Career & Education

Teen finds new beginning in art

Sunday, January 28, 2018

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WHEN Rameesh Ramsay convinced his teacher to include him in the group of students who would participate in the InPulse Art Project — a visual art programme — he had no idea how much it would change his life.

Working on the project, which is run by RUBiS Energy Jamaica and the RUBiS Mécénat cultural fund (endowment fund of the RUBiS Group), has exposed him to training in the visual arts — drawing, painting, murals, and animation. The project was launched in 2015.

The former student of Dunoon Technical High School had always enjoyed art, but had viewed it solely as a hobby. But since his participation in the visual art project, his outlook has evolved significantly.

“Before, I considered becoming a police officer or a soldier, but now I see art as a serious career path. I didn't know that art could take me this far, that it could open all these doors for me,” he admitted.

One of the opportunities that Ramsay has had was the chance to travel to Haiti for the Ghetto Biennale, a cross-cultural arts festival where he was able to create and showcase his artwork with artists from all over the world. His 10-day visit to the festival was part of the InPulse Art programme, which also seeks to expose the students to the global art market.

“The whole experience was amazing, because I see where art has transformed my life. To be able to create and also view the work of so many artists was inspirational, because I now see how much I can achieve through art,” he explained.

After his visit to Haiti with two of his classmates and the InPulse Art Project manager, visual artist Camille Chedda, Ramsay is now focused on matriculating into the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

He is one of several participants in the project who are attending remedial classes in mathematics and English language offered by the programme.

“I didn't get to do maths and English in high school, but coming to this class gives me the chance to focus on art, and now I'm finally able to work on getting these vital subjects because I want to get a scholarship,” he explained.

The 19-year-old is aiming to be one of the students who will be offered a scholarship in the summer. Since the start of the project in 2015, two students have been awarded full scholarships to attend Edna Manley.

The Franklin Town resident has his eyes set on a career in art that goes beyond creating works of art.

“I also want to teach after I complete my studies at Edna Manley, because I believe it is important to pass on the passion of art to others to encourage more people to enter the field,” Ramsay said.

The artistic creations of 18 students, including Ramsay's, are on display at a month-long exhibition at Studio 174, located at 174 Harbour Street, downtown Kingston. The exhibition was launched on Saturday, January 20.

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