GAC: Contemporary Art in Grenada

Presentation by Asher Mains

In an unprecedented stride forward, The Grenada Arts Council (GAC) has presented Contemporary Art in Grenada, a stellar exhibition. This special exhibition hosted by Art and Soul Gallery at Spiceland Mall, showcases a selection of works from Grenada’s mature artists. These works are very conceptual in nature, meaning that the thought concept behind the works is then presented visually.

The artists in the exhibition were chosen through an application process. The call went out earlier this year to the over 300 artists who have participated in GAC exhibits over the past few years. Requirements of a professional level, such as an artist CV, images of works, and an artist’s statement, were asked of the artists. The deadline of 1 July gave artists time to imagine and create their works, then present them in a professional way. This then gave the opportunity to present the work to a very important invited guest to Grenada.

José Noceda of the Wifredo Lam Center in Havana, Cuba is one of the curators of the Havana Biennale. In May of 2015, the 12th Edition of the Biennale will open in Havana. The most select artists from all over the world will be invited to show their works during this very prestigious event. Because of the work of Grenada’s Ambassador to Cuba, Claris Charles, the Grenada Arts Council has been allowed to invite this curator to Grenada to look at our artists’ work, for possible inclusion in the Biennale.

This past Tuesday, at the opening of the exhibition, Noceda shared his appreciation for the invitation to Grenada. Also present at the opening were Minister for Culture, Senator Brenda Hood; Minister for Tourism, Alexandra Otway–Noel; and the Ambassador of Cuba to Grenada, Maria Caridad Balaguer Labrada. President of the Grenada Arts Council, Dr Oliver Benoit welcomed the lively crowd of art lovers.

José Noceda, Curator Wifredo Lam Center; Minister for Culture Brenda Hood; GAC President Dr Oliver Benoit

The artists who prepared their applications and submitted work include Oliver Benoit, Asher Mains, Suelin Low Chew Tung, Fi Fennell, Geraldine Le Leannnec, Maria McClafferty and Susan Mains. Each artist has written a statement to give insight in to their work, which helps with the understanding. Each artist spoke about their own work, and its significance.

Subsequently, Noceda visited the studios of the presenting artists to have extended conversations with them about their work. It is a rare privilege to have this kind of attention from such an important curator, especially in a small island that is most often overlooked.

Although the GAC was forced, through economic stress, to close the gallery on Young Street earlier this year, it still continues as a force for the promotion of visual artists in Grenada. This event has certainly given great hope for forward momentum.

The exhibition will hang at Art and Soul Gallery through 25 September. Opening hours are 10 am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday. Admission is free.

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