George Simon, A.A.

                            Artist & Archaeologist

 

We, the members of the Guyana Cultural Association of New York, Inc., are happy to welcome you to our art gallery and an exhibition of George Simon’s work.   We are sharing 14 paintings by George Simon that were exhibited in the 2017 Indigenous Heritage Month Art Exhibition held in September at the National Art Gallery, Castellani House, Georgetown, Guyana.

These 14 paintings showcase his skills as a painter and his preference for oil on canvas and paper to celebrate the color and textures of Amazonia.   This collection reaffirms his ongoing commitment of “drawing attention to the indigenous people and how they have lived with the environment in mind.”  For George Simon, “the environment is not just bland, but is full of life and has deep meaning.”

We hope you enjoy this exhibition.  For more information on George Simon, please click HERE

Introducing George Simon:

George Simon is the recipient of GCA’s 2017 Lifetime Award in recognition of his substantial contributions to Guyanese art and archeology.  He received Guyana’s Golden Arrow of Achievement in 1988 and the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Award of Excellence in 2012. 

He was born in Pukari Village (formerly St. Cuthbert’s Mission) in 1947.  When he was 12, he and his adoptive father moved to Essex, England.  In 1978, he graduated from the University of Portsmouth with an honors degree in art.  He returned to Guyana in the same year and since them has been a powerful catalytic force in Guyanese art. 

George Simon was a teacher at the E.R. Burrowes School of Art and the University of Guyana.  During the early 1980s, he made mass games art uniquely Guyanese.  He led a team of Guyanese artists who earned the admiration of the Koreans who were advising the Government of Guyana on mass games.  But George Simon’s body of work goes beyond mass games art.  His work introduces us to the “cosmos of the Lokono,” and helps us to decode our timehri inheritance.

As an artist and archeologist, George Simon has been a pioneer. On his return to Guyana in the 1970s, he made mass games art uniquely Guyanese. He led a team of Guyanese artists who earned the admiration of the Korean advisors who were advising the Government of Guyana on mass games. But George Simon’s body of work goes beyond mass games art. As a muralist, his work has graced important national buildings such as the National Museum and the Umana Yana. As a Guyanese of Lokono (Arawak) heritage, he has used his canvas to share the rich heritage of Guyana’s indigenous people—their cosmology, color palate, and aspirations. In so doing, he has contributed to national integration. George Simon is a leader who encourages and promotes young and emerging indigenous artists. His founding of the Lokono Arts Group and organizing the “Moving Circle” art exhibitions are examples of this work. Since 1995, the Moving Circle art exhibition has been the principal event to showcase the art of indigenous artists.

In 2009, George Simon, along with the late Neil Whitehead and Michael Heckenberger, started excavations of terra preta mounds in the Berbice intermediate savannahs.  Radiocarbon testing of ceramic and organic materials from four sites indicate human settlement of more than 3,000 ago.