JIS News

Artists Suzzette Harriott and Edmondo Souza from Western Jamaica, have presented 10 paintings valued at $3 million, to the St. James Parish Council, for the Montego Bay Civic Centre Town Hall. The paintings, which depict the rich and colourful history of St. James and its development over four centuries, were unveiled at a recent civic reception at the centre, in which a wide cross section of citizens and business representatives from Montego Bay participated.
Miss Harriott and Mr. Souza completed the paintings, which focused mainly on National Hero, Sam Sharpe.
Guest Speaker at the reception, Vice Chancellor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies, Professor Rex Nettleford, said he was pleased with the importance given to the paintings by the St. James Parish Council, which represented products of the creative imaginations of people.
“One of the things which remain with people today is the exercise of the creative imaginations and I am very happy that the parish council here should feel that the unveiling of the paintings should be of such iconic significance to their own existence, that they should make something of it today,” Professor Nettleford said.
The Professor said he was convinced that it was the exercise of the intellect and the creative imagination, which in the final analysis would make Jamaicans have a sense of place and a sense of purpose.
“I think there is a great thing going for Jamaica and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we are remembered and respected far less for our crime and far more for what we have created out of the creative imagination and intellect. We have produced more bright people, for a small country like this, and for a small region, which compares with anywhere else in the world,” Professor Nettleford said.
“I would like to feel that something like this (the gift of these historic paintings), is a celebration of a new life, which will make every human being, especially those that will view these works of art, have a sense of place and purpose in a world which belongs to all of us,” he said.
Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Noel Donaldson unveiled a commemorative plaque in recognition of the handing over of the paintings.

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