Art brunch impresses at Pages
Meet The Artists! Richard Hall, Crislyn Beecher-Bravo, and Howard Moo Young peer back at our lenses in-between their exhibition.

THE usually laid-back Pages In The Gardens in St Andrew was transformed into a busy exhibition hall recently as a stream of art enthusiasts, artists, and foodies turned up at the venue for two days of art brunch.

Hosted in collaboration with The Premier Art Exhibition, the event, which featured the works of three artisans – visual artist Howard Moo Young alongside fine artists Richard Hall and Crislyn Beecher-Bravo — showcased over 40 new works.

Moo Young, who forms the trio of organisers with Beecher-Bravo and Hall, said the vision was to make The Premier Art Exhibition the foremost of its kind as "Jamaica's art community attempts to revive itself from the pandemic" which, in the last two years, had resulted in a plateau on the art landscape.

The diverse collection capturing landscapes, portraitures, paintings, pencil drawings and photography elicited much enthusiasm from patrons.

"I think it's a dynamic mixture of legends," said visual artist Richard Natoo, who was among those viewing the exhibition.

Natoo, who was in awe of Moo Young's and Hall's finishes, described their collection as "very well done". He was just as delighted to see other notable artists at the event.

"It's just beautiful to see all these iconic persons around … growing up and knowing them and now you see them in one place — it's very humbling for me, even me as an artist," said Natoo, who creates surreal, dream-like images that explore the range of human emotions and who has also painted murals in Kingston Creative's art district.

Citing Moo Young's Christopher "Dudus" Coke interpretations, Natoo noted: "You have to have a special hand to make an event come full circle like that on paper." He was equally impressed with the depth in Hall's paintings, which he said gave the impression the artist was "painting skilfully with a sword".

A 50-year veteran, Moo Young's work has received numerous accolades dating as far back as 1979 when he won the Commonwealth Photography Exhibition in Edmonton, Canada. The former Edna Manley College For The Visual and Performing Arts lecturer followed that up with several more from the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Institute of Jamaica, and others.

Among those who turned out for the event were Opposition Senator Donna Scott-Mottley and husband Elombé Mottley; Ambassador Stewart Stephenson; Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson; businessman Wayne Chen; investment advisor Claudette Crooks-Collie; former NCB boss Jeffery Cobham; NCB Group Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CEO Dennis Cohen; media practitioner Amashika Lorne; Myrtha DéSulmé of the Haiti-Jamaica Society; Montego Bay businessman Gregory Lee; The Sky Gallery's Tara Brown; artists Ewan McAnuff, Mortimer McPherson, Sean Henry and Jodeane Bailey; former EMCVPA and photographer Donnette Zacca; and photographer Nicole Brown, among others.

Hall, who rarely exhibits given the pace at which his works leaves the studio, is constantly compared to renowned Jamaican painter Barry Watson. His work has dressed the walls of embassies and consulates and has been gifted to dignitaries including members of the Royal family.

An attorney-at-law, Crislyn Beecher-Bravo has been making steady strides since entering the art scene in 2018. She continues to secure a name of herself after impressive showings at Grosvenor Gallery in 2019 and more recently, with her Soul Rebel at the Bob Marley Museum earlier this year.

The Premier Art Exhibition has now moved online to Twitter and Instagram, where persons will be able to access their special pieces from the show.

Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson (left) pauses for a photo with multi-award-winning visual artist Howard Moo Young, one of three artists exhibiting at The Premier Art Exhibition's art brunch, held recently at Pages In The Gardens'at Hope Botanical Gardens in St Andrew.
Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson and Justine Henzell of Jakes Hotel take in a Richard Hall piece at the exhibition.
Visual artist Howard Moo Young greets art aficionado Wayne Chen at the recent art brunch at Pages In The Gardens
It's An Artist Thing! Artists Richard Natoo (left) and Gihanni Jahziel share a chill moment with Richard Hall (centre) in front of one of his paintings.
Art Talk with The Girls: The Sky Gallery's Tara Brown (centre) talks plans for the art scene with photographer Nicole Brown (left) and art writer Robyn Miller.
Catching up: Former broadcaster Elaine Wint-Leslie flashes us a smile while catching up with artist Ewan McAnuff inside the art brunch.
Food & Art Fushion: Patrons take in the art and food at the Art Brunch.

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