The lack of proper facilities has hindered the development of the art sector in Dominica.
These remarks were made by the Cultural Projects Officer in the Ministry of Culture Gregory Rabess.
Rabess was speaking at the launch of the National Art Gallery held at the Old Mill Cultural Centre on Monday.
The art gallery forms part of DOMFESTA 2017.
“The development of the art sector in Dominica has been challenged by the absence of a National Art Gallery,” he stated.
He said as a means of supporting the development of the art sector, the Cultural Division made a section of the Old Mill premises available for art activities.
“The issue we had is this space is also being used for types of training programmes, corporate seminars, social events, weddings so that pose some limitations really on the permanency of the use of this space in terms of art exhibitions,” Rabess stated.
He noted that having a space for artists was essential because many commercial and private galleries, in the face of difficult economic times, went out of business and they had to relocate their art galleries to their private homes.
But this was not the best arrangement since private homes “in some cases may not be readily accessible to art enthusiasts, to visitors, to tourists, and students of school and there was a need for this central space, central location to house works of art.”
In addition, Rabess said that the iconic paintings, like those presented in the art gallery, tell stories and aim to capture a particular period of time.
Therefore, he said the contribution of the artists is important to capture that journey of a nation and “the artists who are featured here tonight also contribute to the sense of nation building and the National Art Gallery is an important contribution to bring home that sense of identity, a sense of belonging, a sense of pride in country.”
The gallery features paintings from artists such as: Aarom Hamilton, Alwin Bully, Arnold Toulon, Carla Armour, Chase Lawrence, Christian George, Darius David, David Wilson, Dr Lennox Honychurch, Earl Etienne, Eddy John, Ellingworth Moses, Gareth Harris, Gharan Burton, Glenford John, Hilary St. Hill, Hilroy Fingal, Kelo Royer, Lowell Royer, Marie Frederick, Petro Meaza, Roger Burnett, Shadrach Burton and Tiffany Burnett-Biscombe.