2nd conference: Sustainable Art Communities: Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean
Jynell Osborne, Sustainable art communities in Guyana
Sustainable Art Communities in Guyana “A nation’s culture is its lifestyle and influences the way in which it assesses itself. Culture provides the framework within which the nation identifies its priorities and goals. It is the vehicle by which greater national cohesion may be achieved, greater national discipline inculcated, and greater self-awareness and self-reliance inspired. More specifically, culture includes the expression of the arts, the prowess of the nation in the field of sports and athletics and these elements of the national life which contribute to the complex of traditions, beliefs and community values.” A.J. Seymour, 1977 Guyana, like her sister Caribbean nations, is relatively new as an independent country; that however, cannot be said of our culture. Our culture is an interwoven textile (fabric, cloth, knit) of ‘plethoric’ cultural experiences of the six peoples who came (Amerindians, Africans, East Indians, Chinese, Portuguese and Europeans) from heritages that are as deep, mysterious and as awe-inspiring as the Great Kai. We have no completed Cultural Policy, what we do have is not one but two drafted documents that have been piloted by men extraordinaire from our soil; namely Arthur James Seymour (1914 – 1989) in 1977 and James Rose, PhD. CCH. in 2007. Admittedly, the final copy of this policy will make our forward thrust as a people more confident as we sustain our rich culture, preserving its merits in an era where esteem in self and heritage are essential. Globalization is crucial; however, it is our cultures that are going to keep us mirrored with our individual sense of self (esteem) and each other as a collective. Guyana is a pantheon for cultural groups and agents. It sustains our heritage in its tangible and intangible forms. To support, sustain and nurture every effort in this regard, there are sixteen executive agencies that are mandated to teach conservational methods and approaches to generations present and future, and to record, preserve and safeguard artefacts and cultural groups to the extremes. Geographic, budgetary, ideological and policy variances, along with pop culture’s influence and sometimes waning political will are the most common strains that threaten to nullify aspects of our cultures or more recently, create a hybrid of our cultures which is not always authentic. Founded by the young Edward Rupert Burrowes (1903-1966), the first organized art group, the Working People’s Free Art Class, was formed during the 1930’s in British Guiana. The ‘free’ was soon removed and it became the Working People’s Art Class in 1943 (WPAC). In 1971, after returning from London the young Denis Williams was instrumental in the first CARIFESTA held in 1972, and instrumental in the establishment of the Walter Roth Museum (1974), the Museum of African Heritage (1974) and the E.R. Burrowes School of Art in 1975. Biography Jynell Osborne began teaching in 2004. She graduated with Distinction from the University of Guyana Bachelor of Fine Art Degree programme in 2006. In 2012 she was appointed Director of Studies at the E.R. Burrowes School of Art. She has been a member of the Guyana Women Artists’ Association since 2002 and served in numerous capacities including its president for three consecutive years (2010-2013). She is a member of the Board of the National Art Gallery – Castellani House – and the Guyana Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition planning committee. Osborne has been trained in a number of areas related to art making, notably in the areas of jewellery and encaustic painting. Her interests are painting, sculpture, ceramics and facilitating the teaching of Art Education and Art Appreciation. Some images, sounds or other media used in the following presentation are subject to copyright restrictions that prevent them being shown. In order to provide a complete record of the conference, these items have been blurred or silenced. Should we obtain permission to use these images, sounds and other media in the future the films will be updated.