Young Talent V: Meet the Artists I

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Young Talent V: Invitation/Introduction

Invitation Young Talent V


In 1985, Jamaica hosted the International Youth Conference and the World Youth Festival of Arts, which was known locally as JAMFEST 85, a project chaired by then Senator Olivia “Babsy” Grange, who is now the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture. As part of this programme, the NGJ staged an exhibition called Young Talent 85, which featured the work of the young Jamaican artists Petrine Archer, Tony Bag, Larry Brown, Colin Christ, Omari Ra, Valentine Fairclough, Livingston Lewin, Hylton Plummer, Khalfani Ra, Basil Watson and Jan Watson. Young Talent 85 was an exciting exhibition which exposed a moment of significant energy and innovation in contemporary Jamaican art, especially the new expressionist painting that emerged in the mid 1980s.

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Young Talent V: Ebony G. Patterson

Ebony G. Patterson - Gully Godz in Conversation I (Conversation Revised) (2010)


Ebony G. Patterson was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1981. She graduated from the Edna Manley College with an honours diploma in Painting and pursued her MFA in Printmaking and drawing from, the Sam Fox College of Design & Visual at Washington University in St. Louis. She has taught at the University of Virginia and is currently an Assistant Professor in Painting at the University of Kentucky. She has shown her artwork in numerous solo and private exhibitions, such as the National Biennial (2004, 2006, 2008), National Gallery of Jamaica, Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art (2007), Brooklyn Museum, Gangstas, Disciplez + the Boyz (2009), Cag[e] Gallery, Edna Manley College, and Rockstone and Bootheel (2009), Real Art Ways, Hartford, Connecticut. Patterson has also received several awards, including the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence, in Art and Culture (Jamaica) in 2006.

Ebony G. Patterson - Di Real Big Man (2010)

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Young Talent V: Sand

Sand - Untitled (n.d.)


Born in Kingston in 1971; he was raised by his mother; and grew up building his own toys and making trinkets. He calls himself Sand due to his childhood activities of carrying sand from a nearby river. He sees himself as a musician: inspired by every sound he hears and his artwork is merely an extension of that musical affinity. His works capture a sort of visual rhythm in line and colour and a personal interpretation of the passage of time. Every single human activity both positive and negative is viewed by Sand as ‘artwork’ and conversely he invests his own artwork with his positive and negative experiences. As he puts it “Sumting you can’t forgot, dreams to remember.”

(Based on an interview with O’Neil Lawrence)

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Young Talent V: Christopher Harris

Christopher Harris - The Singer (2009), mixed media on paper

Christopher Harris was born on April 12, 1974. He attended the Guanabo Vale All Age School in the parish of St. Catherine. He started out as an artist in 2000. In his own words: “I used to do sculpture for a year but while around my art teacher [Keith Reece otherwise known as Uhuru] I analysed most of his paintings; I spoke to him more than once that I would like to start painting. He said he didn’t want to make a style for me but wanted me to develop a style for myself. I used to do some farming and from that I bought a paint set and that’s where I started. He lent me photographs of houses… not art pictures but just natural pictures… and I used to do some country houses from it. That’s why at first I did so many ‘house pictures’ because really houses were the first thing I started to paint. I do a wide range of scenes but I am not competing with a camera when you see my art you will know that it is a natural art. As an April person I am a great lover of music so most of my paintings are emulating and portraying music. I don’t plan out my works I just start sketching and when it is complete I name the work based off of the original sketch.”

(Based on an interview with O’Neil Lawrence)

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Young Talent V: Phillip Thomas

Phillip Thomas - Carousel (2009), oil on canvas

Phillip Mark Anthony Thomas was born in Kingston Jamaica on February 20, 1980. He received his BFA in 2003 at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. At this institution he received the Albert Huie Award for Painting at the end of his four-year study. He subsequently received an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. He received two educational scholarships in support of his MFA: a CHASE fund grant and a grant from the Cobb Family Foundation. Phillip is currently completing a  postgraduate Fellowship.

Phillip Thomas has been involved in several group shows such as the Super Plus Under 40 Artist of the Year exhibition and competition, where he received the Public’s award, and the 2008 Jamaica National Biennial, at the NGJ, where he was awarded the Aaron Matalon award. Continue reading