Top Award For Our Magazine & Art Writer

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In recognition of her contribution to Malaysian art the

 National Art Gallery in December awarded Marybeth Ramey the 2008 Best Writer on the Visual Arts.The Expat Group also received a special award “Best Media Award for Visual Art” for it’s prolonged and continued support of Malaysian art. Andy Davison, CEO of TEG, was presented with a painting and the award which he accepted on behalf of the group. This was the first time that either of these awards has been given to an expat owned magazine. 
Marybeth said: “Nothing in my life has given me greater joy than in being able to use The Expat Group’s international platform to promote local Malaysian artists. When I joined The Expat in 2000, I continued the two year tradition started by Andy and co-founder Nora Marzuki. Over the past eight years we have been approached many times to commercialise the cover but we have always refused. As expats it is important that we give back in some valuable way to our host country. After all, Malaysia has given us a lovely lifestyle here and we are always aware we are guests.
“When I sought out my first artist, little did I know how much these creative people would come to mean to me. Almost uniformly they are the most generous of heart and spirit, and the least unassuming people in this society. I purposely sought out talented artists who had no representation or advocate. These were the people I wanted to give a career break to, not the already financially successful artist. I looked for artists who had no voice hence no media power and the way I found them was through their peers. When I would inform someone I wanted them on the cover they would always give me names of fellow aspiring artists 
“I also discovered that the majority had only the pictures they took of their work as porfolios. They had nothing written either by themselves or about them. In other words, they did not know how to market themselves so as to become financially viable. It is really true that the greatest happiness possible in life is that which is derived by helping others. The joy these artists have brought into my life far surpasses any award, even one as prestigious as the National Art Gallery. Most of ‘my artists’ remain dear friends and happily most have gone on to great success. They just needed that one break. 
“I have encouraged each artist to use the two page article I write inside the magazine to promote themselves; therefore never copyrighting any. They belong to the artist. 
“I want to also thank you, our readers who have been so wonderfully supportive helping us to promote local artists by buying their works and keeping them in your social and professional networks.”
This article is from January 2009
This article has been transferred from Expat KL
This artilce has been edited for


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