On Saturday July 1, 2023 the National Gallery of Jamaica successfully hosted its third auction for the International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC) in support of The Alpha Institute. The auction consisted of the top one hundred posters that were featured in the 29th Art of Reggae Exhibition. Also auctioned were nine posters from Maria Papaefstathiou’s The Queens of Reggae Series, which were on view during the run of the exhibition. The auctioneer was Douglas Reid, owner of Grosvenor Gallery, located in Manor Park, St. Andrew.


The bidding was preceded by live music, provided by alumni of The Alpha Institute; they performed instrumental medleys of various genres of Jamaican music. The Auction formalities  started with opening remarks from Mrs Roxanne Bucknor, Senior Director of the National Gallery of Jamaica, followed by brief remarks from Mr. Joshua Chamberlain, a representative of The Alpha Institute.


Alumni from The Alpha Institute performing at the International Reggae Poster Contest Auction

In connection to the celebration of Reggae music that has characterised the IRPC, Mrs. Bucknor highlighted the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and its importance during her speech. The convention, established in 2003 marked its 20th anniversary in 2023 and Jamaica being a signatory to this Convention since 2010, has continued to strive to implement its core tenets which are to safeguard, promote and preserve living heritage forms in all its forms in the island.


Senior Director of the National Gallery of Jamaica, Mrs. Roxanne Bucknor, at the International Reggae Poster Contest Auction

Representative for The Alpha Institute, Joshua Chamberlain, at the International Reggae Poster Contest Auction


Through the work of Focal Point – the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/ Jamaica Memory Bank , a division of the Institute of Jamaica in collaboration with parent ministry, the Ministry of Culture Gender Entertainment and Sport, two elements have been inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, they are Maroon Heritage of Moore Town and Reggae Music of Jamaica. The inscription of Reggae Music of Jamaica to the convention (in 2018) as well as the many submissions made to the IRPC speak to the importance and impact of Jamaican music on a global scale. It was also noted that July 1st was celebrated as International Reggae Day.

During the auction 33 of the 100 posters from the IRPC were bid on, raising JMD$302,000. Following a heated round of bidding, lot 61 by Rashid Rahnama (Iran) earned the highest bid at JMD$20,000. From the Queens of Reggae Series 7 of the 9 posters were bid on, raising JMD$91,000. Of that series the poster of Jamaican singer Nadine Sutherland also saw intense duelling bidding with the winning bid closing at JMD$30,000, the highest of the day.

Following the auction, 14 posters were sold raising a further JMD$162,000. In total 54 posters were sold and JMD$555,000 raised with all proceeds going to The Alpha Institute as they continue their quest to provide music education for Jamaican youths, male and female.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in this auction and made it a success, our patrons, NGJ staff, the International Reggae Poster Contest, Maria Papaefstathiou, The Alpha Institute, and our exhibition sponsors; The Ministry of Culture Gender Entertainment and Sport, VP Records, Paperboy JA, Spanish Court Hotel. The remaining posters will be available for purchase at the NGJ until July 30, 2023.

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