BIO OF IAN ALI
by Patti-Anne Ali
Internationally renowned Artist, Cultural Activist, Teacher, Television Pioneer, Writer, Illustrator and Scout Leader, the late Ian Angus Ali has left a myriad of outstanding cultural legacies. In 1961, Ali was awarded a Government Scholarship to study Art in the United Kingdom. He returned home in 1966, and over the next four decades created prolifically; set designing, exhibiting (local, regional and international art exhibitions) writing, illustrating, teaching art, judging for the Prime Minister’s Best Village Competitions and working in the broadcast media. From the seventies to the nineties, he produced and hosted a series of television shows; Looking Around, Rikki Tikki, Words, Books and Letters and Painting for Pleasure. These programmes brought art into the nation’s living rooms – an unprecedented cultural occurrence. Through his pioneering integration of art and television, Ali made an invaluable contribution to national art education, inspired thousands of imaginations and strengthened national and cultural identity. Ian Ali unexpectedly passed away on August 16th 2007. Ali’s paintings are in commercial and residential buildings here at home and all over the world. “The Elders” and “Rhythm of the City’ are a part of the permanent collection of the National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago.
The family of the late Ian Ali continues its efforts to archive his life and work. In 2010, there was ‘Renaissance Man’– a memorial art exhibition, hosted by the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, in 2011 – an illustrated biography, ‘Ian Ali’, was launched by the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism and in 2012, the National Council of Indian Culture inducted Ali into its Hall of Pioneers. In 2013, Ali’s work was featured in the Icons section of The Art Society’s seventieth anniversary exhibition and in 2015, The Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) recognized Ian Ali posthumously, with an Award for Media Excellence. Reproductions of Ali’s paintings appear in Stories and Recipes from the Egg Lady (2012) and Stories and Recipes from The Indian Dancer (2014), both by Carolyn Ali.
All rights reserved. If using direct line quotations, or, if using information from this article, please cite source accordingly: Bio of Ian Ali 1937-2007, from the website of the Art Society, written by Patti-Anne Ali. Article may not be reproduced in its entirety, without the express permission of the author.
For more information on the life and work of Ian Ali, and for author permission, please contact Sugar House at pattianneali(at)yahoo.com.
Gender: MaleMembership Status: DeceasedDate of Birth:Preferred Mediums: acrylics
Past Exhibitions & Projects: