Artist Roy Reid is dead

Published: Tuesday | January 13, 2009

Roy Reid was self taught and counted among Jamaica's greatest intuitives. - Carlington Wilmot Photo

ROY REID, whose paintings of everyday life won him many admirers in Jamaica and the Caribbean, has died. Reid was found dead Sunday by his wife Mabel, in the workshop of his St Andrew home.

Angella Seymour, Reid's stepdaughter, said her mother found Reid at 6 a.m. when she went to serve him fruit. Seymour said he was suffering from prostate cancer, an enlarged heart and diabetes.

Reid celebrated his 71st birthday on December 21.

Born in Portland, Reid lived for many years in the Grass Quit Glades community of Olympic Way. Some of his best work depicted tragic events such as the Eventide Fire of May 1980, in which 144 elderly persons were killed, and the controversial street people incident of 1999 when over 30 homeless people were taken from the streets of Montego Bay and dumped in St Elizabeth.

Landlord City was another of his memorable pieces. In it, he showed the tough treatment meted out to tenants in inner-city Kingston.

Reid began painting in 1964. His work was shown at the National Gallery and the Mutual Life Gallery, while he participated in group exhibitions in Havana, Cuba and Wolverhampton, England.

Reid received the Musgrave Bronze medal in 1987 for his contribution to Jamaican art and was inducted into the Caribbean Development for the Arts and Culture Foundation's Caribbean Hall of Fame in 1999.

Roy Reid is survived by wife Mabel, two sons, two stepchildren and two grandchildren.