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.

Minister's charge

I remain hopeful because of the giftedness of the Jamaican people; their warmth and creativity; their dynamism and indomitable spirit that have resulted in excellence in all sectors.

It is by tapping into the gifts and awakening the spirit of the Jamaican people that we will, by God’s grace, re-group, re-engineer and re-open to a brighter future with Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

Olivia Grange


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  4-6 Trafalgar Road

Kingston 5

Jamaica, W.I.

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