Gene Pearson's new gallery

Published: Friday | December 11, 2009

Chester Francis-Jackson, Gleaner Writer

Gene Pearson with one of his sculpted masterpieces. So vast is the appeal of his creative genius that his work ... has been featured in a number of national and international publications. - Contributed photos

He is easily one of Jamaica's most prolific artists in the contemporary era.

His bronze and ceramic sculptures are regarded as prized collectibles and have graced the homes of every serious art collector in Jamaica.

Such is the scope and strength of his work that, over the decades, successive prime ministers and other leaders have presented them to various foreign dignitaries, heads of state and other celebrities, including Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Bill Clinton, the late Leonid Brezhnev, former Mexican President Lopez Portillo, former vice-president of Iraq Taba Marouf, and banker David Rockefeller.

So vast is the appeal of his creative genius that his work was part of the set of the television series, Trapper John, MD, and has been featured in a number of national and international publications. His work is also to be found in leading corporate and private collections internationally, including that of musician Stevie Wonder, songbird Roberta Flack, renowned poet Maya Angelou, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tyne Daley of Cagney and Lacey, actress Diahann Carrol and author Alice Walker.

He has received commissions from Couples Swept Away hotel and Breezes Grand Resort and Spa, formerly Grand Lido hotel. He was interviewed on television in the United States of America on Black Renaissance, a programme on San Francisco's Channel 44, for his 1991 and 1993 exhibitions in California. His work appears on the J$1.40 stamp released on April 26, 1993, depicting Jamaican ceramics from the Hardingham Collection.

Many awards

On March 21, 2001, he was awarded the Hall of Fame Award For Excellence in the field of visual arts, and in 2006 he was awarded the rank of officer for distinguished performance in the arts. He is the ultra-talented and master ceramist Gene Pearson!

Born in 1946 in St Catherine, he is a graduate of the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts and has taught at several schools in Jamaica. His overseas exhibits include the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and UC Berkeley in Berkeley, California. And now, the work of the internationally acclaimed Jamaican sculptor has found a home in the form of a gallery dedicated solely to his masterpieces.

Located at 38 Trafalgar Road, the Gene Pearson Gallery was officially opened two Sunday mornings ago. Fans, collectors and art experts were out to toast and welcome the addition to the art community that serves as a testimonial to the creative brilliance of the man.

Dears, whereas galleries usually feature the works of several artists in an effort to remain not just viable but, more important, au currant, the Gene Pearson Gallery is a marked departure that will exclusively feature his work.

'A most marvellous outing'

Kandi Chin (left) and Arianne Pearson spend time together at the gallery opening.

The event made for a most marvellous outing, with Gene Pearson and Kingsley Cooper cutting the ribbon to officially open Kingston's newest and hottest art gallery, and with wine flowing and friends sharing tidbits.

It was a gathering of the who's who of the art world: collectors, patrons, dealers, as well as a number of leading social denizens dressed in summery whites or the equivalent. It was easily the art occasion of the season and represented a most welcome addition to the social, cultural and artistic landscape of the bustling capital.

The notables who were out included: former Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica Claudio Valle and his wife, Louise Valle; Mexican Ambassador Leonora Rueda; Joe and Bernadette Matalon; Jennifer Lim; Dr Michael Banbury; PJ Stewart; Maureen Shaw; Jeff and Marjorie Cobham; Harold Brady; Professor Carolyn Cooper; Lennie Little-White; Minna Israel; Carlysle and Diane Hudson; Donnette Chin Loy; Cecil Cooper; Amber Cohen; Trevor Figueroa; Cheryl Mais; Gary and Sheryl Peart; the ultra-gorgeous Karen Neita and her sibling, Michelle Neita; Jacqui Sanguinetti; The Gleaner's Nordia Craig and her lovely daughters; Rosalea Hamilton; Marva Bernard; and the lovely Romae Gordon, plus a number of others.

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