'Gallery' prepares for biennial

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 04, 2014

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WITH its 40th anniversary celebrations launched on Sunday, the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) is already moving ahead with the second event to launch this milestone.

The gallery is now issuing a call to artists to submit works for the Jamaica Biennial, set to open on December 7.

Dr Veerle Poupeye, executive director of the NGJ, states that artists whose works are to be judged for inclusion in the popular exhibition are now required to sumbit works by October 17, while the invited artists will hand in their pieces by November 7.

She also indicated that some new rules are coming for the biennial with a special focus on the Caribbean.

"The biennial has, in recent years, attracted increased international attention and we want to use it as a platform to give greater international visibility to Jamaican art and to foster more regional engagement. The biennial is, after all, not just a mirror of Jamaican art but also a platform for its development," she said.

The last biennial in 2012 featured 126 works by 87 artists, and Poupeye expects this year's event to attract similar numbers based on feedback already received from interested artists.

"We intend to operate the exhibition from more than one location this time, which already includes the recently opened National Gallery West in Montego Bay, as well as other venues in Kingston," Poupeye added.

Artists interested in participating in the juried section are urged to visit the gallery in downtown Kingston to collect the guidelines and entry forms. Documents can also be downloaded from the NGJ blog.

Poupeye also stated that a major event is in the works for the actual anniversary, which is on November 14.

"We will also engage in a public awareness campaign, designed to bring more people to the gallery with several education and outreach activities and more public promotion. We are also publishing a special line of posters and postcards of famous works from our collection," she noted.





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