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John Reno Jackson | Career and Culture

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

John Reno Jackson is a multi-disciplinary artist. In his abstract representations of identity, isolation and migration, he uses digital collages, portraits, photography and found materials. His career began more than three years ago and he has since become a prominent youth contributor to the Cayman Islands’ art and culture scene.

John Reno has received multiple educational grants over the years. In 2015, his study of painting and drawing at the London Art Academy sparked his career in fine arts. He has built a diverse local and regional support network with the help of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI), where three of his artworks are featured in the nation’s permanent collection.

In 2020 he became the first Caymanian to attend the PADA Studios’ residency programme in Barriero, Portugal. During this time, two of his works were featured in the NGCI showcase: ‘Island of Women,’ highlighting the matriarchal contributions to Caymanian family life during the seafaring years. In honouring the past, John Reno’s approach to the collective curation of modern Caymanian cultural identity has made him a local influencer with international impact.

John Reno was also the first Caymanian to receive an artist grant from Catapult, an Open Society Foundations fund for artists and creators across the Caribbean.

He used his grant to create an artwork installation in the Cayman Islands, sponsored by the American Friends of Jamaica, Kingston Creative, and Fresh Milk Barbados. Additionally, John Reno became the first Caymanian artist to receive a scholarship and space at the Drawing & Painting Marathon at the New York Studio School in Manhattan.

His drive to highlight local culture and preserve the stories of Caymanian people has recently led him to embark on a book project entitled: ‘100 Caymanians’ where he highlights stories of what it means to be a Caymanian in modern times.

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