During March, the UWI Museum is pushing further with a theme introduced in February.
Each February, the University of the West Indies (UWI) recalls its founding and this is also the time of the UWI International Reggae Conference, appropriately during Jamaica’s Reggae Month. In celebration, we featured three specially created posters by digital graphic art maestro Michael ‘Freestylee’ Thompson, who has recently been advocating for a Reggae Music Hall of Fame. In the spotlight were two of the University of the West Indies (UWI)’s founding fathers and the university’s ceremonial dress.
This month, we take advantage of a related opportunity. ‘Freestylee’ posters also illustrate a new book titled Global Reggae, edited by the UWI’s Professor of Literary & Cultural Studies, Carolyn Cooper from contributions at the 2008 reggae conference. With the cooperation of author, artist and the book’s graphic designer, we have extended our poster exhibition to include some 19 posters celebrating reggae music’s history and global development. Putting them in context are the words and work of Greek graphic designer Maria Papaefstathiou who used the art to help readers picture the content of the various chapters in the book.
Thematically, this focus on Thompson’s art riffs on an extensive exhibition of entries in an international reggae poster competition arranged by Thompson and Papaefstatiou, held at Jamaica’s National Art Gallery, late in 2012.
These posters now on exhibition are graphically appealing, and their glimpses of reggae music’s history also enable reflection on its development – particularly its spread to far corners of the globe. In addition, the exhibition reflects the UWI’s commitment to understanding and interpreting the Caribbean region’s rich and dynamic culture.
Come visit and have a look for yourself!