I finally went around to a few, not many Jamaicans to see how many visual artists names they could list.
Blah, blah and blah.
Okay consider that unlike any other Jamaican artiste group and art form the visual artists are poorly promoted. On one hand the numbered elite art collectors would love to keep average Jamaicans from collecting works, as this is one way to harness and protect the sanity of the rich and famous.
Think again – average persons love artworks, and there is no way locals collecting art can impact on how the rich is seen. So we turn to the art scene to observe whats happening.
On the Jamaican art scene, cut outs of calendar images done by visual artists are framed and don enough wall space confirming Jamaicas love for art. Only a year or so ago, the telephone directory was the subject of heated debate. The covers depicting a dancehall scene by Lennox Campbell turned the telephone directory into a sought out piece for no budget collectors. Either you collected one for the art, or you complained that the scene should be toned down. I dont remember any proposal for no art on the cover.
Over 1,000 painters, not to mention other types of artists. They come to therefore now and again.
Evidently, not enough is being done to ensure visual art of Jamaica is in the forefront of peoples minds. The local art festivals are remembered.
The National Gallery of Jamaica cannot do it all. Its time to put away politics practiced in the art world that for too long existed to only hurt the reputation of Jamaica art, its history and participants. SADLY artists established over centuries of other countries are still more known, while so precious little are known about our artists success overseas.
Our politicians are known bandwagoonists. Third world politicians can only afford to support only those who support themselves and advance.
The art school is now looking like an uptown ghetto and failing to attract more than a handful of students, as more talented nationals head elsewhere.
Draw the line.. Time for Visual Artists to put themselves in perspective. As with other artists, Visual Artists must pronounce themselves to be taken seriously.
Its my suggestion that Jamaican artists should consider taking more conventional actions. I suggest doing some mini works so that average and low budget persons can understand and appreciate and collect. That way over time they could collect the work of at least fifty artists.