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Lisa Hanna lauds National Gallery of Jamaica

Published:Tuesday | September 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Lisa Hanna

Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer

The National Gallery of Jamaica recently launched its 40th anniversary exhibition and Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, who officiated, expressed pride at the high standard upheld by the artists who had pieces on display.

Themed as 'Retrospect: the 40 Years of the National Gallery of Jamaica Exhibition', the National Gallery of Jamaica, successfully managed to use more than 130 pieces of art to tell various stories about Jamaica.

Founded in November, 1974, Jamaica's National Gallery was the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean. It is also the region's oldest and largest national art museum, and was recently extended to include a western branch called the National Gallery West, located in Montego Bay.

"Over its 40 years, the National Gallery has used art to tell the story of our people - how we see ourselves, how we project ourselves, and how we understand ourselves. It is interesting to see how our artists have captured and interpreted the ways in which our ideas have evolved with modernity and enhanced our national confidence over the years," Minister Hanna said.

The minister also said, "We will use this anniversary as an occasion to look back at progress. We will examine the outstanding developments in Jamaican art over the years, and the roll that the Gallery has played in the shaping of the unique Jamaican art character."

The exhibition features works from artists as diverse as Edna Manley, Mallica 'Kapo' Reynolds, Albert Huie, Barrington Watson, Karl

Parboosingh, Carl Abrahams, Oneika Russell, Laura Facey, Maria LaYacona, Omari Ra, Cecil Baugh, Norma Rodney Harrack, and David Boxer.

"I am very sorry that David Boxer wasn't able to be with us today, but I especially wish to pay tribute to him. The National Gallery owes a special debt to Dr Boxer who was our chief curator for several years and who served the organisation for 37 years in all. Without any fear of contradiction whatsoever, I will say that no one has been as instrumental to the development of the National Gallery as Dr Boxer, and we thank him for his service," Minister Hanna said.