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Liguanea Art Festival back for 7th year

Published:Sunday | April 25, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Luca Khouri - Photo by Robert Lalah

Kingston's much-loved annual fine arts festival is back for its seventh staging and promises to deliver old favourites, exciting new talent and much more art.

"We wanted to introduce some new artists this year, some fresh talent" said June Wong, one of the founding partners of the festival. "While we know that people love to come for the stalwarts like Gene Pearson, Kay Sullivan and Alphonso Blake, we really wanted to take the opportunity to broaden people's knowledge of the truly vibrant art scene we have in Jamaica."

As always, the festival will feature Jamaican ceramists, sculptors, artists and photographers, as well as a wide range of entertainment and refreshments for the entire family. More than 80 artists signed up for this year's event, much more than last year's festival.

"Our artists recognise the importance and benefit of a festival like this, which is why we always get such a great response from them," said Tony Wong, the other founding member and June's husband. The husband-and-wife team also owns the Liguanea Drug and Garden complex, where the festival will be held.

This year also sees an increase in young artists at the festival. Alongside the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission whose annual presence promote the next generation of visual artists, the Institute of Jamaica will this year take part, representing a group of artists.

Today, Sunday, April 25, Liguanea Drug and Garden complex will come alive with visual arts. Whether novice or established art collector, the festival has something for everyone.

Here's a bit about three of the artists whose works will be featured there.

  • Kay Sullivan

Kay Sullivan graduated from Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome with a bachelor's in fine art, and has had her work presented to the likes of former presidents Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and Caros Menem (of Argentina). Her sculptures use plasteline on a metal armature to create the sculptures, which is afterwards cast in resin with ground bronze in the first coat. This is then backed up by layers of fibreglass.

Her work includes sculpture portraits of Edna Manley, Michael Manley, Kapo and Aaron Matalon. Among her commissioned work is 'The Dancer' at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. Sullivan's hobbies include photography, studying scripture and caring for animals. She has also recently been experimenting with painting in acrylics.

  • Luca Khouri

Luca Khouri has loved photography ever since he was age 10. He has been interested in it for about five years, and has improved over the years. He uses photography to express his emotions, creativity and view of life. Luca lives with his four other family members (mother, father, sister and brother), who have encouraged and supported him. He hopes to become a professional photographer in the near future, along with several other projects. He owns a Nikon D90 camera, which he puts to very good use. The photo, 'There Lays Your Crown, Go Fetch' is a creative piece that was aimed towards society, and what people do in order to make a name in society. The piece was taken on a slow shutter speed, amid the rain and sunshine.

  • Alison West Martin

Born in the South of England in 1953 in a rural farming community, Alison West Martin was educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, and at Hornsey College of Art (now Middlesex University) in London. On graduation from art school with an undergraduate degree and teacher training, she felt the need to broaden her horizons and headed for Jamaica in 1976 where she has resided since.

She has taught design and drawing at two tertiary institutions, the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts from 1983 to 2006, and The Caribbean School of Architecture since 1989. She has also been an exhibiting artist since 1980, and her work incorporates motherhood, as well as the balance between the natural environment and, man. West Martin has also been involved in interior design, mural-making and more recent, illustration projects in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology at the University of the West Indies. This illustration work focuses on analysis of pre-Colombian artefacts of the Taino Indians.

West Martin's most recent work, is inspired by the pre-Colombian civilizations of Mexico, examining mostly the sacred spaces of ceremonial centres in the highlands around Mexico City and, more recent, the Mayan Puuc sites in the Yucatan.