Montego Bay Artists

“I Shall Return Again” opens September 9

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National Gallery West, the Montego Bay branch of the National Gallery of Jamaica, is pleased to present its latest exhibition: I Shall Return Again. This exhibition explores the work of five young Jamaican artists who have been making an impact on the local and international art scene, who all hail from Western Jamaica. It will open on Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 4 pm, with opening remarks by the exhibition’s curator O’Neil Lawrence.

Inspired by the Claude McKay poem, I Shall Return, which eloquently embodies the creative impulse being influenced by a separation from home and the almost overwhelming longing to return. This exhibition looks at the ways in which these artists work has been influenced by their experiences of “home” and also their time spent living, working and creating away from the distinctive culture of the tourist-centric North and North-West Coast of Jamaica.

Poignant and at times provocative, the dominant themes in this exhibition are the disenchantment of millennial Jamaicans, postcolonial identities viewed through the lens of tourism, gender, sexuality and violence as well as the tensions between the sacred and the subculture of Dancehall. In many ways the creative output of this generation of Western Jamaican artist contemporises the artistic deconstruction of the often celebrated Jamaican stereotypes and reveal more nuanced and multifaceted perspectives on the Jamaican experience.

I Shall Return Again features many new and recent paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and film by the following artists: Monique Gilpin, Leasho Johnson, Nile Saulter, Storm Saulter and Cosmo Whyte.

The September 9 opening reception for I Shall Return Again at National Gallery West is free and open to the public and all are cordially invited to attend. The exhibition will continue until November 2018. 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.

 

The Art of Jamaican Sculpture opens on March 18

TAJS - Invite (2)

National Gallery West, the Montego Bay branch of the National Gallery of Jamaica, is pleased to present its latest exhibition: The Art of Jamaican Sculpture. This exhibition explores the rich tradition of Jamaican sculpture in the 20th and 21st Centuries. It will open on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 4 pm, with opening remarks by the exhibition’s curator O’Neil Lawrence.

Sculptural traditions in Jamaica date back as far as the Taino period, but the modern expressions in the island coincide with the emergence of the nationalist movements – particularly since the late 1930s – with its push towards social and political self-actualization. The art that was produced during this period became a critical component of the Jamaican artistic movement; Edna Manley’s 1935 work Negro Aroused for example became a symbol of the burgeoning Trade Union movement. While Jamaican identity continued to be a hallmark of sculptural work produced well into the post-independence era, the exhibition also contains work by artists who arguably operated outside of the concerns of the nationalist movements. These artists produced work that was either more introspective or focused on issues of spirituality, and there was also increased exploration into the genres of abstraction and surrealism.

The works in this exhibition are primarily from the holdings of the National Gallery of Jamaica and are supplemented with generous loans from collectors in Kingston and Montego Bay. The Art of Jamaican Sculpture features critically acclaimed work by the following artists, Lawrence Edwards, Laura Facey, Christopher Gonzales, Fitz Harrack, Roy Lawrence, Edna Manley, Ronald Moody, Alvin Marriott, David Miller Snr, David Miller Jnr, Winston Patrick, Mallica ‘Kapo’ Reynolds, Namba Roy, Kay Sullivan, Osmond Watson, Ted Williams and John Doc Williamson.

The March 18 opening reception for The Art of Jamaican Sculpture at National Gallery West is free and open to the public and all are cordially invited to attend. The exhibition will continue until July 22, 2018. 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.

 

 

Michael Lester: A Montego Bay Artist Opens on July 24

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The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to present the Michael Lester: A Montego Bay Artist exhibition, which will open at National Gallery West at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre on Sunday, July 24.
The exhibition comprises work by the Polish-born artist Michael Lester, who lived and worked in Montego Bay from 1953 until his death in 1972. He made the city, its people and its environs his main subject, in lyrical expressionist paintings that celebrated the beauty and unique character of Jamaica. Lester, whose birth name was Leszczynski, was a popular figure in the Montego Bay community and along with his wife Peggy ran the Lester Gallery, one of the first art galleries in the city. His work was supported by local art lovers and tourist visitors alike and is represented in many private, corporate and public collections, including the collection of the National Gallery of Jamaica. The exhibition is the first in an open-ended series of National Gallery West exhibitions that will explore the artistic life in Western Jamaica.
Michael Lester: A Montego Bay Artist is curated by the National Gallery of Jamaica’s senior curator O’Neil Lawrence. The National Gallery of Jamaica had in 2006 organized another, larger exhibition titled Michael Lester: Picturing Paradise, which was staged on the occasion of the centenary of Lester’s birth. While there is some overlap between the two exhibitions, Michael Lester: A Montego Bay Artist also features works from Montego Bay collections that had not been exhibited before. An illustrated catalogue will be published and will be available for purchase at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.
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Michael Lester – Hanover (1958), Private Collection

The Montego Bay Attorney-at-Law Nathan Robb will be the guest speaker at the July 24 opening function of Michael Lester: A Montego Bay Artist, which will start at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre at 4 pm. This event is preceded by Classics on the Cobblestone, a programme that features music and dance by ensembles from the Montego Bay community. Both events are free and open to the public.
The Michael Lester: A Montego Bay Artist” exhibition will continue at National Gallery West until September 18. National Gallery West is located at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay.