Minister of Culture, Dr Frank Anthony has proposed that an art fund be established with support from corporate entities, to help it to acquire pieces for exhibitions and market local artists.
He was speaking at the official launch of the inaugural commemorative catalogue celebrating the artists who participated in the 2012 Guyana Visual Arts Competition. In his address at the gathering, held at the National Gallery of Art, Castellani House, Anthony said creating an art market will bring in sales for local artists, according to a Government Information Agency (GINA) report.
“If we can create an art fund, perhaps if we get 20 companies and each one of them contributes maybe $1M or so, we will have some money to start acquiring art works, and we can have some renowned artists and people who know how to appraise art…appraising them now and seeing good quality for us and maybe we can purchase it with the funds,” he said. He further noted that “Companies will benefit because we will rotate the art work in the head offices of the various companies … [it’s] something that we can work on.”
Anthony said in 2008 he recognised that more needed to be done to market local artists as they had garnered many positive reviews at the festival. “I recognised that since 2008, when we had CARIFESTA that a lot of people thought kindly about our art and they thought perhaps that we really do not market ourselves, but I feel with this competition that we are getting a lot of attention for our art…and now by capturing this and putting into a catalogue you will be able to not only enjoy the exhibition and ambience, but we now have something where at our own leisure we can browse through it and maybe even contact more of the artists and get more acquainted with their work,” he said.
The minister then praised the work of the Guyana Visual Arts Committee, which compiled and produced the catalogue with support from corporate entities such as ANSA McAl, Scotiabank, Banks DIH, BK International, Citizens Bank, Digicel and the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry. He also thanked the companies for their support in this regard. Copies of the catalogue were presented to several representatives of the companies that helped to create the index.
The 60-page pictographic catalogue features the work of the various artists along with a short précis on them, and contains their contact data. “It also has a citation from the late renowned Guyanese artist Phillip Moore, a synopsis from the Public Lecture conducted by Theresa Hadchity as part of events for the Guyana Visual Arts Competition and messages from President Donald Ramotar, Minister Anthony, and the Coordinator of the Competition Alim Hosein among others,” GINA said.
At the close of the launching ceremony, the winner of the 2012 Competition in the drawing category, Michael Griffith, surprised the minister with a portrait he had created of him.
The Guyana Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition was re-launched on August 31, 2012 with a week of activities, after a 20-year absence. The competition was re-launched at the request of artists and continues a tradition that was started in 1994 with the National Exhibition of the Visual Arts. It will now be held biennially with the aim of discovering and nurturing the talent of emerging painters, sculptors, photographers, and sketch, ceramic and textile artists.