Drawing the future
FINE ARTIST Ras Akyem I Ramsay, described as unafraid to be controversial, was on Saturday night encouraged to continue to inspire individuals with his amazing pieces.
The occasion was the honouring of Ras Akyem as the seventh recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award In The Visual Arts at the Grande Salle in the Tom Adams Financial Centre, The City.
CEO and Publisher Vivian-Ann Gittens of the Nation Publishing Co. Limited, sponsor of the award, said that, with work that had got worldwide claim, Ras Akyem had “truly redefined visual arts”.
Gittens, giving the featured address, added: “[Akyem’s] pieces have been described as brilliant, revolutionary, authentic and even militant. I wish to commend him for having the courage to step out, to challenge social ills.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award In The Visual Arts, which seeks to recognise visual artists who have made significant contribution to arts development in Barbados, was co-ordinated by the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee.
It has been sponsored by the Nation Publishing Co. since its inception in 2001.
Gittens expressed hope that the rest of corporate Barbados would join in recognising the worth of the arts and aid in nurturing its growth. She said local art was not getting as much respect as it deserved and urged nationals to support it.
“Artists aid in defining national identity. It is they who create the symbols and artefacts that are the sources of our national pride. Theirs is a fundamental role and as such they should be celebrated, appreciated and recognised. And this recognition should be in tangible form,” she said.
“Through the Lifetime Achievement Award,” the Publisher declared, “the Nation Publishing Co. Limited pledges a full commitment to the arts.”
Speaking before friends and relatives, Ras Akyem said he was honoured to have received the award. He too pointed out that artists were not respected in Barbados, adding that he hoped the next recipient of the award “will receive theirs in the long overdue National Art Gallery”. (AH)