To exhibit overseas is no easy task for an artist. Plane fares, shipping work, lodging can be very costly.
Fortunately, I have close friends in Kingston Jamaica where I can stay, making the trip more feasibly!
So, I would like to thank Creative Pinellas Professional Artist Grant 2022 for this opportunity to show my work internationally and represent one of the grantees and attend the second Fine Art Printmakers Jamaica, exhibition opening in Kingston, Jamaica.
The title for the exhibition is “Di Times Change”. This seems like a funny title and not a word everyone in America can understand. Rightly so!! A little history here. The title uses the Jamaican vernacular or “patois” to emphasis how wide the climate change has effected even the small country farmer in the hills of the Parish of Westmorland Jamaica, who laments that the rain doesn’t fall for his crops and the soil is too tough to plant the seeds. He says to my friend, “Di times change”. “Di” standing for the word “the” It is a familiar term everyone using. It is the language of the people.
But I digress here, as this blog is not about the Jamaican dialect but about my involvement in the exhibition now being held at the Regional Headquarters at the University of the West Indies in Kingston Jamaica.
Artists were invited to produce prints that respond to the theme of Climate Change and Environmental Challenges. Twenty-two artists responded with over 60 artworks each using various printing techniques. I entered three prints, “Forest Mist, Climate Disturbances II and Climate Disturbances III of which one Climate Disturbances II was selected to be on the flyer invitation.
Included in the exhibition was a special selection of lithographs from Scottish painter, Joseph Bartholomew Kidd and English painter, James Hakewill who visited Jamaica in the early and middle 1900’s travelling the island and painting pictures of the towns and country side of the different parishes ( there are 14 parishes in Jamaica). These picture/prints are important contributions to understanding what the physical geography of Jamaica looked like in the 19th century. From observing their prints it was obvious,“ Di Times Change”!!!.
Opening receptions in Jamaica are fun! Besides meeting old faces and new people, traditions at art openings, are to invite a well-known special speaker to declare the exhibition opened. For this exhibition Fine Art printmakers Jamaica invited acclaimed Jamaican author activist and environmentalist Diana McCaulay. Due to climate change, she says the colors of the earth have changed and “Blue turns Brown”. The new earth colors are also present in the artists’ works. She remarks and asks the question, …….” ochres and pinks in Climate Disturbances II by Rachel Stewart…….have Sea and Sky changed places?”. She officially opened the show on June 15.
About 100 people (wearing the required masks and the temperature was very hot!) or more gathered at the opening reception to view the prints, to hear some great drumming music and to listen to the guest speaker, Diana McCaulay.