National Gallery West and the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in association with the The Dean Collection 20 St(art)up presents the Affirmation exhibition, featuring a selection of ten (10) works by Kimani Beckford opening on May 19, 2019.

Launched in May 2018, The Dean Collection 20 St(art)ups was established to support visual artists by providing funds to aid in their career development through the staging of their own exhibitions as well as aiding their participation in art fairs or other group shows. Open to artists worldwide Swizz Beatz worked with a curatorial team of over a dozen people to select 20 artists, each of whom would receive a grant of $5000. In June 2018 the winners were announced and Jamaican artist Kimani Beckford was one of the 20 selected. Beckford went on to stage his first solo exhibition entitled Affirmation at the Jamaica Conference Centre in partnering with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission to showcase 30 paintings. This exhibit at National Gallery West is a selection of ten of those paintings and serves to further the Dean Collection 20 St(art)ups, the drive which exposed Beckford’s work to a larger audience.

Beckford’s paintings are his attempt to subtly pay homage to Black icons, as a reminder of their presence and recognition in contributing to what he calls “Affirmation – the preservation of our presence through imagery”. Youth and afrocentricity are represented in an auspicious way through his medium of choice. Magnifying the confidence and ambition of his subject matter contrary to the quintessential poor portrayal of black imagery.

The May 19 opening reception for the Affirmation exhibition at National Gallery West, commences at 2pm with guest speaker, artist and lecturer at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Phillip Thomas.  The reception is free and open to the public and all are cordially invited to attend. The exhibition will continue until July 2019. 

National Gallery West is located at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, Sam Sharpe Square. Opening hours are: Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission fees apply on regular days.

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