Late former President, Mrs. Janet Jagan, expressed “resilience, grace and integrity…through her selflessness, her sense of humour and her dedicated work” for the betterment of others and for the arts to flourish in Guyana.
The Management Committee of the National Gallery, Castellani House, of which Mrs Jagan served as chairperson, expressed it condolences to the family, the PPP and the government.
Mrs Jagan, according to a release issued on Saturday, headed the National Gallery’s Management Committee from the institution’s inception in 1993 to its most recent committee and public events in February and March.
An accident at home earlier this year dictated that she rest from activity, hence her absence from the gallery, the release stated. Only during 1997-99, when Mrs Jagan was the President, did she cease to act as chairperson.
She exercised great knowledge and love of the arts and preferred to play a limited role at public gallery events, generating ideas and opportunities instead for the promotion of visual art events, the release said. Mrs Jagan, the committee said, promoted the appreciation of the wider arts, through a vibrant gallery programme which she oversaw as the head of the institution’s governing body for over fifteen years.
Practitioners of art – visual artists and writers – were not the only ones supported by Mrs Jagan but lovers of art as well. She prompted Castellani House’s popular Evenings of Literature as well as its Classic Tuesday film evenings and book launches. Symposia and lectures which began as early as 1994, exploring themes in literature, visual art and design were also among the events created and encouraged by Mrs Jagan.
Of particular interest to Mrs Jagan was art for and by young children, and she talked recently of repeating the successful ‘art on the lawns’ painting activity of 1996-7 and the more recent International Children’s Day painting event, the release said.