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Jamaica Art Market Review | June 2018


We can count on one hand, the number of block and concrete galleries in Jamaica with sustained

commercial practice. In the absence of commercial venues, artists no longer produce for gallery shows but for fairs, pop-ups, shared-spaces and collaboratives.

While our direct-sales art market culture has long defied the traditional gallery model of artist discovery and promotion, gallerists are exploring new ways of doing business and

challenging traditional ideas of how a gallery ‘should’ operate by meeting buyers' desire to browse art online and their rising demand for clear information on pricing.

Art dealer Susanne Fredricks, currently rebranding as Suzie Wong Presents, released new works by emerging contemporary artist, Leasho Johnson, via her online platform and on her social media networks.

There are online opportunities to view Jamaican art; what Suzie Wong...Presents is akin to a gallery experience: unrestricted views of clear images in a serene space and we look forward to the full launch and expression of the website. In the meantime the entire Leasho Johnson catalogue can be viewed by clicking on the image link.



George Rodney, Garden (no date), Acrylic on canvas, 23" x 30"

Sold for: $290,000

26th Annual Liguanea Lodge Auction

Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Kingston

May 2018


Gold coin cufflinks. Each set with a Jamaica 1984 gold coin, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sir Alexander Bustamante, mounted in 14k gold Size/Dimensions: cufflink head 2.3 cm diameter Gross Weight: 24.8 grams

Estimate : USD 400 - 600

Price Realized: USD 3,500

The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller Christie's Auction House, Online Sale

June 2018


John Seller, Novissima et Accuratissima Insulae Jamaicae Descriptio, 1671, Hand-coloredmounted on a second sheet of period paper, 17 x 21 1/4 inches and

Estimate USD 1,000 - 1,500

Price Realized USD 1,200

(USD 1,500 with buyer's premium)

Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books Auction

Swann Auction Galleries, New York

June 2018

We note that at the same auction, the Matthaeus Seutter map

(left) Nova Designatio Insulae Jamaicae, c.1730 with a decorative title cartouche of figures processing sugar cane, (20 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches) which was estimated at USD 300 - 500 went unsold.



ArtTactic's Valuations & Appraisals Market Report 2018 covers 49 collecting categories from memorabilia to fine art and looks at the global market from the appraiser's viewpoint rather than the traditional transactional auction sales perspective. Art as an asset class, art secured lending and blockchain technology amongst other art finance options are discussed.

Compiled primarily using data from ValueMyStuff the report disclaims any errors, inaccuracies or incomplete information. Click on the image at left to download the report


EXHIBITIONUM | Click image arrow on right for complete gallery

Ebony G. Patterson is one of 29 women artists whose work appears in Seed at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in NYC. The group exhibition is curated by Yvonne Force and explores the "complexity and resonance of a long association between the natural world, sexuality and fertility, and spirituality and mysticism." Image posted: Sanam Khatibi, Empire of the birds, 2017, Oil and pencil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 98 3/8 in. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Rodolphe Janssen.

Perspectives, a blog written by Veerle Poupeye on art in the Caribbean, reviews the Edna Manley College School of Visual Arts final year show and offers six highlights from the show including the works of Leighton Estick, Tiana Anglin, Desanna Watson, Kevin McIntyre, Jordan Harrison and Bridgette Birch. A delightful - albeit sad - read also in the blog is her memoir of her 1996 trek to visit the intuitive artist Leonard Daley (1930-2006).



Artistic is a just-released, well-supported 44 page, smart-phone required, digital magazine magazine that offers an interactive story of the uniquely-abled. The editor's note as to why this project was done is written by Ricardo Neil and it reads: "It has been observed since time memorial (sic) that Jamaica is unique and despite a mix of culture, the inhabitants prove to be no less, each in their own way. This publication and every copy to follow is a reflection of Jamaica's unique ability on an artistic level. It was crafted to portray the intrinsic component of our creative minds... " Read and see more here.

The Yello Media Group publishers of the on-line and hard-copy Jamaica Yellow Pages continues to bridge the gap between consumers and the creative industries to support our local artists. This platform was used most recently for a profile and pictorial look at the work of local artist Javier Davis. The publication has, in the past profiled other artists including Andy Ballentine, and who can forget the its break-the-barrier dance-hall cover by Lennox Coke.

The key takeway from the Gleaner's feature on Tamara Morin-Harding is this: " ...creatives typically feel all they have to do is create to be successful and so they fail to navigate, grasp and get a handle of the most important aspect: the business side. So her advice to aspiring artists who want to create outside of the box is to, "Start with a business plan - you can download free templates from the Internet. And if that isn't your thing, get help; but success can't come without proper planning."

Tide Rising Art Projects held their first event: 'Life After Art School' at NLS Kingston featuring presentations by Camille Chedda, Leasho Johnson, Deborah M. Carroll Anzinger, Nicole Smythe Johnson and Oneika Russell discussing options and strategies for approaching an art career and art practice as a new artist. Click on image for the facebook livestream video.

Also shared at the event was a presentation of observations and highlights from the 13th Dakar Biennale (May 2018) by Biennale participant, Oneika Russell which will be compiled into a pamphlet. It will provide a look at Contemporary African and African diaspora Art as well as a survey of the strategies used by the Bienniale body to activate the city.

Tide Rising Art Projects is an artist-led initiative which seeks greater visibility for Jamaican and Caribbean contemporary art via online media and real world activities. NLS is a non-profit visual art initiative in Kingston, Jamaica.



AWARD | Kimani Beckford is a recipient of the Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean)/Alicia Keys' Dean Collection initiative #TDC20 which gives 20 artists USD5000 each to do something ambitious: four of them will receive an additional USD25,000 based what they do with the initial grant. Applications required a business plan, said Dean because “The key to this whole thing is sustainability... A lot of these artists are only equipped to do art, and..that’s why artists are always getting taken advantage of.” Read the full Hyperallergic article here. ON-GOING | The Kingston Creative Art Walk which builds on the National Gallery of Jamaica's Last Sundays programme had a successful second staging. Planners use creativity to bring investment and opportunity into the community with a long-term vision of developing an art district with murals, performance spaces and shops selling Jamaican products, which will position downtown as the place to be for art, fashion, music, food, culture and entertainment. email for more information on future walks and how you can participate in this venture.

ON-LINE | Oneika Russell's writes on key moments in the Jamaican art scene for the Expérience Jamaïque (EJ) website. A Swiss/Jamaican marketing effort, EJ promotes the island’s culture and sells art work on line to the German, French and English speaking communities. | According to Rowena Williams from Art Connect JA., at Devon House, Jamaica is so rich in artistic talent, it deserves to be showcased to the world and so she has stepped up the store's social media/facebook presence and now shares retail information for works of art available at the store in an effort to promote the investment benefits of buying original works of art.

PHILANTHROPY | Patrick Waldemar donated $178,500 each to the Maxfield Park Children's Home and the Wortley Home for Girls from art sales made on the opening night of his show — Kingston New Orleans, at the Toyota showroom in Kingston. All proceeds from sales of a 22 page commemorative book accompanying the show (still available, $5,000 per) will go directly to both homes. Waldemar is determined to donate $250,000 to each home.

RESCHEDULED | Organizers of the Liguanea Art Festival announced their decision to cancel this year's December staging and revert to hosting the festival in the spring. Hosted in Kingston since 2002 by June and Tony Wong, LAF is the largest, longest running outdoor art festival in the Caribbean showcasing work in all art and photography disciplines created by established names and fresh new talent. It is one of most anticipated annual art events. See their website for more information on the 2019 event.



To the Highest Bidder as it appeared (above left) on the 1916 cover of The Crises magazine, at Oprah Winfrey's Indiana farmhouse (centre) and where it now hangs (right) in her California home.

This painting re-asserted itself into our collective conscience when Oprah Winfrey declared that she had bought it thirty years earlier and it was the "foundation of her life" at exactly the same time we learned that 2,342 children had been separated from 2,206 parents as part of the American government's “zero tolerance” position on border crossers. We were painfully reminded that forcibly separating children from their mothers is part of America's history.

The Harry Herman Roseland (c. 1867—1950) painting had been offered by Charles A. Schieren, former Mayor of the old City of Brooklyn, to the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences in May 1913. The gift was rejected by the trustees of the Institute on the basis that having and/or hanging the painting would keep alive those memories which 'had better be forgotten,' according to the article "Slave Picture Refused" (Thursday May 1, 1913 page 20, New York Times).

"Memories which had better be forgotten?" The painting might have remained a footnote were it not for The Crisis' use of the image on its January 1916 cover.

When W.E.B. Du Bois founded The Crisis magazine in 1910 there was little discussion of visuals – but the monthly publication from the fledgling National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was rich with drawings, political cartoons, photographs and prints. These extraordinary images illustrate the central role art played in Du Bois’ and the NAACP’s struggle to change minds. Unlike images of African Americans in other magazines, the visuals he published were generated from a black perspective. The artwork is almost always directly tied to important political and social issues of the day, yet it also reflects Du Bois’ attempt to help build a collective memory for black people beyond that shaped by the white-dominated culture they lived within.

--- From Art in Crisis: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Struggle for African American Identity and Memory, by Amy Kirschke (Indiana University Press, 2007).


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