Fine Art has always been a major pillar of Jamaica’s cultural expression, and this past Thursday, December 1, 2022, saw the opening of “Jamaica Wi Come From” an exhibition of Jamaican art as part of the celebration of Jamaica’s Diamond Jubilee 60th Independence celebrations at the Miramar Arts Park by Jamaica’s Consul General to the Southern United
States and Patron of the event, the Honorable Oliver Mair. The exhibition which was curated by head of Yardabraawd International LLC, Richard Hugh Blackford features the combined works of seven Jamaican Fine Artists, six of whom currently reside in South Florida. The intentional design of the exhibition was to reflect the diversity that makes up the island.
The list of artists include:
Vaughbn Tucker who migrated to the USA in early 2004 Vaughn where he was able to focus on honing his skills and channeling his passion for nature into art. With no formal instruction Vaughn refined his talent to the point of versatility in oil paint, watercolor, and acrylic.
Christopher Butler who emigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1988 where he attended Central Technical Fine Arts Institute and George Brown College of Graphic Design. Butler who now resides in South Florida has a reputation for his insightful portraits and murals, working extensively in oils, acrylics, and water colours.
Elpedio Robinson is a graduate of the Edna Manley School of Visual and Performing Arts and a practising artist working full time at his craft since 2000. Elpedio deliberately paints subjects that are free of any indication or influence of angst and has exhibited extensively in Jamaica, the wider Caribbean, Canada and the USA.
Gail McGhie Daley, a Jamaican- born artist based in South Florida, captures the vibrancy of her homeland through her artwork. Her obsession with portraying human expressions is seen in her many engaging portraits that pull you in. Many of Gail’s most notable paintings focus on the rich cultural iconography of Jamaican folk art, the spirited beauty of the countryside and the intricacy of nature and she artfully extricates the essence of her subjects.
Colin Smith is an artist whose love of the Caribbean landscape, culture and music is evident in his paintings – from tranquil island scenes to vibrant melodic abstracts. Originally from the Island of Jamaica, Colin found inspiration from his youth in the lush Jamaican flora and the surrounding Caribbean Sea. Colin studied at the Jamaica School of Art, which is now known as the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts.
John Walters graduated with Honors from the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts where he specialized in painting. He also holds a certificate in Art Education. John has had many solo and group shows over the years. His work has also been displayed in the Jamaica National Gallery.
Richard Hugh Blackford is a completely self-taught artist and has been painting professionally for the last 20 years. He has exhibited extensively in Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua, London and here in the USA, having emigrated to the USA in 2008.
The curated exhibition features more than 40 pieces from this diverse group of fine artists that evokes a great deal of nostalgia of multiple aspects of social Jamaica and is a fitting tribute to the island’s continued celebration of its 60th Independence.
The glitzy opening function was sponsored by Purple Team, Ambetter Insurance, Jamaica National Money Services, and Yardabrawd International LLC, and attracted a huge and diverse audience including Lauderdale Lake’s newly minted Vice Mayor, Jamaican born Karlene Maxwell-Williams. Vice Mayor Maxwell-Williams took the time to speak about her Florida Immigrant Coalition while encouraging green card holders to become naturalized citizens.
The Exhibition continues until December 18, 2022 and is open to the public from 10:00 am -5:00 pm
Mondays through Fridays. Go see it.