jamaican theatre Leonie Forbes, by fellow poets Jean Binta Breeze and Yashika Graham and by Millicent Graham herself.

Admission and guided tours on Sunday, June 28, 2015 are free but donations are gratefully accepted. The doors will be open from 11 am to 4 pm but the book launch will start at 1:30 pm. The National Gallery gift and coffee shop will be open.

 

 

 

Last Sundays, May 31, 2015: featuring Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists, Tanya Shirley and Kelissa

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The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to present its new exhibition, Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists, which opens to the public on Sunday, May 31, 2015, as part of the Last Sundays programme for that day. The guest speaker will be Taynia Shirley and there will be a musical performance by Kelissa.

Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists, the third edition of a series of exhibitions that explore the big themes and issues in Jamaican art, asks the question whether any concept of women’s art is relevant in Jamaica today. This exhibition, which was curated by National Gallery Senior Curator O’Neil Lawrence, features the work of seven mid-career female artists who are based in Jamaica or of Jamaican origin and work in a variety of media: Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, Judith Salmon, Miriam Hinds-Smith, Prudence Lovell, Kereina Chang Fatt, Berette Macaulay and Amy Laskin. Viewers are invited to explore whether there are any commonalities that set these artists’ works and careers apart from those of their male counterparts and whether there is any justification to label them as “women artists.” Each of the featured artists has produced a statement on the subject that will be reproduced in the catalogue and the exhibition text panels. More information on this exhibition can be found on the National Gallery blog.

The poet-scholar Tanya Shirley has been described as “a startlingly bold writer with a particular gift for highlighting the telling detail in her vivid and arresting poems, which variously contain portraits of lovers, colourful eccentrics and family snapshots that capture the elusive magic of childhood memories, and reveal those paradoxical truths which all families strive to conceal.” She was educated at the University of the West Indies, Mona, where she now teaches between time spent elsewhere in the Caribbean and the United States, and she obtained an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. She has published her poetry in journals such as Small Axe and The Caribbean Writer, and in New Caribbean Poetry: An Anthology, which was edited by Kei Miller, and So Much Things to Say: 100 Calabash Poets. Her debut collection, She Who Sleeps With Bones, was published in 2009 and she recently launched her second poetry collection, The Merchant of Feathers.

Kelissa McDonald was born and raised in the hills of St Andrew, Jamaica and was inspired from early on by reggae and Rastafari. With her parents as the lead vocalists in the reggae band Chakula, there was constantly music pulsating from her home. Her music has evolved into an expression of her background as well her stimulating living experiences in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Ghana. At the moment, Kelissa resides in Jamaica where she continues to make positive and conscious music as an avenue to express her diverse experiences and to inspire and uplift others.

Admission on Sunday, August 31, 2015 is free but donations are gratefully accepted. The doors will be open from 11 am to 4 pm but the opening speech and musical performance will start at 1:30 pm. The National Gallery gift and coffee shop will be open. Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists will be on view at the National Gallery until August 8, 2015.

Last Sundays, April 26, 2015, featuring BLACK as COLE

ngj_Sunday_Opening_April 26,2015 (rgb)The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays event for April 26, 2015 will feature a performance by the band BLACK as COLE.

Brainchild of songstress Cecile Black and bassist Craig Cole, BLACK as COLE’s performance style is a fusion of different genres: Alternative, Blues, Gospel, R&B, Reggae/Dub-Rock which they have integrated into a base component of Reggae and Dub; the result is a new genre that the band calls Jam-on- Dub.   Most of the band’s members became close during their time in the UWI Pop society at the Mona campus and according to the band their goal is to ‘to ignite your hearts with conscious uplifting messages of truth and love.’

BLACK as COLE performs mostly original material and cover versions are usually interpretations of songs with significant impact on the band. The band has been together for over three years and have graced a number of stages performing several times at the Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival and venues such as Red Bones Blues Cafe’; Jamnesia; and Plug ‘n’ Play @ the Jonkanoo Lounge of the Wyndham Hotel to name a few. To date the band has released two official singles namely, ‘Musical Romance’ a R&B themed love song of how the founders of the band met; and also a Reggae cover of Adele’s ‘Hometown Glory’.

Visitors will also be able to view the Edna Manley and Kapo galleries, A.D. Scott galleries as well as our recently installed temporary exhibit featuring selections from the Gallery’s modern Jamaican art collection. This exhibit features major works by Carl Abrahams, Albert Artwell, Everald Brown, Gloria Escoffery, Colin Garland, Koren Der Harootian, Albert Huie, Eugene Hyde, Edna Manley, David Pottinger and Barrington Watson.

Doors will be open from 11 am to 4 pm, the performance starts at 1:30 pm. As is customary admission to the NGJ and guided tours and children’s activities will be free. The gift and coffee shop will be open for business and we welcome contributions to our donations box. The revenues from our shop and your donations help to fund programmes such as our Last Sundays.

LAST SUNDAYS, MARCH 29, 2015: CELEBRATING THEATRE MONTH

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The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays event for March 29, 2015, will feature two short plays set in the galleries, Sure Thing by David Ives and Untitled #2 by Jim Gordon, which are staged in observation of Theatre Month.

Sure Thing is a short comic play featuring a chance meeting of two characters, Betty and Bill, whose conversation is continually reset by the use of a ringing bell, starting over when one of them responds negatively to the other. The play is directed by Peter Abrikian and features Craig McNally and Natalee Cole. Untitled #2 is about two “art critics” who view a painting by one of their favourite artists in an art gallery and come to strikingly different opinions as to the meaning of the work. Caught up in a fever of contrasting artistic and political views they come close to fisticuffs before the artist appears and sets them straight. This second play is directed by Brian Heap and features Jean-Paul Menou and Hilary Nicholson.

Visitors will also be able to view the Kapo and Edna Manley Galleries, the Historical Galleries, and the A.D. Scott Galleries, as well as a new temporary exhibition consisting of sections from the Gallery’s modern Jamaican collection. The latter includes major work by Edna Manley, Albert Huie, Carl Abrahams, Koren der Harootian, David Pottinger, Barrington Watson, Karl Parboosingh, Eugene Hyde, Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds, Everald Brown, Albert Artwell, Colin Garland, and Gloria Escoffery. Guided tours and children’s activities will be offered.

Doors will be open from 11 am to 4 pm, the plays start 1:30 pm. As is now customary, admission to the NGJ and guided tours and children’s activities will be free. 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 our Last Sundays.