Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Special Projects: Raquel Paiewonsky

The Jamaica Biennial 2017 (February 24-26, 2017) features six special projects by international artists, who participate by invitation. This is the first feature on one such artist, Raquel Paiewonsky, whose work is on view at the National Gallery of Jamaica in Kingston.

Raquel Paiewonsky (1969, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic) holds a BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York City and works across a range of media, including painting, sculpture, installation and photography. She has exhibited widely internationally and her work is included in international collections such as Daros-Latinoamérica, Zürich, Switzerland; the RISD Museum, Rhode Island, USA; Museum of Modern Art, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Centro León, Santiago, Domincan Republic. Paiewonsky is the recipient the Gran Premio Eduardo León award in 2006, 2008 and 2012, and was included in the 20th and 22nd editions of the National Visual Arts Biennial of Santo Domingo. She was awarded the Davidoff Initiative residency in Berlin in 2015. The body of work Guardarropíai,  which is featured in the Jamaica Biennial 2017, was, as Paiewonsky explained, “created as a natural reaction to the highly questionable circumstances surrounding the personal freedoms of women in the Dominican Republic, where different forms of violence, the denial of basic rights and an absurdly biased legislation, perpetuate negative gender attitudes. These 9 photographs of women wearing their particular garments are the symbolic embodiment of the vision where women do not decide for their own bodies, abortion is illegal even when women’s life is at risk, sex education is still frowned upon and domestic violence keeps escalating.”

Website: raquelpaiewonsky.com

Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Bulletin 3: Main Opening Function on February 26


The main opening function of the Jamaica Biennial 2017 exhibition will take place at the National Gallery of Jamaica on the Kingston Waterfront on Sunday, February 26, starting at 1:30 pm. The keynote speaker will be the Hon. Olivia Grange, MP, Minister of Culture, Entertainment, Gender and Sport, and there will be several live performances by participating artists. Deejay Iset Sankofa will spin music.

With more than 160 works of art by more than 90 artists shown at three different locations—the National Gallery and Devon House in Kingston and National Gallery West in Montego Bay, the Jamaica Biennial 2017 is the largest such exhibition in the National Gallery’s history. It provides a dynamic and diverse overview of current art from Jamaica, elsewhere in the Caribbean and the Diaspora in all artistic media, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, textile and fibre art, photography, installation and new media. The exhibition has four components: special projects by international invitees; tribute exhibitions to two noted Jamaican artists; contributions by the artists who have invited status; and what was selected from the juried submissions—the latter two sections include artists who are born or based in Jamaica and artists of Jamaican descent who live elsewhere.

The resulting Jamaica Biennial 2017 offers a healthy and at times provocative mix of new, emerging and established artists, including recent graduates of the Edna Manley College such as Ziggie Graver and Kelley-Ann Lindo; artists who have never exhibited before such as Nathan Cunningham, who is self-taught; and as well as well-known artists such as Samere Tansley, Marlon James, Laura Facey, David Boxer, Deborah Anzinger, Prudence Lovell, Storm Saulter, Phillip Thomas, Bryan McFarlane, Petrona Morrison, Shoshanna Weinberger, Jasmine Thomas-Girvan and many others. The special projects are by Andrea Chung, David Gumbs, Nadia Huggins, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Raquel Paiewonsky, and Marcel Pinas—all of them artists with Caribbean roots or based in the Caribbean—while the two tribute exhibitions provide overviews of the work of Alexander Cooper and the late Peter Dean Rickards.

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