Grange hails portraitist Maria LaYacona

Ms. Maria LaYacona Ms. Maria LaYacona

Kingston 29 April 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed sadness at the passing of the celebrated photojournalist and portrait photographer, Maria LaYacona.

LaYacona, who was a long-serving member of the Board of Directors of the National Gallery of Jamaica, passed away on Sunday.

Minister Grange said LaYacona was an “outstanding photographer who showcased her enduring passion for the people of Jamaica and its landscape.”

The Minister recalled that LaYacona — who was originally from Ohio in the United States — came to Jamaica in 1955 for an assignment, fell in love with the island and made it her home until her passing.

Minister Grange said:

“Maria LaYacona contributed significantly to documenting Jamaican heritage through her lens. She was known for her sensitive and engaging portraiture which made her the portraitist of choice for several Jamaicans, including Prime Ministers. She was also the official photographer for the National Dance Theatre Company and leaves behind an impressive and extensive visual collection that captures essential people, places and things in the development of modern Jamaica.”

Minister Grange has extended condolences to Maria LaYacona’s family and friends.


We place people at the heart of everything we do.

We believe that culture is the great equaliser and transformer that makes ordinary men and women great.

We believe that gender equality is essential in a modern society.

We believe that an entertained person is a happy person and happy persons make happy societies.

We believe that physical activity enhances lives and sport is the medicine that heals and corrects.

Olivia Grange


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  4-6 Trafalgar Road

Kingston 5

Jamaica, W.I.

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