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Kapo Gallery opened at National Gallery of Jamaica

Adam and Eve by Mallica 'Kapo' Reynolds

The works of intuitive artist Mallica ‘Kapo’ Reynolds O.D. has rejoined the permanent display at the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) with the opening of the Kapo Gallery. The Kapo Gallery became open to the public on June 24, as a part of the 2012 Kingston on The Edge (KOTE) Urban Arts Festival.

The Kapo Gallery showcasing paintings and sculpture from the renowned artist was previously known as the Larry Wirth Gallery. Opened between 1983 and 2008, the gallery then featured pieces of Kapo’s work largely from the Wirth collection. The revamped exhibition has now been significantly augmented by pieces from the Matalon collection as well as 14 works of art from the John Pringle collection which was recently gifted to the NGJ.

Revival Goddess Dinah - by Kapo from the NGJ CollectionVeerle Poupeye, Executive Director of the NGJ pointed out that the re-opening of the Kapo Gallery is a part of the institution’s longer term project to extend its permanent exhibition. Earlier this year they had also added the works of A.D Scott to the exhibition and later this year they gallery will open the Cecil Baugh Gallery of Ceramics which will provide an overview of ceramics in Jamaica from the Taino period to the present.

Ms. Poupeye also pointed out that Kapo and Edna Manley are the only two artists who have galleries of their own. She also noted that the NGJ fast-tracked the opening of the Kapo gallery to ensure that it was available during the commemoration of Jamaica’s 50th year of independence.

“Given the tremendous cultural significance of Kapo,” she said, “it was important to get his gallery opened for the occasion.” Kapo, who died in 1989, was a Zion Revivalist leader and Patriarch of the St. Michael Tabernacle.