Paul Shaw, the much applauded classical pianist from the Caribbean island of Jamaica, will perform Friday, June 3 at an art gallery in Chelsea during the opening of an exhibition dedicated to world peace and nuclear disarmament.
The exhibit and Shaw’s performance will be held at the Chelsea Art Museum at 556 W. 22nd St. in Manhattan, beginning at 6 p.m. The event will open and close with a musical performance by Shaw.
The art exhibit will run through Sunday, June 5, offering 50 works selected from 150 entries submitted to the Harmony for Peace Foundation’s inaugural Peace Art Competition.
The winners of the competition will be announced on Friday, with $1,000 awarded for first prize, $500 for second prize and $300 to the third place winner. Two honorable mention selections will also be made.
The Harmony for Peace Foundation uses art and music to promote world peace and nuclear disarmament. The organization has raised funds for the Hiroshima International Council for Health Care of the Radiation-Exposed (HICARE), which uses knowledge gleaned from the Hiroshima tragedy to care for exposed populations in various parts of the world.
This spring, HICARE sent healthcare professionals to the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan to assist those who were exposed to radiation during the country’s earthquake tragedy.
Shaw, who hails from Falmouth, Jamaica-not far from Montego Bay-has been hailed by the New York Times as “both a virtuoso with Herculean technical command and a sensitive introspective artist.”
He has appeared in numerous recitals, chamber music performances and as a soloist with orchestras in Asia, Europe and the Americas, as well as in his home country of Jamaica.
The story goes that his interest in music began when his mother purchased a toy piano at a five-and-dime store and gave it to him. By the time Shaw was eight years old he was sight-reading music from the hymns at church.
Today Shaw holds several degrees in music, including from New York’s City prestigious Juilliard School. He is the winner of numerous international competitions around the globe.
“Paul Shaw continues to demonstrate that he is an agent for peace through his warm friendship and constant support of our organization,” said Tomoko Torii, executive director of the Harmony for Peace Foundation.
The art exhibit, which will be open Saturday, June 4 from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, June 5 from noon to 4 p.m., is free to all.
In addition, there are two special benefits for the Harmony for Peace Japan Relief Fund on the agenda for this weekend. A $25 donation is requested for admission to those events.
The first event is an afternoon tea reception and classical music mini-concert on Saturday, June 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. Daniel Maimone (tenor), Asako Tamura (soprano) and Drago Bubalo (piano) will perform works from Puccini and Schubert, as well as select Japanese classics.
And on Sunday, a tea reception will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. offering a classical music performance by Gideon Broshy (piano) and a jazz set by Wataru Niimori on piano and Akiko Sasak on the koto, the traditional Japanese stringed instrument.
A portion of the proceeds from these two events will go to Harmony for Peace’s Japan Relief Fund, dedicated to helping those affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the country in March get the medical attention they need.
Art enthusiasts can also view and purchase the pieces featured in the exhibit, which range in price from $150 to $8,000, by logging on to www.harmonyforpeace.org, by calling (484) 885-8539 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To reach the Chelsea Art Museum by public transportation, take the C or E subway to West 23rd Street and proceed to 11th Avenue.