Iwokrama collaborates with artists for the exhibition-sale “Our Forest, Our Life”


A pre-Christmas exhibit and sale titled “Our Forest, Our Lives” saw artists from Main Street, the Moving Circle of Artists and KAYAP showcase and sell their work on the grounds of the Georgetown office of the Iwokrama International Center on Saturday last and the sale continues today. and tomorrow.

The exhibit featured paintings, pottery, recycled glass artwork, tibisiri crafts, sculptures, and jewelry made from beads and other local materials. Featured artists included Arianne Harris, Nigel Butler, Ransford Simon, Sheliza Rampersaud and Anna Iles (coordinator) of the Moving Circle of Artists; Bryan Clarke (Coordinator / Founder / Chairman of Main Street Group), Junior Vancooten, Brian Van Rossom, Janette Patterson, Brentnol Lewis, Stephen McKenzie, Lisa Thompson, Frankie Lumerick, Albert Barnwell, Desmond Hollingsworth and Gail Ann Barry and KAYAP Indranee Roopsind and her 12 year old daughter Rachel and Nelsonia Budram (coordinator).

The director of resource management and training at the Iwokrama International Center for Forest Conservation and Development, Dr Raquel Thomas-Caesar, said the concept of the exhibition and sale had emerged after purchasing a painting. She had visited her friend, animal activist Syeada Manbodh, and had seen some of his paintings and had mentioned that she wanted a painting of a forest for herself. Syeada helped her get in touch with Clarke, who told her about a water lily painting he had. She asked him to bring it to Iwokrama’s office so that she could finalize her purchase. Upon arriving there, she said, Clarke pointed out that the parking lot was a good space for an exhibit.

Raquel said she immediately liked the idea and believed that since 25 years had passed since the passage of the Iwokrama Law, exhibiting and selling might be one of the activities to mark her.

“Iwokrama is one of Guyana’s five protected areas, which is a collaboration between the government of Guyana and the Commonwealth. In 1989, President Desmond Hoyte made the space of one million acres available to the international community for research and development. But, they did not have a protected areas law at the time, so a special law had to be created for Iwokrama to do its job, which was not passed until 1996 when President Cheddi Jagan endorsed this, creating the Iwokrama International Center. to be able to manage that million acres of forest. It has been 32 years since the offer was made by President Hoyte and 25 years since President Jagan signed the act, ”she explained.

She noted that once the management accepted the artistic event, a date was set. However, prior to the event, Raquel had gone out for a run in the national park with designer Sonia Noel, which led them to contact the Commission on Protected Areas, the Moving Circle of Artists and the Main Street Group to work together on a project. aiming to beautify the park by painting tree stumps and the name Iwokrama along the trail.

Banks DIH embarked for this event and sponsored the paintings and water bottles for the artists.

“… One of the main things I was promoting the event for was not just an exhibit, but it was an exhibit and a sale. I wanted people to come and buy. It wasn’t just about presenting the work. I wanted artists to make money, so I kept pushing. I don’t think our artists are getting enough attention and support… The idea was to give them more attention and we got good support. It wasn’t like hundreds and thousands of people were coming, but the people who were coming to buy, which was the intention, ”Raquel said.

She was enthusiastic about the young Rachel Roopsind from the village of Toka, north of Rupununi, who had put her clay art up for sale.

Raquel said she hoped Iwokrama could be involved in more artist show and sale events in the future.

Meanwhile, Clarke shared how thrilled he was that the event was a success. The artist added that he hoped to see more effort as it would have the effect of beautifying Guyana and pointed out that he was planning to give art and science students in some high schools the responsibility of maintenance. works of art from the national park.

Meanwhile, some of the artists will showcase and sell their work this weekend in two more exhibitions.

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