Alessandro Boyd, Sunday Gleaner Writer
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) continues to unearth new talent and provide a platform for experienced and developing artists, the latest example of this was through its annual National Visual Arts competition.
The competition and exhibitions serve as launch pads for a number of Jamaica's budding artists. They also enrich the community of local practitioners with new talent and provide opportunities for artists to gain access to the local and international audience.
"We have been staging four exhibitions a year since 2007, the National Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition began in July. This exhibition is currently being showcased at the National Gallery (in Kingston) until August 11. These exhibitions coincide with the Independence celebrations. After that, we will be showcasing these pieces in three other locations around the island," Sana Rose-Savage, visual arts specialist at the JCDC, told The Sunday Gleaner.
Their desire, each year, is to host competitive, exciting exhibitions that showcase the highest quality works of art that collectively give an insight into the current and emerging trends in Jamaican art.
"The competition has been going on for 49 years and is open to Jamaican artists and citizens. There are two categories, one for children and the other adults."
There are also seven different categories for the types of art that will be submitted, they are painting, photography, sculpture/assemblage, video art, fibre arts, ceramics and works on paper.
There were a total of 194 selected entries this year, 121 youths and 63 adults.
"The overwhelming (number of) entries selected for youth, compared to adults, was because they did very well this year. However, when compared to last year, they did better," Rose-Savage stated.
The organisers introduced a special Jamaica 50 aspect to the competition, in commemoration of Jamaica's Independence.
This year, the Jamaica 50 section of the competition made it different. Everyone who selected paintings in the exhibition was given a certificate. However, those in the Jamaica 50 section received Jamaica 50 gold medals in addition to two prizes for youths and adults.
There was a total of 11 prizes for the adult and youth categories, respectively. For the Jamaica 50 category, Aeron Cargill and Dwight Larmond tied for first place. Cargill's winning entry was 'Jonkunoo: Fire and Drum I-III' whereas Larmond's was 'Election Jamboree'.
For the youth category, Kamille Kirlew came first for her 'Tools of Yester Year' entry.