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Liguanea Lodge art auction supports art education

Published:Sunday | May 26, 2019 | 12:00 AMPaul H. Williams - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Some of the many pieces that were placed to be auctioned at the Liguanea Lodge art auction held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
Prospective art buyers milling around just before the auction begins.
Liguanea Lodge Master Dr Clarence David McGaw gives the symbolic award of a scholarship to Claudia Woon Chin, registrar at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. The scholarship will be awarded to a student of the institution.
The lone mask that was up for grabs.

For 27 years, Liguanea Lodge 1479 has been hosting an art auction, its main annual fundraising event. This year, the event was held on Thursday, May 16, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston

According to lodge master Dr Clarence David McGaw, the auction serves many purposes. It is an opportunity for established local artists to display their creations and for emerging artists to show their work to art dealers and collectors while making some money.

The art auction, according to Dr McGaw, is also the source of the funding for the lodge’s charitable and benevolent outreach efforts.

Over the years, the Lodge has focused on providing scholarships to needy high-school students up to the CSEC level. It has also assisted basic schools and children’s homes and has bought pieces of equipment for public hospitals.

This time around, part proceeds of the auction will go towards providing a scholarship to a worthy student of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA).

“Art is the soul of a nation, and we believe that education in the arts should take its rightful place beside the sciences and technology,” Dr McGaw told the gathering, after which he presented the ceremonial offer of the scholarship to Claudia Woon Chin, registrar at the EMCVPA. “We think that awarding a scholarship to the Edna Manley College is a very appropriate thing to do. We have certainly benefited,” Dr McGaw said.

Many of the pieces up for grabs were done by EMCVPA graduates.

Among the programmes that the EMCVPA offers are Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Art Education degrees. The BA degree is offered jointly with The University of the West Indies. There is also a continuing education division that offers part-time courses.

And from the look of things, the auction went well, according to the auctioneer for the night, Douglas McDonald, a past master of the Liguanea Lodge, chairman of its art auction committee, and an art collector of sorts himself.

He said after the formalities that people expressed an interest in the high-end pieces that were not sold. He was optimistic that some of them would be sold eventually. The auction, which took place within the context of a wine-and-cheese party, was a success, McDonald said.