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Celebrating Guyanese art at the IDB

Referred to as the Land of Six Peoples, the face of Guyana is diverse, with a mixture of East Indian, African, European and Amerindian ethic groups, among others. Expressions of this Caribbean country’s racial and cultural diversity are vividly reflected in its art, currently on display in the exhibit, The Arts of Guyana: A Multicultural Caribbean Adventure, at the IDB´s Cultural Center through August 11, 2006.

As expressed by Mirna Liévano de Marques, IDB External Relations Advisor, “The exhibit recognizes the cultural contributions made, from pre-Columbian times to the present, by so many men and women of varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Their combined influence, at different times in history, have made culture part of a sustained effort to advance development in the country.”

The exhibit features a wide array of Guyanese works, from pre-Columbian utilitarian utensils made by Amerindians, to paintings, sculptures and leather and fiber objects created by contemporary artists.

The country’s cultural diversity and heritage of migration is also reflected in its various architectural styles, some photos of which are included in the exhibit.

While emigration continues to play an important role in Guyanese society, with the country’s artistic Diaspora spread across the globe, the Cultural Center’s exhibit focuses on those artists living and creating art in Guyana—“the exhibit recognizes those contemporary artists who continue to work in the country, no matter how difficult the practice of the arts may be,” notes Cultural Center Curator Félix Ángel.

Exhibition highlights include the leather sculptures of Winston Strick, one of which was recently acquired by the IDB; the paintings by Carl Anderson; and the paintings, sculptures, and reliefs of Philip Moore, one of the most intriguing and multi-faceted artists of the entire Caribbean, still living and working in Guyana. The exhibit also includes the fiber work of three promising young students at the Art Faculty of the University of Guyana: Carlesta Sutton, Stacia Pitt, and Brian George.

Also on display are some pieces by pre-independence art pioneers, Stanley Greaves, Patrick Barrington, Hubert Moshett and Ronald Savory.

The new exhibit coincides with Guyana’s 40th year of independence from England and the commemoration of Caribbean American Heritage Month in June.

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