Kingston 31 December 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange says she is happy to receive word that the Jamaican sculptor, Basil Watson, has been selected to create a monument in honour of the American civil rights icon, Martin Luther King Jr.
Watson who has created sculptures of Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Frasier Pryce under contract with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, was given the nod to design the tribute to Martin Luther King which will be erected in Atlanta, Georgia.
Minister Grange said:
“I am very proud that Basil Watson, an outstanding Jamaican artist, has been selected to develop a monument celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Basil has been one of our leading sculptors and this is a recognition of the great work that he does and an endorsement of Jamaican talent. I look forward to his design, which I know will be awesome and inspiring.”
Watson’s Martin Luther King monument is due to be completed by the end of 2019.
Watson is currently designing monuments in honour of Jamaican athletes Veronica Campbell Brown and Asafa Powell.
Paris, 9 October 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the statue of Jamaican Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce will be unveiled on Sunday, 14 October 2018.
The unveiling will take place at a special ceremony at Statue Park in the National Stadium, where the statue will be mounted.
Minister Grange said the unveiling of the statue "was timed to coincide with the commemoration of Heritage Week.”
According to Minister Grange:
“Shelly-Ann is one of our modern day heroes whose accomplishments are an inspiration for the entire nation. It is quite fitting that we should unveil Shelly Ann’s statue at this time when we celebrate and highlight Jamaica’s rich heritage in all areas, including sport.”
Minister Grange has invited the public to attend the ceremony and witness the unveiling of Shelly Ann’s statue. “The statue is here in Jamaica; it has been installed and we’re all set for the unveiling on Sunday at the National Stadium. I look forward to welcoming members of the public as we celebrate this happy occasion with the outstanding pocket rocket,” said the Minister.
The Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, will unveil the statue in the ceremony which will begin at 4:00 pm.
The bronze statue — to the scale of one and quarter life size — was designed by renowned sculptor Basil Watson.
Watson has been engaged by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport to design statues of four of Jamaica’s outstanding sports stars under the Jamaica 55 Legacy Programme. The statue in honour of Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce is the second to be completed under the Programme. The first statue (of Usain Bolt) was completed and installed last December. The remaining statues — of Veronica Campbell Brown and Asafa Powell — are now in the design stage.
Kingston, September 12 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, today signed agreements with Sculptor, Basil Watson to commence work on the statues of Veronica Campbell-Brown and Asafa Powell.
The renowned Jamaican sculptor was commissioned to design and create statues of four of Jamaica’s outstanding sports stars, Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Veronica Campbell Brown and Asafa Powell as part of the Jamaica 55 Legacy programme.
“We have delivered on Usain Bolt, we are about to unveil Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce’s statue next month on October 14 and today I am proud to say we have signed the agreement with Sculptor Basil Watson who was commissioned to do all four statues. We have signed the agreements for the commencement of the work on Veronica Campbell-Brown’s statue and Asafa Powell’s.
The maquettes for those statues will be ready later this year so we can have a special unveiling of the maquettes to the media and then early next year those statues will be mounted and unveiled in Statue Park” Minister Grange said.
The Minister said also that it is important to recognise Jamaicans for their tremendous work and also essential to establish monuments to honour them for the benefit of generations to come.
The Usain Bolt Statue was erected in December 2017.
Kingston, September 10 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has said that the statue of Louise Bennett-Coverley will serve as an inspiration to many Jamaicans. Minister Grange was speaking at the Unveiling Ceremony in Gordon Town last Friday.
“It is a great joy for me to see this woman whom so many Jamaicans see as mother, being elevated both physically and psychologically in the minds of Jamaicans. Miss Lou now has a statue to celebrate her and those who pass by will look up to her for inspiration and encouragement as we continue the efforts to achieve sustainable prosperity for our people,”
the Minister said.
Miss Grange said that Miss Lou can be credited for her role in developing the Jamaican culture and for bringing humour to all through her poetry and other works.
“It was Miss Lou who reminded us that “rain a fall but dutty tough”, that even in good times there are hardships. It was Miss Lou who cast worthy amusement on those who would return from abroad with “no likkle twang”, depicting the many Jamaicans we know who only have to spend “few days a farrin” for them to sound more foreign than the foreigner. It was Miss Lou who brought us closer to that worthy hero of our folk tradition, the indomitable Anancy, emigrating with the rest of us from his homeland in Africa, to use cunning and craft, wit and humour, to overcome the struggles of life caused by a system that sought to devalue and undermine our creative integrity,” The Minister said.
The installation of the statue is part of the Government’s plan to establish Miss Lou Square in Gordon Town, as a fitting and lasting tribute to the mother of Jamaican culture.
Minister Grange thanked all the stakeholders who contributed to the project, including the residents of Gordon Town, the Member of Parliament, Mrs Juliet Holness, Mayor Delroy Williams and other Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation personnel, Miss Lou’s estate and Jamaicans in the Diaspora, particularly those in Canada and sculptor, Basil Watson.
Kingston, 30 August 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says all is set for the unveiling of the statue in honour of the Jamaican cultural icon, Miss Lou.
Miss Lou’s statue will be mounted in Gordon Town, St Andrew where the cultural icon lived before moving to Toronto, Canada.
Minister Grange says she’s “happy to see this project finally coming to fruition and I thank all the stakeholders, including the residents of Gordon Town, the MP Mrs Juliet Holness, Mayor Delroy Williams, Miss Lou’s estate and Jamaicans in the Diaspora — particularly those in Canada — who have played a role in bringing this project forward.”
The statue, done by sculptor Basil Watson, will be unveiled by Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness on 7 September 2018 — the 99th anniversary of the birth of the Honourable Louise Bennett-Coverley, OM, OJ, MBE.
Minister Grange said:
“The installation of the statue is part of the Government’s plan to establish Miss Lou Square in Gordon Town, as a fitting and lasting tribute to this outstanding woman, the mother of Jamaican culture. Miss Lou is well-respected, well-loved, well-revered across the world that I expect that unveiling of her statue in the next few days will immediately position Gordon Town as an attraction in Kingston which promotes community tourism. And I look forward to next year — on Miss Lou’s 100th birthday — when we will complete the development and transform Gordon Town Square into Miss Lou Square.”
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, today unveiled a maquette of the statue which will be mounted at Statue Park at the National Stadium in honour of Usain Bolt, considered by many across the world to be the greatest sprinter in the history of track and field.