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Reggae Posters Raise 1/2 Mill for Alpha Boys School
A small piece of Reggae history was up for sale on Sunday morning, November 11, 2012, as the first 50 posters from the inaugural International Reggae Poster Competition, and its attendant exhibition World-a-Reggae, were auctioned off at the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) in Kingston. The auction earned the Alpha Boys School, itself an important part of Jamaica’s musical history, over $500,000.00.
The International Reggae Poster Competition was the brain child of Jamaican graphic artist Michael Thompson who joined forces with Grecian designer Maria Papaefstathiou to create it. The competition, launched under the theme ‘Towards a Reggae Hall of Fame’, received an impressive 1142 entries from 80 countries across the world. Alon Braier, a freelance illustrator from Israel, earned the top prize with his poster ‘Roots of Dub’ . 768 designers had entered the competition.
The World-a-Reggae exhibition opened at the NGJ on September 30, 2012 and officially closed a day before the auction, on November 10, 2012. The posters include diverse interpretations of the issues and icons from the Jamaican music landscape, including Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, Dub and Dancehall.
Several posters that had been specially commissioned for the exhibition, were showcased along with the top 100 from the entries, . The specially commissioned pieces, were also available for auction on Sunday morning.
The bid to continue raising funds for the Alpha Boys School will continue after Sunday's auction. Posters that were available for auction, but were not sold, will be available in the NGJ gift shop at their reserve price, starting at $4,500. Additionally, fifty of the posters from the exhibition were not included in the auction. These, along with any that remain unsold will finally be auctioned off ebay, during Reggae Month 2013.