On Saturday, July 1, 2023, the National Gallery of Jamaica transformed into a mecca of artistic creation and friendly competition for the highly anticipated auction of International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC) posters and selections from IRPC co-founder Maria Papaefstathiou's The Queens of Reggae series. Continuing a relationship begun in 2012 with the very first poster auction at the National Gallery, all proceeds from the auction supported the Alpha music programme. At the conclusion of the event, a total of 555,000 was raised for Alpha Institute and patrons who made the final bids were feeling fortunate to go home that evening with their posters.
Joshua Chamberlain, Special Projects Coordinator at the Alpha School of Music, told those attending the auction how the IRPC does so much more than just provide a financial donation. “The impact of the poster contest at Alpha has been invaluable. The generosity of Michael, Maria, all the artists and their supporters is not only humbling but the impact of the visual works themselves has strengthened the relationship Alpha has with its students and introduced Alpha to the world in ways we didn’t think possible. The poster contest is truly a gift that keeps on giving.”
The IRPC was formed in 2011 by the late Jamaican designer Michael Thompson, whose special ‘Alpha Ska’ poster contribution inspired the iconic Alpha logo, and Maria Papaefstathiou, Thompson’s business partner and a graphic designer from Athens, Greece. Over the past 12 years, Michael, Maria and the IRPC community have contributed extensively to the visual and social work at Alpha.
View Auction Catalog here: https://issuu.com/nationalgalleryofjamaica/docs/auction_catalog_2023_online
Thanks to the support of the International Reggae Poster Contest, the National Gallery of Jamaica, event sponsors, artists, and auction supporters, the future of youth music education is looking even brighter, and the developments at Alpha include inspiring visuals that pay homage to Alpha and Jamaica's music legacy.