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Stabroek News

Fine arts festival with a difference
published: Sunday | April 22, 2007

'My Sister, My Sister' by Hines-Brissett.

Over 70 top artists, sculptors, painters, ceramists, jewellers and photographers will participate in the Liguanea Festival of Fine Arts and Photography on the grounds of Liguanea Plaza, St. Andrew, on Sunday, April 29.

This art and photography festival is being organised for the fourth successive year. As part of the day's activities, special interludes of jazz will be presented by Sonia Christine Fisher, along with husband Martin-Blanken on keyboards; special Afro-Caribbean and Jamaican drumming by Akwaaba Drummers/Phillip Supersad (artist); contemporary folk songs by Andy Jefferson (artist) on guitar, with interludes of background music by Leslie Sherman.

Special art activities are planned throughout the day, which starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 8 p.m. The entire family will have a chance to express their creative freedom; get their portraits drawn by experienced artists such as Philip Henry; mould their clay on the potter's wheel with Phillip Supersad and Wazzari Johnson; try their hand at calligraphy with Howard Moo Young; indulge in glass and fabric painting assisted by Christina Hanson, and numerous other opportunities.

A selected group of 'young artists' have also been given the opportunity to exhibit their work.

The festival is being sponsored by Liguanea Drug & Garden Centre in association with The Gleaner Company, along with First Global, Cari-Med Ltd., Anbell Media Ltd., General Food Supermarket, H.D. Hopwood & Company Limited, Scotiabank, and Mayberry Investments Limited.

Included in the list of artists who will be participating are: Paul Smith, Jerry Craig, Fitz Mitchell, and P.J. Stewart.

Paul Smith

The youngest of ten children, this quiet and unassuming gentleman is a powerhouse of jewellery knowledge. A graduate of the Jamaica School of Art, Paul has diligently worked and flourished in a profession where many have entered but few have stayed the course.

His reputation as an excellent goldsmith and teacher has led him to work for some of Jamaica's most popular jewellers. Establishments such as Swiss Stores and L.A. Henriques and Sons have called on his talents at one time or another. In fact, the ring that you arewearing may have been made by him.

Smith does not limit his talent to jewellery, his skill as a carver in wood has left many speechless. On a visit to the Blue and John Crow mountains you will be greeted by large wooden signs carved by him. His list of private commissions in this medium is extensive. Smith currently operates his own studio and exhibits with the Jamaica Guild of Artists, of which he is a member.

Karl 'Jerry' Craig

An abstract expressionist, Craig uses the jewelled colours of the Caribbean's flora and fauna and the undulating shapes of the landscape as inspiration for many of his paintings. His work is a rich tapestry in abstract symbolism, frequently retracing the roots of the peoples of the Caribbean, Africa and the Americas documenting long-forgotten ways of life. Using signs and symbols, luxuriously textured surfaces, paint gauged and scratched, his work eventually gives birth to new internal languages of the heart, mind and soul.

Craig's desire to help young artists develop has motivated him as an art educator while continuing his own work as a professional artist. From 1971 to 1981 he was director of the Jamaica School of Art (now the The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts) in Kingston, Jamaica. After this stint he became senior lecturer in the Faculty of Arts and Education at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.

P.J. Stewart

(Stewart about her works)

I have found creation to be a mystical process and predetermination has to go! Intellect is a blocker in my work and I need to empty myself of the inclination to illustrate a concept. The best work comes out of an open space through which can flow the heart, the humour, the soul, and what Sidney Potier calls 'my personal rsum.' Somehow this taps into a collective unconscious and establishes common experience, so the viewer can 'know' the painting for himself.

In 'The Calling' (at left), we have all been hailed by a messenger uncomfortably moving into our space. Assassin or preheat, he demands our attention and we are in a presence we cannot turn from.

My work is clearly about my personal values, seasoned as they are by the experiences of a lifetime. It is also an ongoing quest to find the means of expression - colour, language, technique, exploration of media, and dimension. This exploration often causes people to comment on 'changing style'- an expression I abhor!

I am simply on a journey and my work is the usual journal I share. It is my hope that this sharing of the paintings deepen the experience of my fellow travellers.

Norma Hines-Brissett

Norma graduated from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts as a painter in 1999. After graduation she participated in a number of group exhibitions, including Young Generation at Mutual Life Gallery, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Fine Art Competition, Young Professionals at Pegasus, and the Cariflora Fine Arts Exhibition at King's House (2002).

A graduate of The Mico College and the University of the West Indies, she felt compelled to return to teaching. She taught at Immaculate Conception High School (2001-02) and was invited back to St. Joseph's Teachers' College, where she had taught art, after graduating in 1999. Having completed a master's degree in education, she now educates new teachers in how to use the visual arts as a vehicle to drive the rest of the curriculum. She intends to teach for another two years after which she will become a full-time painter.

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