Summer exhibit opens at National Gallery

Sunday, July 21, 2019

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The National Gallery of Jamaica will officially open its inaugural Summer Exhibition today, conciding with its 'Last Sundays Programme.

This exhibition was developed in the tradition of previous open-submission art exhibitions staged by the gallery since 1974. Notable predecessors include the Annual National, the National Biennial, and the Jamaica Biennial exhibitions. Similar to those exhibitions, this summer show comprise an invited and a juried section, and the summer show seeks to unearth new artistic talent as well as provide an enriching perspective on the already diverse and exciting cohort of Jamaican visual artists, both locally and abroad.

A total of 192 artworks, produced by 115 artists, were reviewed by three judges: art historians Petrina Dacres and Erica Moiah James, as well as exhibition designer Sara Shabaka. The resulting exhibition show will feature 97 artworks by 68 Jamaican artists, based locally and overseas.

The works in the exhibition take on many forms — sculpture, fibre and textile arts, painting, photography, mixed-media works, as well as large-scale installations. As is expected with any open submission-based art show, the themes explored by artists are diverse. Some of the more timeless ones include issues surrounding gender, ancestry, the environment, personas and personalities.

Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange will be the main speaker for the opening, which will also feature up-and-coming musical artiste Jaz Elise.

Jaz Elise is an artiste who on a mission to make great songs and uplift and spread positivity. Given name Jasmine Taylor, this Kingston-born artiste began singing in the children's choir at age 5 and continued to pursue musicthroughout her life. Jaz Elise also has extensive experience in dancing and acting, performing in the Quilt Performing Arts Company and co-starring in films such as Capture Land (directed by Nabil Elderkin) and Proscenium. She describes her style as a mixture of soulful melodies and deejaying, and says her aim is to tell real stories, give real perspectives, and to entertain through music.


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