You can now watch archived footage from 'Life After Art School'

If you missed our live event you can still access the information shared by all the great presenters for 'Life After Art School' now on our YouTube channel. 

Life After Art School & DAK'ART REPORT were presented in collaboration with NLS Kingston. 
The event was held on June 26th, 2018 at NLS Kingston in Kingston, Jamaica. The event was aimed at providing new graduates and other interested persons with practical options and strategies for launching and art career. 

The speakers who participated in the event were independent curator & writer, Nicole Smythe-Johnson;  visual artist,  art lecturer & Rubis InPulse Art Project's  project supervisor Camille Chedda, visual artist & designer Leasho Johnson, NLS Kingston's director & visual artist Deborah Caroll Anzinger; and visual artist/ art lecturer & Tide Rising Art Projects' director Oneika Russell. Please note that this video represents an estimated 75% of the presentations at the 'Life After Art School' live event.

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Nicole Smythe-Johnson, Camille Chedda & Leasho Johnson are confirmed presenters!

While plans are underway for our double event on Saturday June 23rd at NLS Kingston we have further exciting news. Independent curator and writer Nicole Smythe-Johnson will be discussing various issues to do with building an art career form a curator's perspective such as artist statements and studio visits. Visual artists Camille Chedda and Leasho Johnson have a breadth of experience amongst themselves on areas such as studio practice, further education, residencies and portfolio presentation.

Camille Chedda
(Photo courtesy of

Camille Chedda is a Jamaica-based visual artist whose practice currently moves between drawing and installation. Her work moves between scrutiny of local popular culture and post-colonial thought. She was the inaugural recipient of the British Coucil's Trans Atlantic Artist's Residency Exchange (TAARE). Chedda has also completed the Art OMI residency in the USA and she holds an MFA from The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. She is also project co-ordinator for The Rubis InPulse Art Project and lecturer at The Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts.

Nicole Smythe-Johnson

(Photo courtesy of

 Nicole Smythe-Johnson has played quite an important role in her work as an independent curator since deciding to go in that direction after being Senior Curator at The National Gallery of Jamaica in 2014. In the period since then she has been the inaugural recipient of the Tilting Axis Curatorial Fellowship. In her recent project, Neither Night Nor Day, is a presentation of the work of Jamaican intuitive artist, John Dunkley through a different lens. The exhibition was curated by Diana Nawi and Smythe-Johnson acted as Assistant Curator. The project is a collaboration between The Perez Art Museum Miami and The National Gallery of Jamaica. Smythe-Johnson is also the editor of the University of the West Indies-based Caribbean Quarterly journal. She is soon to begin her doctoral studies at The University of Texas, Austin.

Leasho Johnson
(Photo courtesy of

Leasho Johnson's work has evolved in different ways over the years since he first began his practice in the mid 2000's. He has sought to use the means of graffiti art, as well as re-appropriating found objects towards the goal of challenging very fixed cultural norms and ideas about sexuality and masculinity. He has been a recipient of the Davidoff/ Residency Unlimited studio residency in New York, The Bluecoat Residency in the UK and Caribbean Linked in Aruba. He has also worked as a designer for over ten years and is soon departing to undertake an MFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

We hope to see you there for both Life After Art School from 10am to 11:30am and DAK'ART REPORT from 11:30 to 1 pm.

We are collaborating on a double event with NLS Kingston!

10am - 11:30am

Life After Art School is a casual presentation and discussion of options and strategies for approaching an art career and art practice as a new artist. While this event was created to help provide new art graduates go forward in the art field by providing information all interested persons are welcome. We will be discussing topics such as higher education, building a network, portfolio sharing tools, studio practice, representation etc. Please RSVP for this event on our Facebook event here. 

The 'Life After Art School' presentation began as in 2016 as a one-off event as part of Oneika Russell's contribution to The Edna Manley College's Painting Department art talk series facilitated by Omari Ra (Head of Department)


11:30am - 1pm

Dak'Art Report is a slideshow presentation of observations and highlights of the scope of the 13th Dakar Biennale which opened on May 8th 2018 by Biennale participant, Oneika Russell. It will provide a look at Contemporary African and African diaspora Art as well as a survey of the strategies used by the Bienniale body to activate the city.

Life After Art School - 10am- 11:15am
Q&A - 11:15am - 11:30am

Coffee break - 11:30am- 11:40am

Dak'Art Report (presented by me) - 11:40am- 12:10am
Q&A - 12:10AM- 12:30AM

Mingling - 12:30am- 1pm

Studio Visit with Nicholas Rose

detail of drawing by Nicholas Rose

We got to speak to Nicholas Rose about his work. He uses drawing and painting techniques on non-traditional surfaces as well as drawing with traditional media on paper in large sectioned drawings. Nicholas works in Trelawny, Jamaica which is outside of the cultural capital and buzz of the Jamaican art scene. The people and places of his environment however find their way into his large-scale drawings and paintings. 

Nicholas has had exhibitions in Miami and has upcoming work to be shown in Venice. We want to thank Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts for allowing us to record footage at The Cage Gallery. Thanks to our camera person Danielle RussellWe invite you to visit our YouTube channel and subscribe to keep notified about new content. 

                                                  Watch our studio visit on video here


Happy International Women's Day!

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan
Women have been a real topic of discussion this year and last year. We are so happy that the world is now actively thinking about how to empower, protect and cherish women. Why are women important at any table of discussion? Why do they deserve the right to drive? Why do women deserve to receive the same education as anyone else? Because women are the givers of life, the link to culture, the original multi-taskers and team builders and most of all women are people and all people deserve human rights. Today we celebrate that.

A detail of Jasmine Thomas-Girvan's installation for The 2017 Jamaica Biennial provides us with this lovely image.

Imago Mundi's Laura Mascelloni on Being a Curator

Edouard Martial - Haiti

In the first video in our art video series, we spoke with Maria Laura Mascelloni while she was on a trip to Jamaica. She was in the process of collecting artwork for her curatorial work with The Benetton Foundation's Imago Mundi Project. She speaks about the challenges of being a curator and some of the practices that she operates by.

Greg Bailey - Jamaica

The project asks selected artists to contribute a miniature artwork on a set format. The work is then donated back to the project by the artists. The many miniatures then become part fo the collection of the country/ countries catalogued under the individual curator's project.

Imago Mundi Project Catalogue

The resulting collection from Mascelloni's mission to the region features artwork from Jamaica and Haiti. The collection is held in Venice but there is also an online gallery that can be seen here. The collection also yielded a beautifully printed catalogue of images and information about artists titled Islands: Haiti and Jamaica. To purchase the catalogue visit Fabrica store online.


The Reviews Are In!

Installation view

The Yashar Gallery show in December has received some attention by writers. Three arts writers, Liza Renia Papi, Jessica M. Rodríguez Colón and Erin Gleason have given their feedback on the show. What we enjoy most is the varying perspectives and readings of the work.

Sandra Stephens & Jeanne Proust

'...The traces of cultural signification revealed by artists Oneika Russell, Sharon Norwood, and collaborators Jeanne Proust and Sandra Stephens, engage with a deeper level of meaning than what lies on the surface. In a clever twist, the artists – women who all have roots in Jamaica or Guadeloupe – compel the viewer to contemplate deeper meanings of selfhood and identity by taking a closer, and slower, look at the surface of things.'
- Excerpt from Erin Gleason's review, "Surface Traces" at Yashar Gallery, Brooklyn NY

Sharon Norwood

'...These conversations go from philosophical ideas to the art market all the way to the understanding of post-colonial female Caribbean identity. The traces of our Caribbean bodies go from our everyday actions and objects to our  bodies and its relation to those who see us as other; all the way to inserting our voices into the dialogues.'
 Excerpt from Jessica M. Rodríguez Colón's review, Traces: a path toward understanding Caribbean bodies

Oneika Russell
'...Hegel completed his idea of freedom and beauty when he stated that by freeing ourself, the mind perceives the spiritual content of the work of art, which must also be free in order to be Beautiful. Nature must be reversed with its antithesis, the idea, which brings about the inner unity necessary for spiritual content: nature, idea, spirit = art.'
- Excerpt from Liza Renia Papi's review, A Review of Surface Traces at Yashar Gallery

Project Collaboration: Surface Traces at Yashar Gallery

Jeanne Proust & Sandra Stephens
On December 2017, we had the chance to work on this very exciting exhibition opportunity with conversationXchange's Sandra Stephen's and ART Shape Mammoth. The show opened on December 9th at Yashar Gallery located at The Brooklyn Art Studios, New York and it ran until December 30th, 2017.

Jeanne Proust & Sandra Stephens
Sharon Norwood
The artists included in this exhibition were Sharon Norwood, Oneika Russell and Jeanne Proust & Sandra Stephens as collaborating artists. We want to thank Brooklyn Art Studio's resident artist Stephen Eakins really made the show possible by co-ordinating things on his side.

Oneika Russell
'The exhibition explores the relation of the trace to the surface. A trace can be seen as a residual mark left over in time or an outline that follows a fixed path. It can also be a conceptual tool used to interrogate the other within the self. Each of the artists connect to the ways the trace relates to history, time, memory and the other. Born in the post-colonial Caribbean islands of Jamaica and Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe, all the artists play with notions of hybridity and unfixed notions of subjectivity to visually push this concept of the trace of the body on the surface and within its environments.'
- press release


Come Join Our YouTube Channel

Final year Edna Manley College students visiting a Leasho Johnson exhibition in 2017

Last summer we launched our YouTube channel to feature our art video series. The aim of the series is to document and share the practices of our local and regional contemporary artists. The wish is that slowly as we release the videos in the series that globally educators, students, artists, curators, administrators will have more access to look and learning about the interest and vibrance of the regional and local art communities and practices.

We started the first episodes by basing it on the work in The 2017 Jamaica Biennial and having artists speak about their work and those of others. Alicia Brown shared about her work and the work of Katrina Coombs and Oliver Myrie.  We also spoke to Laura Mascelloni, curator of The Imago Mundi's 'Haiti and Jamaica: Islands' exhibition project. Later videos featured Leasho Johnson's solo show curated by NLS Kingston and held at 10A Gallery. These videos

We encourage you to subscribe to our channel to keep updated.

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