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Just recently, two significant visual arts exhibitions were opened to the public as part of the CARIFESTA XIII wind-up.

Both of them, showcasing regional visual artists will run up to Saturday 26th August.

They are significant in that they are both located at newly renovated properties – the first one at the refurbished Norman Centre on Broad Street and the second at the recently restored Queen’s Park Gallery.

The first one entitled ‘Journeys – Pan Caribbean Exhibition’ will open from 10 am to 6 p.m. daily at Norman Centre and is sponsored by Ansa McAl who kindly donated the shop spaces and the converting of the space to that of a gallery, to showcase the work of a number of well known regional visual artists including Nick Whittle, Juliana Inniss, Ken Critchlow of Trinidad and Tobago, Klly of Haiti, Virgil Broodhagen of Barbados and Patrick Albert Chung of Jamaica. This exhibition features the journey of the Caribbean people and is a follow up to a previous one that showcased the transatlantic crossing of the Caribbean people. This extensive exhibition has been curated by Janice Whittle.

The second exhibition which is the very first one to be held since the historic Queens Park Gallery was extensively restored and refurbished will also run from 10 am to 6 p.m. daily and is the Signal Visual Arts event of the Festival. This gallery is one of three sites where the Caribbean Masters are showcasing ‘History and Infinity’ – the other two sites being the Nidhe Isreal Gallery at the Bridgetown Synagogue and the Grand Salle at the Central Bank on Spry Street.

At the Queens Park Gallery, patrons will see the display from Ras Ishi and Nick Whittle from Barbados and Stanley Greaves from Guyana who explained that he was involved in the first CARIFESTA in Guyana in 1972 as well as the one in Barbados in 1981 and has therefore been able to view the progression of the Arts in the region over this period. Joscelyn Gardner who left Barbados some 17 years ago to live in Canada will show her work at the Grand Salle of the Central Bank while the Martiniquan artists Ernest Breleur and Jamaican Petrona Morrison will have their work mounted at the Synagogue.

Curated by Therese Hadchity, the exhibition was praised by Minister Lashley as one that showcased the ‘brilliance of the region for the world’ especially since this was the first Master’s exhibition in the Festival since 2003. He expressed his pride in handing back the Queen’s Park Gallery to the artistic community as he expressed thanks to those who worked on the restoration and completed it in time for the Festival.

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