STATEMENT REGARDING BARBADOS’ CONTACTING OF VISUAL ARTISTS RE CARIFESTA 14, TRINIDAD Fom Janice Whittle curator of NCF Queen's Park Gallery, Barbados. The National Cultural Foundation has been the identified agency to plan for and lead Barbados’ participation in the fourteenth edition of CARIFESTA – the Caribbean Festival of Arts to be held in Trinidad & Tobago in August 2019. Barbados hosted the thirteenth edition of CARIFESTA in 2017. On that occasion, the Visual Arts component was greatly praised for the quality of work presented in the Masters exhibition, the Pan-Caribbean exhibition, the Barbados National Exhibition and the many expressions of Barbadian talent as seen in the privately produced shows. It has been said for many years by various host countries that Barbados' Fine Art submissions in CARIFESTA have often stood out for the exceptional originality and contemporaneity of exhibits. The NCF’s selection of works for the Barbados exhibition for CARIFESTA 14 was planned to be selected by a jury of experts. In February 2019 the curator of the Queen's Park Gallery, conceptualized a exhibition based on the given theme for CARIFESTA XIV: TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE to encourage early preparation of submissions by artists. The curator shared via social media and email examples and explanations from the UNESCO website on this theme. Some elements of the theme were incorporated into the Crop Over exhibition theme so that artists would still be working on this early should they wish to submit work for consideration for CARIFESTA XIV For 2019, the NCF put out a call for work to be considered for CARIFESTA XIV Visual Arts in April on the NCF website as had been done for CARIFESTA 2017. At the closing date of June 5, this call for submissions resulted in 3 entries. On June 7 the NCF received a directive via email from the Visual Arts section of the CARIFESTA XIV Secretariat informing that the format for this year’s festival was altered from country exhibitions to a single curated exhibition. Each country invited to submit 10 artists with their names and titles of works by June 14. The NCF requested an extension to June 21 which was granted. On June 13 the NCF convened a local jury of experts which gave suggestions of artists who should be considered and the process of contacting possible candidates started immediately. June 18 was chosen as the new deadline for receipt of 3 images each from the artists contacted. Although a very short time frame, and a sudden change in approach as communicated by the CARIFESTA Trinidad Secretariat, the NCF is prepared to do all in its power to ensure that Barbadian artists reap the benefits of exposure in this major regional Festival. Discusions on this amongst arts practitioners may be seen here https://www.facebook.com/groups/Concernedcreativecitizens/ and here https://www.facebook.com/groups/702169783457461/
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