Rabess says lack of proper facilities hinders art development

Rabess spoke at the opening of a art gallery at the Old Mill Cultural Center

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.

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  1. Real
    May 11, 2017

    DNO why was one of the most spectacular pieces of art on display at the opening not featured as one of your images appended to this article. I am speaking of the large scale model of the Old Mill Cultural Center and Historic Site done by artist named “Twa Woche”.

    This model epitomizes great artist skills and passion!!!

  2. Tj
    May 9, 2017

    I am with you Gregory with your remarks and would like to lend my support

  3. Tj
    May 9, 2017

    I am with you Gregory with your remarks.

  4. Tj
    May 9, 2017

    I am with you Gregory!

  5. me
    May 9, 2017

    Missing my favourite artist Petros

  6. Roger Burnett
    May 9, 2017

    While I should feel flattered to read that one of my paintings has been included in the collection of the National Art Gallery I can only assume that my name is there in error. Until reading the DNO announcement I knew nothing about the initiative nor had I been invited to submit a painting.

    Had I have been contacted, I would have willing contributed. Moreover, I would have been willing to share the experience gained while serving on the Board of Management of one of the UK’s leading regional art galleries. Professionalism is the key word and all the more so if the gallery purports to have National identity.

    It is not the absence of gallery space that has limited the visual arts in Dominica but a passionate understanding what art is all about. When the Dominica Institute for the Arts was launched I put together a One Year Pre-Degree Course in the Arts for school leavers. Elsewhere in the world students would have been queuing around the block to enrol: in Dominica we had no…

    • Roger Burnett
      May 9, 2017


      …in Dominica we had no takers!

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