Considering the birth of exhibitions of painting, sculpture and ceramics in Jamaica, one can see artists are a very special breed of people. The newspapers tell us daily of the filth and grime of the country, the senseless killings, robbings, rapes and general lawlessness that abounds. In the midst of all this is a small group of people, discontented and unattended, are working day and night to produce works of beauty that can only enhance our lives. When I say unattended I mean there is no categorizing agency in the country that concerns itself with the welfare of the artists primarily, but the welfare of the country in that the citizens gain maximum benefit from the creative production of its artists.
Artists don't look for handouts, otherwise they would be out there leaning on their palettes. I therefore make this appeal that a secretariat, at least, if not a university, be instituted for the propagation of artistic production in this country; to deal with among other things, art education in the schools and community, Jamaica’s participation in international exhibitions, more cultural programmes for our embassies abroad, establishment of a proper Museum of Art, production of booklets and books and television documentaries, even films about our artists.
I have heard that some of these items are being instituted, but it is done is such a piecemeal manner that it only succeeds in lowering standards and creating meaningless feuds and bad feelings among artists.
Political patronage and favouritism should never be any criterion in the world of art. Talent and achievement should be the password in the assessment of the artist.
Remarks by Karl PARBOOSINGH
at the opening of his last exhibition
JOHN PEAR TREE GALLERY
April 16, 1975.