Jamaica Art Market Review 2017


A painting by the Jamaican-born, 18th century artist, musician and botanist, Samuel Felsted sold for US$80,000 in an auction of American furniture, folk and decorative arts at Freeman's auction house in Philadelphia. The piece — a painting titled A North-East View of the House of Mr. Emanuel Lousada, Kingston, Jamaica (1778) — went to an unidentified bidder. The National Gallery of Jamaica, which made a bid within the auction house's estimate of US$ 10-15,000, says the painting is of significant historical interest and the static composition is enlivened by an interesting detail, a horse and carriage scene with uniformed black driver and attendant, which more actively references the social dynamics of the 18th century than the depiction of the house in itself. This work by Felsted was produced some 50 years before early proponents of Jamaican art — Belisario and Kidd. This commissioned painting illustrates the early beginnings of professional art practice in Jamaica. (Richard Johnson, The Jamaica Observer).

Phillip Thomas, I.M.F…..(ucked), 2014

Mixed Media on Canvas, 108 × 252 in

274.3 × 640.1 cm

USD $150,000

Offered by RJD Gallery


Bolt & Barrington

In a Q&A for The Telegraph's Men’s Style section, super-star Olympian Usain Bolt shared the luxuries he’d rather not live without. When asked: “What artist’s work would you love hanging on your wall?”; Bolt answered: “I have a couple of pieces by one of Jamaica’s most famous painters Barrington Watsonand would love to collect more.” Read: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/mens-style/luxuries-usain-bolt/

NGJ's 2017 Jamaica Biennial: The largest & most ambitious everA total of 92 Jamaican and foreign artists, and almost 160 works on view, from paintings and sculptures to mixed-media installations in three locations gave organizers and participating artists something to boast about, according to Edwin M. Gomez.Read

Emerging Queen Ebony

The Chicago Tribune reports that gallerist/gallery Monique Meloche will feature a current of "big names" at their Chicago Expo booth, "including Ebony G. Patterson, whose colorful installations and paintings have earned her the title of "Emerging Queen of 21st Century Pop Art”."


Usain Bolt. Courtesy: Getty Images; (right) Barrington Watson, Athlete's Nightmare II, 1966, AD Scott Collection.


Dr. the Hon. David Boxer, O.J. 1946-2017

The first and former curator/director emeritus of the National Gallery of Jamaica and one of the Caribbean's most eminent and influential art scholars, artists and art collectors.

David Marchand, 1944-2017

A self-proclaimed prophet, best known for his colourful, intricate, Dada-inspired works, each of which, he would say, came to him from God in visions and dreams.

Tamara Natalie Madden, 1975 - 2017

Artist and professor of art and visual culture at Spelman College in Atlanta, lived by the mantra “create as much as you can, while you can.” (Right) Tamara Natalie Madden, The Black Queen, 2010


An Exhibition of Art by the Self-Taught Artists of Jamaica at AMAICRAFT; an exhibition of paintings by H.E. Dr. José Ares Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Jamaica at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity; Rex Nettleford Arts Conference at Edna Manley College; Abstractions by burni, works by the ceramic artist Bernadette McKinley Matalon, and Supernatural, an exhibition by painter Amy Laskin at the French Embassy; A Three-Thousand-Year Journey: Encaustic to Digital Photography by Dr. Michele Lee Lambert at Grosvenor Galleries; KOTE 2017 Cancelled; Liguanea Art Fair 2017; Mandeville Art Fair 2017; Taste of Jamaica art exhibition at the Montego Bay Convention Centre; Visit the National Gallery of Jamaica blog for complete listing of shows and events; NLS - debut solo exhibition of Leasho Johnson's work; Olympia Art Centre showed Mazola Wa Mwashighadi & Alison West Martin in Sacred Geometry, Portals to Beyond & Other Transcendental Space, John Campbell & Audrey Lynch in The Supreme Interrupter Meditations on Life & Loss, and the Chinese painting exhibition Great Beauty Sichuan; UWI Regional Headquarters - We Are Neighbours Exhibition Series; UWI Museum - Freestylee Roots, a tribute to poster artist Michael Thompson.


John Dunkley's first U.S. exhibition opens at Perez Art Museum (PAMM)

May 26, 2017 – Jan. 14, 2018

John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night presents the work of John Dunkley (b. 1891, Savanna-la-Mar, Jamaica; d. 1947, Kingston), widely considered to be one of Jamaica’s most important historical artists. Although his work is well represented in the collection of the National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, as well as in international private collections, Dunkley has not been the focus of a solo exhibition since the 1970s, and never before outside Jamaica. This exhibition represents a unique opportunity to bring together a substantial grouping of his work and to create an international context for its study. Read more at: http://pamm.org/exhibitions/john-dunkley-neither-day-nor-night

Dreaming with hands, from the heart of the Caribbean, Cuba.

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan showed at the Latin American Gallery of the Casa de las Americas, Cuba, thirteen sculptural pieces and installations inspired by the poetics of nature, collective memory, folklore and the indigenous and Afro culture. Read the full article at: uneac.org.cu/noticias/jasmine-thomas-girvan-para-mi-el-proceso-es-intuitivo


CHASE FUND reports $2.7 billion in contributions to Arts & Culture projects during 2002-2017. Mid-period (2007) report can be read at: jis.gov.jm/chase-fund-to-allocate-200-million-to-arts-and-culture-projects

Sagicor Investments celebrates Jamaican art at a “Cocktails on Canvas” celebration to highlight how art can be used as an investment tool. Tara Nunes, Vice President of Client Services and Wealth Management for Sagicor says: “Art has a place in a well-diversified portfolio and can be an excellent avenue for investing, building & preserving wealth.”


Lennox Coke's image of the dancehall which appears on the cover of the 2017 Kingston & St Andrew Yellow Pages was rejected by fundamental religious lobby groups. Global Directories acknowledged their advertiser's concerns by publishing an alternative cover for the directory.Coke capitalized on the controversy by selling prints of the image from the limited edition phonebook amidst plans to design a "Luv Mi Culture" t-shirt line.

Thinking they were getting rid of unwanted graffiti, maintenance workers painted over three of Banksy’s 11 signature stencil rats which appear on the walls of Geejam Hotel in Portland. Street art is ephemeral by nature but much of Banksy’s work has been removed, painted over or vandalised. The Geejam Hotel’s stencils are rumoured to have been worth £4 million.

  • (Top Row) Public rejection of Raymond Watson's sculpture of Marcus Garvey forced the University of the West Indies to commission a second version of the National Hero's likeness which would later be defiled.

  • (Bottom Left and Middle) In a failed restoration attempt, Laura Facey's bronze statue Redemption Songwas covered in marine paint.

  • (Bottom Right) After much consultation and maquette and studio progress sneak previews Basil Watson's sculpture of Olympian Usain Bolt was successfully unveiled.

  • Photos courtesy of the Jamaica Observer and Gleaner newspapers.

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