Ms. Zacca, 2015 Silver Musgrave Medal Awardee

When one speaks about the photographers that contributed to Jamaican photography, you will hear names like Ray Chen, Hugh Wright, Howard Moo Young, Brian Rosen, Robin Chin, just to name a few. However here is a name that isn’t spoken of broadly that should be uttered as soon as the topic comes up; Donnette Zacca. 

It is not easy being a creative person much less a photographer, more over a fine art photographer in Jamaica. So when  I found out Miss Donnette Zacca was being recognised this year by the Institute of Jamaica with a Silver Musgrave Award, I must say I was moved and elated for such an honour to be granted to someone I admire. 

On October 28th, 2015, the inaugural Institute of Jamaica(IOJ), Musgrave Award Ceremony was held downtown at the IOJ, 16 East Street, Kingston, Jamaica, W.I. Where a total of eight(8) awards were received, one included a Silver award for Ms. Zacca which was handed over to her by the most photogenic Minister in history, Minister Lisa Hanna. 

The Silver Musgrave is awarded for outstanding merit in Literature, Science or the Arts in connection with The West Indies- especially in Jamaica. 

So who is Ms. Zacca and why was she awarded for outstanding merit in the field of Art? 

Here is why and it was well said in her award citation: 

“Born in St James in 1957, Donnette Zacca’s sojourn into photography began when she acquired her first camera while a ninth-grade student at the Mount Alvernia High School in Montego Bay. As a young country girl with a camera, she was driven to explore and discover a myriad of outdoor spaces – a practice that continues to this day as she travels to various locations across the island to capture scenes of natural beauty and sometimes otherworldly intrigue. She also produced portraiture, though mainly as a means of earning pocket money to support her new hobby.”

“From 1976 to 1980, Zacca attended the Jamaica School of Art, which is now part of the Edna Manley College, where she attained a Diploma in Art Education and Graphic Design. During these studies, she excelled in Photography, experimenting with a variety of shooting and printing techniques, including how to superimpose multiple photographic images within the same composition. After graduating, she continued her explorations, eventually developing an image-making technique of her own which she has called ‘marbling’.”….Read More Here.

As you read, it is not a normal feat to obtain such a medal, it takes years of hard work and success to be deemed worthy of such a nomination and Donnette Zacca had done just that. 

A few days after the award ceremony I got the chance to sit down with Ms. Zacca and here is the result of that day. 

The other awardees on this day included:

*Prof. Orlando Patterson (Gold Medal in Literature)

*Mr. Lowel Dunbar & Mr. Robert Shakespeare also known as  Sly and Robbie (Gold Medal in the arts for Music)

* Mr. Errol Charles Alberga, Jr. (Silver Medal in the Sciences for Architecture)

*Dr. Myrna Hague-Bradshaw (Silver Medal in the Arts for Music)

*Dr. Ralph C. Thompson, CD (Silver Medal in Literature)

*Dr. Horace Anthony Vendryes (Silver Medal In the Sciences)

*Miss Patricia “Patsy” Ricketts, CD (Silver Medal in the Arts for Dance)

Mr. Errol Charles ALberga, Jr.

Mr. Errol Charles ALberga, Jr. receiving his Silver medal and certificate

Miss Patricia “Patsy” Rickets, CD

Miss Patricia “Patsy” Rickets, CD collecting her silver medal and certificate

Dr. Ralph C. Thompson, CD

Dr. Ralph C. Thompson, CD collecting his medal and certificate

Dr. Horace Anthony Vendryes

Dr. Horace Anthony Vendryes collecting his Silver medal and certificate

Sly & Robbie

Sly collecting his Gold medal and certificate

Robbie Collecting his Gold medal and certificate

Sly & Robbie posing with The Governor General Patrick Allen and Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna.

Thanks for reading, to see more of my blog posts as well as my online portfolio HERE.

-Jik-Reuben, 2015

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