2013 was a successful year for the IRPC, we received 1,100 submissions from 78 countries, and curated three major “World A Reggae” exhibitions. One at AKTO school of design in Thessaloniki, Greece earlier this year. The October opening in Miami, Florida which featured an unprecedented selection of 100 plus reggae posters at the spacious Multitudes Gallery. The second U.S. exhibition held at the DuPont Circle Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, D.C. This special showing was hosted by Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, Stephen Vasciannie and Kathryn Buford founder of Live Unchained. The exhibition featured over 50 stunning posters of the 2013 IRPC winners. The selection also included posters from our jury members and friends; Charis Tsevis, Yossi Lemel, Frank Arbelo, Dane Thompson, Saleh Zanganeh, John Moore, Elen G, Sergio Olivotti, Roy Villalobos, and Tomoko Miyagawa. The Embassy of Jamaica was abuzz with activity on November 14th, as a large gathering of Washingtonians, friends from Virginia, Maryland and as far away as New York City came out for the opening. They expressed much enthusiasm for the international reggae art. This showed a clear indication of the popularity of the reggae poster art represented from around the world.
Our IRPC vision for a Frank Gehry inspired Museum for Kingston, Jamaica and the Alpha Boys’ School awareness campaign were well received by all. Through the Live Unchained collaboration we have broadened our support in the US capital. Thanks to the IRPC cultural ambassadors for spreading the word and making it successful through social media. At the opening, Ambassador Stephen Vasciannie pointed out the importance of the IRPC exhibitions as a testimony and a reminder to all of the global embrace for Jamaican popular music and culture. He was impressed by the positive messages that were depicted in the posters and he expressed his appreciation for the high level of designs expressed in the creative visuals. Highlights of the opening included speeches from ambassador Vasciannie, IRPC founder Michael Thompson, Live Unchained founder Kathryn Buford, Dutty Bookman and Patricia Chin of VP Records. Patricia reminded the audience that reggae culture is more than just the beautiful sounds coming from all corners of the world, but also the role played by the visuals arts. It was evidently expressed from all those attending the opening the affirmation that reggae and Rastafarian symbolize a powerful global presence. Many designs represented in the collection covered varied subjects related to all aspect of the musical genres: Ska, Rocksteady, Dub, Roots Reggae, Dancehall, Jamaican Sound System and Alpha Boys’ School.
Those attending the Washington DC exhibition included Mrs. Patricia Chin, founder of Randy’s and VP Records, Dutty Bookman, author and guiding force behind the Reggae Revival Movement, and the Jamaican embassy staff.
The November 14th, opening was originally due to run for two weeks but became widely popular with visitors to the embassy and the general public; we were requested to have it extended to December 20.