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Jamaica Art Market Review (Jan. 2018)

As 2017 came to a close, artephemera® saw fit to present a review of the year in Jamaican art by publishing the first volume and issue of ART MARKET NEWS (Jamaica 2017). We were encouraged by the feedback, especially that which confirmed that the idea was “just what is needed” (Annie Paul, critic) and “hopefully an omen of a phoenix rising for Jamaican art” (Margaret Bernal, art publisher and philanthropist) and that the community would “love it” (Laura Facey, sculptor). So we persist in providing "as-is" content for information purposes only. All site content has been prepared using publicly available information with or without examining the actual works. artephemera®com has no vested interest in any art assets that appear herein.



Engraved Silver-Mounted Tortoiseshell Comb and Case, Attributed to Paul Bennett, Port Royal, Jamaica, 1688, 8 by 4 3/4 in. Collection of Percival D. Griffiths.

Estimate 8,000 — 12,000 USD

Sold for 27,500 USD (Hammer Price + Buyer's Premium)

Sotheby's Important Americana. 18 -21 January, 2018, New York.

Inscribed PORT ROYAL, IN JAMAICA 1688. Made from the shell of the Jamaican hawksbill turtle, the case is engraved with coat of arms with five pineapples flanked by Arawak figures standing on a banderole engraved in the legend: INDUS SERVIET : UNI, TERVE; The shield is surmounted by a crocodile set between two native Arawak Indians; the reverse engraved with palm trees, pineapple bushes; the corners inlaid with silver. The attribution to Paul Bennett is due to the fact that among lists of tradesmen and craftsmen in Port Royal, prior to 1692, he is the only comb maker on record.

THE MARKET:Two creatives.Two perspectives.

Ayanna Dixon was trained in fashion designing at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Art Institute of New York. Armed with fashion expertise, and guidance from Monique Leshman, Donna Karan International, and Marches, Dixon is poised to uplift women."My purpose is to empower women through illustrations. As women, we all go through the same stories. I've heard my friends say 'Oh I'm so fat, I need to go on a diet' and when I am look at them, I see beautiful and amazing individuals. Our differences are what make us unique, and this is what I want to portray though fashion by fusing it with illustrations of women of all shapes and sizes." The illustrations are not only meant for garments, but also in paintings, calendars, and mugs. She enjoys the graphics; however, there is a challenge."I would expand my illustrations but the market is not in Jamaica," she explained. Click to read the full Gleaner article here.

Trisha M. Lee, pointing to heavy competition from prints coming out of China and finding their way in the local the art industry, Trisha M. Lee believes there is still huge potential for industry players to garner tremendous opportunities for growth. What started 20 years ago as a hobby as a photographer has mushroomed into something that she could earn from, but she stressed the importance of artists positioning themselves to gain economically."A great market is there, but what I don't think we are taking advantage of, as Jamaican artists, are the opportunities that exist. The market is flooded with a lot of 'made in China' prints, and I think it's because people aren't seeing widespread availability of local art. When you go in the pharmacy, that's what you see (China-made products), so that's what you buy. If you go to [the furniture stores], that's what you see, so that's what you buy." Click to read the full Gleaner article here.



The National Gallery of Jamaica continued Explorations V: Portraits in Conversation and Explorations VI: Engaging Abstraction (December 19, 2017 to February 25, 2018); with selections from the National Collection. Curated by assistant curator Monique Barnett-Davidson examines the role of abstraction in modern and contemporary art from Jamaica where abstract art continues to challenge viewers, who crave art that is more literal and presents a clear narrative, often dismissing abstraction as alien to Jamaican and Caribbean culture. | National Gallery West, Montego Bay: Spiritual Yards: Selections from the Wayne and Myrene Cox Collection (December 3, 2017 – February 25, 2018)

The Sunshine Eaters is an original multi-sensory exhibition that highlights how artists and designers look to the land and its plants, flowers and trees as a means to imagine and conjure hope in the face of local and global crises. Featuring work by: Shary Boyle, Nick Cave, Robert Holmes, Jim Holyoak, Brian Jungen, Jessica Karuhanga, Alexandra Kehayoglou, Nina Leo and Moez Surani, Tony Matelli, Alanis Obomsawin, Ebony G. Patterson and Winnie Truong. Curated by Lisa Deanne Smith. Exhibition runs January 10 to April 15, 2018 at Onsite Gallery – the flagship professional gallery of OCAD U and an experimental curatorial platform for art, design and new media.

January 13th, Grosvenor Galleries opened "Earth & Nature" a ceramic solo exhibition by Andranique Morgan. Guest speaker Professor Carolyn Cooper.



Veerle Poupeye, PhD announced her departure from the National Gallery of Jamaica where had served since 2009 as executive director. Her first independent assignment appears in the Jamaica Observer newspaper on January 7th as a backward and forward review of local and international art news.

Ebony G. Patterson joins the 2018 advisory team of Unscripted Bal Harbour - a public art program founded in 2013 to give support to the arts in South Florida and further define Bal Harbour as a vibrant, cultural destination. Ebony G. Patterson is awarded a USA Artists Fellowship which recognizes the "most compelling artists working and living in the United States, in all disciplines, at every stage of their career". Click here to read more.





The JAMAICAN releases their first issue of the compact Insider’s Guide, celebrating Jamaican art, culture and heritage. (Cover Photo: ‘Painted Faces’ by fine art photographer Craig Phang Sang.) A bargain at $500 wherever quality reading is sold. Or contact for more information.

The 26th episode of NLS's IN podcast, which is a series of live conversations with visual art practitioners working in Jamaica and across the globe, aired with Sammy Baloji (artist, Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo), Ursula Biemann (artist & curator, Zurich, Switzerland), TJ Demos (director, Center for Creative Ecologies, UC Santa Cruz, U.S.A.), Pablo Guardiola (artist & curator, Beta Local, San Juan, Puerto Rico), Deborah Jack (artist, St. Maarten/U.S.A.), Marina Reyes Franco (writer & curator, San Juan, Puerto Rico) and Paulo Tavares (architect, Quito, Equador) speaking about new creative practices dealing with ecology. The podcast archive can be found by clicking here.

Paddlin' Spirit, a 30 minute documentary about Laura Facey's work, was screened in Ocho Rios as part of The Voice of Woman Film Festival which supported the Woman Inc charity. Directed and written by Amanda Sans Pantling and produced by Nando Garcia-Guereta and Shirley Hanna from Nice Time Ltd Productions the film explores the indescribable cruelty of slavery, but also the resilient nature of the human being. Facey denunciates the abuse of women and shares how she uses her art as a form of therapy to overcome her own personal traumatic experiences. Click here for trailer.



Valerie Bloomfield-Ambrose (b. Scotland – d. 2018, Florida) sculptor, portrait painter, artist and inspiring educator in Jamaica who encouraged her students to pursue art as a profession rather than a pastime.

Donna MacFarlane, PhD, OD (b. Jamaica - d. 2018, Jamaica) director/curator of Liberty Hall: The Legacy of Marcus Garvey, who developed the Marcus Mosiah Garvey Multimedia Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to the national hero.

Kynaston McShine (b. 1935, Port of Spain, Trinidad – d. 2018, New York, NY)

Erwin de Vries (b. 1929, Suriname - d. 2018, Suriname) Sculptor and painter known for his sensuous depiction of women, exhibited frequently in Jamaica during his lifetime. His works appear in several private and institutional collections locally and internationally.


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Tel: (876) 978-4718

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