Tue | Jan 25, 2022

National Gallery West not ready

Published:Friday | March 1, 2019 | 12:00 AM


I went to the opening of the National Gallery West’s Due West exhibition, a juried exhibition featuring artists from western Jamaica. This was the first time that the western gallery opened a call for entries for art on its walls.

While the exhibition showcased exceptional talent, I was left disappointed with the way the gallery seemed to sideline the artists.

By this I mean that the artists were not introduced to the public who attended the opening, nor was there a prepared catalogue of the artists’ work that viewers could purchase and take home to learn more about the artists.

Finally, they announced at the opening a viewer’s choice award with a cash prize of $50,000, which is a lovely incentive to these hard-working artists; however, the gallery just hasn’t figured out the means through which viewers should vote. In fact, it has been a month since the opening, and no one has heard a word about how the public can vote or get a catalogue.

I think it is appalling that newcomers to the art scene should be treated with this scant disregard by the National Gallery. The gallery must work harder to ensure that every artist is treated with the respect he deserves. I have to wonder if the eastern artists/Kingstonians are also treated this way, or is it just the ‘country’ folk?

Gordon Smith