The National Gallery of Jamaica presents the “Michael Lester: A Montego Bay Artist” exhibition, which will open at National Gallery West at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre on Sunday, July 24, 2016, at 4:00pm. Attorney Nathan Robb will be the guest speaker at the opening. This event is preceded by Classics on the Cobblestone, a program featuring music and dance by ensembles from the Montego Bay community. Both events are free and open to the public. The exhibition will continue at National Gallery West until September 18. National Gallery West is located at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay.
Description: The exhibition comprises work by the Polish-born artist Michael Lester, who lived and worked in Montego Bay from 1953 until his death in 1972. He made the city, its people and its environs his main subject, in lyrical expressionist paintings that celebrated the beauty and unique character of Jamaica. Lester, whose birth name was Leszczynski, was a popular figure in the Montego Bay community and along with his wife Peggy ran the Lester Gallery, one of the first art galleries in the city. His work was supported by local art lovers and tourist visitors alike and is represented in many private, corporate and public collections, including the collection of the National Gallery of Jamaica. The exhibition is the first in an open-ended series of National Gallery West exhibitions that will explore the artistic life in Western Jamaica.
“Michael Lester: A Montego Bay Artist” is curated by the National Gallery of Jamaica’s senior curator O’Neil Lawrence. The National Gallery of Jamaica had in 2006 organized another, larger exhibition titled “Michael Lester: Picturing Paradise,” which was staged on the occasion of the centenary of Lester’s birth. While there is some overlap between the two exhibitions, “Michael Lester: A Montego Bay Artist” also features works from Montego Bay collections that had not been exhibited before. An illustrated catalogue will be published and will be available for purchase at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.