WHEN Rameesh Ramsay convinced his teacher to include him in the group of students who would participate in the InPulse Art Project — a visual art programme by RUBiS Energy Jamaica — he had no idea how much it would change his life.
Working on the project, which is run by RUBiS Energy Jamaica and the RUBiS Mécénat cultural fund (endowment fund of the RUBiS Group), has exposed him to training in the visual arts — drawing, painting, murals, and animation. The project was launched in 2015.
The former student of Dunoon Technical High School had always enjoyed art, but had viewed it solely as a hobby. But since his participation in the visual art project, his outlook has evolved significantly.
“Before, I considered becoming a police officer or a soldier, but now I see art as a serious career path. I didn’t know that art could take me this far, that it could open all these doors for me,” he admitted.
One of the opportunities that Ramsay has had was the chance to travel to Haiti for the Ghetto Biennale, a cross-cultural arts festival where he was able to create and showcase his artwork with artists from all over the world. His 10-day visit to the festival was part of the InPulse Art programme, which also seeks to expose the students to the global art market.
“The whole experience was amazing, because I see where art has transformed my life. To be able to create and also view the work of so many artists was inspirational, because I now see how much I can achieve through art,” he explained.
RUBiS InPulse Art Project Winners
After his visit to Haiti with two of his classmates and the Rubis InPulse Art Project manager, visual artist Camille Chedda, Ramsay is now focused on matriculating into the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. He is one of several participants in the project who are attending remedial classes in mathematics and English language offered by the programme.
“I didn’t get to do maths and English in high school, but coming to this class gives me the chance to focus on art, and now I’m finally able to work on getting these vital subjects because I want to get a scholarship,” he explained.
The 19-year-old is aiming to be one of the students who will be offered a scholarship in the summer. Since the start of the project in 2015, two students have been awarded full scholarships to attend Edna Manley. The Franklin Town resident has his eyes set on a career in art that goes beyond creating works of art.
“I also want to teach after I complete my studies at Edna Manley, because I believe it is important to pass on the passion of art to others to encourage more people to enter the field,” Ramsay said.
The artistic creations of 18 students, including Ramsay’s, are on display at a month-long exhibition at Studio 174, located at 174 Harbour Street, downtown Kingston. The exhibition was launched on Saturday, January 20.
RUBiS InPulse Art Project Launches Exhibition
The InPulse Art Project at Dunoon Park Technical High School, a learning platform in visual art celebrated its three-year anniversary recently with the launch of a month-long exhibition on Saturday, January 20 at Studio 174 in downtown Kingston.
The project, which was started in 2015, offers students between the ages of 15 – 25 the opportunity to build on their artistic abilities through training from visual artists three times a week in East Kingston. The project is a part of a socio-cultural initiative undertaken by RUBiS Energy Jamaica and RUBiS Mécénat cultural fund, the endowment fund of the RUBiS Group.
The participants, who are students of Dunoon Technical and residents of surrounding communities, will have their work displayed for the general public from January 21 to February 25. According to the Managing Director of RUBiS Mécénat cultural fund, Lorraine Gobin, the main goal of the programme is to improve the lives of the youth in the area through the practice of visual art.
“This platform not only gives them an outlet to express themselves but also educates them on the various career opportunities that are possible through art by showing that art provides a viable alternative career path,” she stated. Gobin says the evolution of the students under the initiative has been inspirational.
“When I observe how the artistic skills of these youngsters have been enhanced I am amazed because they have used the opportunity and developed as artists in their own right,” she added.
InPulse Art Project Manager Camille Chedda commended the students for their dedication to art despite challenges. Chedda also revealed that the students’ behaviour was also positively impacted by their participation in the initiative. A student Rameesh Ramsay who has been a part of the InPulse Art Project confirmed Chedda’s pronouncements.
“Art makes me serious and focused. It also has made me fearless in challenging myself because I now have no limits in my vision for myself,” he explained.
Along with the visual art programme, RUBiS also provides remedial classes for Mathematics and English Language for participants of the initiative. Students of the programme also have the opportunity of being awarded a full scholarship to pursue a degree at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston. Two students have been awarded scholarships so far.
The art of the students will be available for sale at the month-long exhibition