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Jamaica Art Market Review | July 2018


THIS IS HUGE. From a field of 450 works by 210 artists from 14 countries, curated by five historians* exploring 16th-21st century art of the Afro-Atlantic territories Jamaica's Barrington Watson's (1931-2016) Conversation is chosen for the catalogue cover and promotion imagery.

Prepared over three years of research, the exhibition Histórias Afro-Atlânticas [Afro-Atlantic Stories] in an unprecedented collaborative initiative, shows --- in two Brazil venues: the São Paulo Art Museum Assis Chateaubriand (MASP) and the Tomie Ohtake Institute --- the impact of African cultures in Atlantic territories from the South of the United States, through the Caribbean to South America and draws parallels, frictions and dialogues around their art.

Beauford Delaney, Dark Rupture James Baldwin, 1941 pictured left alongside Osmond Watson, Johnny Cool, 1967

Sixteen of the exhibition's 450 works come from nine Jamaican artists and include:

- Albert Huie, Noon Time, 1943

- Barrington Watson, Conversation, 1981

- David Miller Senior, Obi, c1940

- Edna Manley, The Prophet, 1935

- Isaac Mendes Belisario, Cocoa Walks, c1840

- John Woods, Fisherman, 1943

- Mallica 'Kapo' Reynold, Revivalists, 1969

- Osmond Watson, Johnny Cool, 1967

- Ram Geet, Untitled, n.d.

What it is. The Black Atlantic --- a term coined by Paul Gilroy --- "is a geography lacking precise borders, a fluid field where African experiences invade and occupy other nations, territories and cultures" and a "...culture that is not specifically African, American, Caribbean, or British, but all of these at once, a black Atlantic culture whose themes and techniques transcend ethnicity and nationality to produce something new and, until now, unremarked."

What it means. It reminds that art from the Global South need not be judged in the scheme of Eurocentric paradigms and exclusive art systems but, when considered by our own academics, historians, collectors, curators and critics, can be assessed based on our own powerful individual and collective cultural legacies, unveiling and forever changing the expectations and positioning of Black artists.

"The large art galleries and galleries of museums in the world generally portray only white people, both on the canvases and in the authorship of the works. One of the objectives of the exhibition is to show that it is not a matter of the absence of black authors, of black characters, that these works have not entered into the collections of museums and great galleries. " said curator Hélio Menezes (pictured below with O'Neil Lawrence, senior curator for the National Gallery of Jamaica from which many of the works were borrowed).

Read the complete interview with *curator-in-chief Adriano Pedrosa, who was assisted by Ayrson Heraclita, Hélio Menezes, Lilia Maritz Schwarcz, and Tomas Toledo. See and read more about the exhibition here.



RESULTS | More from the 25th Liguanea Lodge Art Auction staged last month. Bidding for Ken Abondarno Spencer's Untitled started at $110,000 and was sold for $165,000. Richard Hall's Sunbeam started at $60,000, and was sold for $100,000 and his work Awaiting Sale started at $55,000, and sold for $84,000. An untitled David Pottinger's started at the highest figure of $220,000, but no bids were placed on that piece.

POP-UP | Art Gallery Decor, Kingston held a Pop up Art Auction on Thursday 12th July 2018



POLICY | Key takeaways for Jamaica's cultural and creative Industries from the Minister Olivia Grange's 2018/19 sectoral presentation in Parliament (read in full here) From Branded to Branding for Sustainable Prosperity: Brand Jamaica on the Rise are: plans to operationalize the National Cultural and Creative Industries Council as an over-arching, inter-sectoral, one-stop shop for targeted intervention in the sector including administering the JAD26M fund for the Jamaica Creative 100 Programme to support short to medium term small business entrepreneurial projects create new products for the global marketplace or to enter new markets; plans to establish a digital distribution and promotion platform for Jamaican music, video and fashion; plans to develope a Kingston Creative Media Village for increased visibility and accessibility of creative practitioners; plans to form a Creative Skills Council; and plans to create a Culture and Creative Industries Fund for Jamaica.



A detail from Caryatid, 2018 by daughter of the Rock, Kathy Stanley, who was Portland, Oregan's Karuna Contemplative exhibiting artist for July 2018. Stanley is a visionary artist whose work explores the sacred feminine, earth and Gaian spirituality, mythic images, goddesses and transformation. Stanley tells a powerful story of her coming to art and the archetypal images of the sacred feminine which emerged.

Maia Chung's work Miss Jamaica Pain was chosen to represent Jamaica in the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Art Collection’s Sidewalk of the Americas temporary installations in Argentina and at the IDB Washington, DC headquarters. The idea is to bring the project to IDB member countries to help link the development work of the Bank with the role of creatives in the pursuit of knowledge and innovation.



It's here. It's fabulous. Get used to it. | Starbucks opened its first store in Kingston. The new store’s design showcases bespoke artwork from locally based Irish artist Fiona Godfrey. The foreground of the mural tells the story of its people, whilst the background features the expansive Blue Mountains, reminding of the precious coffee that grows there. (Courtesy of Starbucks partners.)

For their exhibition Daylight Come… Picturing Dunkley’s Jamaica (May 27 – July 29 2018) the National Gallery of Jamaica introduced it’s first e-catalogue. While not as extensive as their print catalogues, e-catalogues will be created for select exhibitions and will provide notable insight and information on their respective exhibitions, while being easily accessible to the general public. Click here to view.

NEWS MEDIA | continues to push below-the-radar local art. Television Jamaica's Smile Jamaica and in particular host Simone Clarke-Cooper delivers painstaking interviews with local artists, the Gleaner carried stories about Romaine McNeil among others, LOOP news featured the Trench Town Ceramics & Art Centre and a piece on Alicia Thomas, Pan Media's Art Events includes lengthy social media pieces on Jamaican art history and the Jamaica Information Service features iconic Jamaican works of art in their cultural updates.


artMart Jamaica is an online platform for browsing, buying and delivering Jamaican art. Says founder and entrepreneur David Hall: “So many people want to buy local art but it isn’t always easy to find across the island." Works by Alexander Cooper, Aubrey Williams, Erwin de Vries and Lloyd Van Pitterson appear on the site. Remember to always request certification.



Nanny of the Maroons. One of seven busts of Jamaica's National Heroes crafted by sculptor, Hon. Basil Watson for the Journey to Freedom corridor at Emancipation Park in Kingston. Part of the Rotary Club of Kingston's special Jamaica 55 Legacy Project for the 2017/18 Rotary Year,the entire project cost $25 million, due in part to Watson's waving of 50% of his fees as a contribution to telling the emancipation story.

ZEMIS FOUND | Minister of Culture, The Hon. Olivia Grange announced a significant archaeological find at White Marl, St Catherine of four "priceless" zemis --- religious objects carved by the Taínos to contact spiritual beings who could perform deeds on their behalf --- by a collaborative excavation team which included the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, the Leiden University of the Netherlands, and the Department of History and Archaeology at UWI Mona. Research indicates that the area was occupied for more than 600 years (between 900 and 1500 AD) by the first Jamaicans — the Taínos. The Minister also announced work already begun to repatriate treasures that belong to Jamaica, which are in foreign countries.

The zemi figures (pictured left) were found in 1792 in Manchester by a British surveyor. Subsequent provenance after this remains obscure before their acquisition and/or registration by the British Museum in 1977. No copyright infringement is intended.

Ebony G Patterson is one of 25 artists participating in the inaugural exhibition curated by Dan Cameron in Swope Park, Kansas City, MO called Open Spaces. The project asks artists to make a new work for the public 8000 acre park and for which Ebony will fill a defunct public pool with bouquets, wreaths, toys, candy, loose flowers, and personal effects. Around the pool will sit four gold benches to recognize the space for the neighborhood and community to meet, relax, pause, and bear witness to the site and its history. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thursday, August 9 2018 3:02 PM CDT. As at this writing, the project has achieved 80% of its financing. Click here to help reclaim this space for the park and the people who use it.



The Davidoff Art Initiative (DAI) announced that textile and fiber artist Katrina Coombs and digital animator Oneika Russell will be the fall 2018 residents for their FLORA ars+natura and Residency Unlimited in Brooklyn, NY. Coombs intends to create a body of work interrogating notions of belonging and nesting interests while Russell will explore how exotic places and people are an expression of Western desire.

The Brooklyn nonprofit arts organization BRIC has appointed Kristina Newman-Scott, the director of culture for the State of Connecticut, as its new president. The appointment at BRIC makes Newman-Scott one of the very few women of color to lead a major New York cultural institution. BRIC (which stands for Brooklyn Information & Culture) is a nonprofit arts and media organization located in Brooklyn, New York City founded in 1979.

Leasho Johnson leaves Jamaica for Chicago, Illinois to pursue a two year Master of Arts in Painting and Drawing at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). The Art Institute of Chicago/Chicago Art Institute is one of America's largest accredited independent schools of art and design, is recognized as one of the top graduate art programs in the nation, as well as the most influential art school in the United States. SAIC's notable alumni include Richmond Barthé, Jeff Koons and Georgia O'Keefe.



Dr. Janice Lindsay, (1974-2018) died at the University Hospital of the West Indies on Friday, July 6 after a brief illness. She was the Principal Director, Culture and Creative Industries Policy Division, in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and her expertise in heritage tourism played a large part in the Ministry’s accomplishments in the portfolio area of culture, nationally and internationally.


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