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Thursday, 6.12.18

by Terence Hilton Clarke

Honouring LeRoy Clarke

Once again, we find ourselves caught up within a period of celebrations, with a long schedule of festivities from which one can choose to indulge.
There is at least one event, though, that involves one of Trinidad and Tobago’s art icons.
LeRoy Clarke recently celebrated his 80th birthday on November 7 - and members of the national community now have the opportunity to help pay tribute to a man who has made an indelible contribution to local culture.
On December 8, the 101 Art Gallery in Newtown will be staging Honouring LeRoy Clarke on His 80th Birthday and in Memory of his Mother Ellen Clarke. The occasion will in part be a mini-retrospective of the artist’s career but there will be some additional works for sale. The event, which opens at 2 pm and continues until 5 pm, will involve the display of 73 paintings – including notable creations such as the gigantic, 37 by 120 inch “In the Beginning”.
It’s still just a fraction of what Clarke, a predominantly self-taught painter who has also distinguished himself through poetry, theatre and music has managed to deliver to art connoisseurs for generations. He put on his first exhibition at the age of 27 at the Bank of Nova Scotia (now Scotiabank) in Port of Spain and later spent close to 13 years in New York City.
His continued exhibitions and publications enhanced his reputation and recognition was bestowed from different sources, including The University of Trinidad and Tobago, which named him as an Honourary Fellow and Honourary Doctor of Letters in 2005 and 2008. Clarke is also an elder and chief within the Orisha community.
Saturday’s exhibition will be preceded by a three-day series of previews, to be held at the 101 Gallery on Thursday and Friday, from noon to 6 pm and Saturday, between 10 am and 2 pm, prior to the start of the main show.