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Precious Painting runs until mid-December

Monday, August 13, 2018

PAULA LINDO
prilindo@gmail.com

101 Art Gallery's Wet Season programme promises something for lovers of all types of visual art. Commencing on July 7 and ending on December 16, the programme includes exhibitions by creators such as Lisa Henry Chu Foon, Lisa O’Connor and Jackie Hinkson, as well as the Precious Paintings 2018 exhibition, featuring works by Boscoe and Geoffrey Holder, Carlisle Chang, LeRoy Clarke and others.

Gallery owner and curator Mark Pereira said most of the exhibitors are painters who are attached to the Gallery, and whose works are exhibited every two years as part of their artistic development. Pereira said “We give them two years to prepare for a show and then they come back and show the new work. In that time you'll always notice some development, where they've worked on some ideas or they've changed their style a little bit, and they need two years to do that.”

Pereira said the Precious Paintings 2018 Exhibition is called that because “the paintings are precious paintings mostly by our Trinidadian Masters, most of whom are no longer with us. They are valuable to T&T not only economically but historically and culturally. So they are precious to us. For example, one of the paintings by Cazabon is 170 years old. It's painted on a little beach in France 40 kilometres away from where his wife's family came from and they used to visit there all the time, so there's no doubt that it is very precious.”

Some of the artists that will be on display include Boscoe and Geoffrey Holder, Carlisle Chang, Sybil Atteck, Doig, Pissarro and Dali. Pereira said the show began 15 years ago, when two collectors became concerned about what would happen to their paintings if they died or if they needed to sell them. Pereira said the exhibition “develops the idea that the art buying public could have confidence in the financial aspect of their investment having a return later on in life should they need it. We do the show every year and it's given those artists a lot of recognition were they otherwise might have fallen into obscurity. It's to do with acknowledging the fact that you might buy a painting but you never really in fact own it, you are the guardian of the painting for the future generation and this is part of what we are teaching with the show, that the work is going to be respected, secured, looked after, restored if necessary and exhibited in a suitable way and if it needs to be sold that a suitable price would be gained for it.”

Pereira added that he and right-hand person, Dulcie Nieves, plan to make some changes beginning next year to how the gallery is run. “We're encouraging more people and more younger people to come in and use the space in a self-managed environment because we want to hand over our skills" said the gallery owner and curator, "so they are learning how to do their own invitations, manage their press, mount the show, do their catalogues and host an opening. We are changing a lot of what we're doing to be able to hand over to the younger kids to develop their skills.”

Pereira said these changes are part of what he sees as the responsibility of the gallery to develop generations of younger artists, which they have been doing for the last 20 to 25 years. He said he feels he’s responsible for making sure that the gallery’s work is passed along when he decides to retire fully or dies.

One of the major changes the art dealer said he’s seen in the past 35 years is that many more artists are now able to sustain themselves from their work. Another responsibility he feels is to make sure that the work being sold by the gallery is suitably shown and that the prices gained are suitable and respectful. “Artists don't come by their work easily, they have struggled a lot of the times, so they need to be respected at all costs. We are essentially a commercial gallery, I’m an art dealer, I'm here to sell paintings, so if you're serious that you want your paintings sold, you bring them to 101 Art Gallery” ended Pereira.