January 30, 2001
In the fullness of time explores Intuitive and Contemporary Jamaican artp
The Karl Drerup Art Gallery and Exhibitions program at Plymouth State College presents Jamaican Art: In the fullness of time, February 9 – April 7 at the Drerup Gallery. A complementary exhibition of fiber works, Jamaican Art: A stitch in time will be presented February 9 – March 17 at the College’s Silver Cultural Arts Center. Both venues are located on Main Street, in Plymouth.
The exhibitions will be augmented by Art in Bloom, creations by members of the Ashland Garden Club at both sites February 9 and 10. A self-guided cross campus gallery walk and opening receptions for the exhibitions are scheduled from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, February 9.
According to Dr. Catherine Amidon, director of the Karl Drerup Art Gallery and Exhibitions Program and curator of the exhibition. In the fullness of time explores ways in which Jamaican artists reflect their Afro-Caribbean roots and post-colonial experience. She explains, “Jamaica won political independence in 1962 after nearly 500 years of external rule, first by Spain and then by England. The native population was decimated and slaves were imported from Africa to work the land and develop a plantation economy.”
In the fullness of time uses the metaphor of ground to suggest a return to the earth — the support material of roots — to give a holistic view of Jamaican art, literally and figuratively setting works of Contemporary and Intuitive artists next to each other on common ground. Where other exhibitions have separated Intuitive and Contemporary artists, this exhibition proposes inclusion, bringing together various parts of Afro-Caribbean experience expressed in Jamaican art, to open a new visual dialogue about Jamaican culture. The exhibition is offered in cooperation with the Jamaica Artists Alliance (JAA).
Margaret Reckford Bernal is executive director of the JAA (which she founded in 1999) and wife of the Jamaican Ambassador to the United States. A sociologist, cultural consultant, poet and researcher with lifelong involvement with Jamaican art and culture, Mrs. Bernal thinks the Plymouth State College exhibition is important and exciting. “Nearly as many Jamaicans live in North America and abroad as in our homeland, and have for many, many decades. Jamaican art, however, has been something of a well-kept secret,” she says. “In the fullness of time will show that art is an abundant and necessary part of being Jamaican; that creativity is a daily, habitual part of being Jamaican. This creativity is a key to our resilience and our outward looking transcultural mindset,” Bernal continues. “Our creativity connects us with other cultures and back to our own heritage.”
Alluding to the national motto, “Out of Many, One People,” Bernal says, “In the fullness of time shows that out of many creative visions, one overriding vision of the Jamaican experience can emerge. Some visitors to the PSC exhibition who care to really look deeper into its heart will come way with this sense of striving to the whole,” she says. “That is the hope and joy of doing it. It is an optimistic exhibition.”
Amidon says, “the artists who have contributed to the exhibition provide a diverse array of responses to the concept of ground, or “grung” in Patois. For some it is physical representation, for others the representation is metaphorical; for all the representation is emotive and evocative.” She concludes, “Art provides metaphors for objects, people and sensations in a complex world. A work of art allows the spectator into the artist’s interpretation. The same should be true for an exhibition. Whether we have succeeded in that regard will only be known in the fullness of time.”
The Karl Drerup Art Gallery is housed in the Draper and Maynard Building on North Main Street in Plymouth. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, noon – 5 p.m.; Wednesday, noon – 8 p.m. The gallery is closed Sundays and PSC holidays. For information call the gallery at 603-535-2614.
[Ed note: Dr. Catherine Amidon, Curator, may be reached at 603-535-2646.]