Visual arts community gearing for competition and exhibition
Geared to stimulate the highest standard of artwork by Guyanese visual artists, Government yesterday launched the Guyana Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition. This competition comes 18 years after the last National Exhibition of Visual Arts was held.
The first competition will be judged during the week of December 8-15, and will be immediately followed by the exhibition of the entries and winners. The judging panel is not yet finalised but the judges will be persons highly qualified and experienced in this area.
The competition will be held biennially (every two years), with artwork produced within the two-year span being eligible for each competition. However, for this year’s competition, works produced over the last five years will be eligible for entry.
The Government agency responsible for the competition is the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport. At the launching ceremony held at the Office of the President, yesterday, Minister Frank Anthony said he believes that Guyana is one of the leading countries in the area of arts.
He based his assertion on art pieces local artists showcased at Carifesta in 2008 and the recently held Inter-Guianas Cultural Festival. The competition seeks to recognise creative minds and discover new artists.
Anthony related that during the week of the competition several lectures and workshops will be held to the benefit of artists. Emphasising President Donald Ramotar’s part in making this competition a reality, he said that previous presidents also made significant contributions in the area of arts, particularly in literature.
Anthony related that the late President Desmond Hoyte established the Guyana Prize for Literature and former President Bharrat Jagdeo invested time and energy in the Guyana Classics and created a Presidential Grant to develop the area of film.
President Ramotar, who officially launched the competition, said that while artists earn a living from art, it provides great satisfaction to admire such beauty for the consuming public. He expressed hope that the competition will help improve the quality of work produced by artists and attract those who have not yet made their talents known.
Ramotar, who oftentimes expresses his love for Guyana’s hinterland, asserted that raw materials are available locally for artists to produce high quality work. He stressed that in addition to Guyana’s multi-cultural background, the interior has many beautiful landscapes that could be captured in artwork.
The competition will be judged in six categories including painting, drawing, sculpture and ceramics. Works submitted will be based on any theme of the artists’ choice and executed in any style they choose.
Cash prizes of $500,000; $300,000; and $200,000 will be awarded for the first, second and third places in each category respectively. There is also a prize of $200,000 for the winner of the Promise Award.
Persons could obtain copies of the registration forms and the rules and regulations of the competition from the E. R. Burrowes School of Art, Carifesta Avenue, from Monday, September 3 or online at www.mcys.gov.gy.