FILMMAKERS Jonathon Mora and Joshua Persad are set to open their own Visualart Galleries (VG) on Friday at 7 pm, with its official unveiling at 8 pm at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa), UTT Campus in Port of Spain.
Emergence, the name and theme of the opening show, has a double meaning. One, it refers to the artists who are mostly emerging artists, and it also represents the emergence of a new permanent structured art gallery space at Napa, Frederick Street.
Emergence is intended to highlight a number of greatly gifted artists in the local art world, not necessarily only young emerging artists, but also iconic artists who wish to have their solo exhibitions at VG. And so, therefore it is no surprise that the first show will feature work by actor, musician and artist Nickolai Salcedo, who is currently riding a wave of success with his lead role in the docudrama film, Hero Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr Ulric Cross.
He has also shown his artwork in Canada. But on Friday he will be sharing the gallery with artists Joy Luk Pat who incorporates graphic design, advertising and other disciplines to produce artwork that is modern, abstract, and vibrant, and Nicole Tang, known for her mixed media art.
Salcedo, in a Facebook posting this week said: “I have new work on exhibit at Emergence Art Exhibition presented by Visualart Galleries. I started some of these pieces since 2014 and have been waiting a long time to reveal this narrative. Doing a live performance as well just to properly cement the vibes.”
Mora, a filmmaker with 17 years professional experience, has worked with many leading production and advertising agencies in Trinidad and the Caribbean. His background in art curation was gained while working with the late Wesley Kanhai at Art 6 Gallery, while his work in film and digital media will be a great asset to the gallery business which focuses on highlighting artists, using creative means of telling their stories through film.
Persad, the executive director of VG is a young entrepreneur, artist and filmmaker. After successfully completing his education at Full Sail University in the United States, he earned his bachelor of science degree in film production, and has worked on numerous Hollywood productions such as Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, MacGyver, Pitch Perfect 3 and more.
Persad is now bringing his creative expertise back to TT with the launch of VG founded by him and his business partner, Mora.
Asked what different will VG offer exhibitors, Mora said: “VG offers a premiere space at Napa that allows artists to show with us in several locations located within the campus at Napa. We are hosting this first group show to welcome artists into our community that will grow as we become more established. The gallery itself will function as a space that allows all creatives in varying degrees to show their work to the public and allow for sales and commissions through VG. We are offering our artists a multi-faceted platform that encompasses sound design, VR technology and projection mapping for digital exhibitions.”
Mora also said they felt there is much separation and division amongst artists and galleries here in Trinidad and it is their wish to bridge the connection to all artists, collectors and galleries where they can come together as a community at large and share in the celebration of art and culture. “We offer all artists in traditional painting, digital artists, filmmakers, photographers and all the other facets of creatives that fall into the artistic backgrounds. We want to make an inclusive space for all creatives,” said Mora.
The goal of the new curators is to set a new precedent for local and international artists to have a premiere space to show and highlight their work.
“We are also forming a digital marketplace that will offer collaboration with other artists in the diaspora. Our goal is to create a contemporary artistic space in a landmark historical site at Napa/UTT,” said Mora.