The NGJ Pays Tribute to Rex Nettleford

Maria LaYacona - Rex Nettleford (1965/1993), Collection: National Gallery of Jamaica

The heart has been ripped out of Jamaican nationalist culture, but the soul remains. His is an incredible legacy of providing us practitioners with a range of strategies for self-definition in both the personal sense and in the national sense.

David Boxer

The Board and Staff of the National Gallery of Jamaica are deeply saddened by the passing of that giant among Jamaica’s creative artists and men of letters, Rex Nettleford. His prodigious writings and achievements as a scholar and educator and his role in fashioning this nation’s premier performing ensemble, the National Dance Theatre Company will be much remarked on in the weeks to come; and any quick perusal of his biography on the internet will yield up the awesomely impressive statistics of this much honoured son of Jamaica who carried this country’s name high wherever discussion and debate about the renaissance of  a true and honourable Black identity took place. We will not recount these facts and statistics here; we would like instead to simply record our own deep gratitude for Rex Nettleford’s continued interaction with this institution from the early days of our gestation when he worked with Edna Manley and Michael Manley, Maurice Facey and Jean Smith and dozens others to establish this Institution.

Continue reading