On Sunday, December 8, Stewart's Hardware Limited with co-sponsors Berger Paints hosted its 3rd annual art show, 'Art Affair', at its Stewart's Hardware and Home Centre May Pen, Clarendon, branch.
The calendar event has become a favourite for the surrounding communities of May Pen and central Jamaica.
Sunday's 'Art Affair' featured the works of renowned Jamaican artists Webster Campbell, Charlene Campbell, Leopold Barnes, Andy Ballentine, Jeffery Perry, Ray Jackson, Carol Watson, Joshua Gordon, Donovan Gordon, Eugene Campbell, Torraine Campbell, Prince Myers, Sharon Fox-Mould and Damian Cunningham.
Following the past year's success, Stewart's Hardware continued 'Art Affair's' distinctive feature of reaching out to surrounding school communities such as Vere Technical High, Garvey Maceo High, Glenmuir High, Spanish Town High, and Foga Road High for support.
Stewart's Hardware has expanded the interest of the artists in the 'Art Affair' by introducing an Inter-Secondary School Art Competition.
The competition, which ran from November 25 to December 8, was judged by a panel of veteran Jamaican artists who assessed the students' mastery of originality, concept creation, use of lighting and contrast.
Olufemi Allen of Garvey Maceo won the coveted Stewart's Hardware plaque for the 'Most Outstanding Art Piece' (overall), as well as the prize for the 'Most Outstanding Piece' from his school.
Rajhae Lewis of Foga Road High received his prize for the 'Most Creative Painting', and Abigail Rhule from Spanish Town High won in the category 'Most Outstanding Functional Art Piece'.
Willese Henry (Foga Road High), Najaha Ennis (Vere Technical High) and Romario Barnett (Spanish Town High) received gift certificates from the National Commercial Bank for the 'Most Outstanding Piece' in the school.
Junior Atkinson, head of the Art Department at Garvey Maceo, expressed enthusiasm for the students' accomplishments. "It is refreshing to see the confidence and excitement displayed by the students towards visual art as a result of being involved in this Stewart's community project. Despite the challenges, there has been a significant change in the students' attitude in the three years they have been participating. They now look forward to the 'Art Affair'and are eager to learn from their peers and the more seasoned artists."
Atkinson revealed that the improvement in his students' attitude towards the arts has extended beyond the classroom. A number of students have been using their new-found passion to help others in their own communities by painting murals, doing various graphic-art projects, and pursuing further education in the field.
"Stewart's Hardware has always believed in giving back to our communities and we are focused on redoubling our efforts of bringing out the best in our people. We endeavour to do so to help develop the minds of the young in our society in whatever way possible," explained Baron Stewart, chairman of Stewart's Hardware.
The 'Art Affair' was among activities for the superstores' Grand 40th Anniversary celebrations. Other sponsors for the event include: BH Paints, Sherwin Williams, National Commercial Bank, Magna Rewards, Rototech, Delta Supply Company Limited, Brimac & Llewatson Company, Carib Cement and Logostitch Manufacturing. J. Wray & Nephew, Select Brands, GraceKennedy and Wisynco provided samples.