January 23, 2018

Capturing the Essence of Fatherhood

A heart-warming painting by Griffith

Through their art, Shimuel Jones and Michael Griffith capture the meaning of fatherhood, saying that fathers should not only be financial providers, but also nurturers.

Shimuel Jones is a Guyanese artist noted for possessing immense skill in painting, drawing or sculpting. His thought-provoking piece “Father and Son” depicts a son embraced by his father.

“What is most significant about this painting is the book that the child is holding.  As a father, it is important to not only be a monetary provider, but someone who nurtures the mind of his children. Reading is one of the many ways a father can educate and nurture the minds of his children,” Joel explained in an interview with Sunday Times Magazine.

Being the third of his siblings, he described his childhood as “pretty interesting” since he safely enjoyed it. Jones’ father is an artist, so one can say he was born with this special talent, which was also nurtured by his father.

This ‘nurturing’ eventually helped Jones become a notable artist. His accomplishments include working for a number of charities in Guyana and showcasing his works at many art shows, including performing art shows.

Jones’ exhibitions and awards include Marriott Hotel Guyana exhibition (2016); Inter- Guiana Cultural Festival (IGCF) Georgetown, Guyana Competitions 2016; Wine and Art Competition 2015; Jazz and Art Exhibition 2013 – Carifesta XI – Paramaribo, Suriname; Nola Hatterman Art Exhibition – Paramaribo, Suriname 2013; Tenth Biennial Republic Bank Drawing Competition 2013; Guyana Visual Arts Competition, receiving the Promising Artist Award 2013; Inter- Guiana Cultural Festival (IGCF) Cayenne French Guiana; University of Guyana Graduating Class Exhibition 2012; Ninth Biennial Republic Bank Drawing Competition receiving the Bronze Medal and Honourable Award 2012; Folklore Exhibition – In commemoration of African Heritage Month in Guyana 2011; Guyana Visual Arts Competition – shortlisted 2009; Seventh Biennial Republic Bank Sponsored Drawing Competition receiving first prize.

Explaining his artworks capturing the essence of fatherhood, Michael Griffith said: “My piece with the family more or less depicts the father’s willingness to care for his family. The gentle kiss on the forehead is a sign of respect and patience. His outstretched arms enclosing them signify him being a protector. This union between mom and dad serves as an example to the observing child. My other drawing with the father and daughter captures the bond between a young girl and her dad. Her adoration for him is mirrored in the way she kisses him, as if she’s saying, ‘Thank you for being my dad.”

In an interview with this publication, Griffith mentioned that he grew up in a humble home in South Georgetown. He revealed that he had to drop out of school at 16 to contribute to his family.

“In order to accommodate my desire to draw I had to find a flexible job without supervision so I sold watches on the pave. I practiced my art, improving my skills with experience alone. In September 2009, I joined the Burrowes’ School of Art’s evening one-year certificate programme. This was significant in polishing my drawing skills. After that my life changed and I took art as a profession more seriously,” he recalled.

Knowing the importance of a father figure, due to his personal experiences, Griffith dedicatedly cares for his own family, especially his two daughters.

His dedication to his work, in order to provide for his family, has helped him to receive many accolades. For his outstanding portraits, the artist copped first prize in the Guyana Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition 2012 and first prize in the Guyana Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition 2014.