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Guyana’s president David Granger was the recipient of a unique gift during his recent three-day visit to Toronto.

Canadian-born curator and artisan, Robert Young, presented the “Face of Guyana” photographic image to the head of state prior to a business luncheon in Brampton.

The image was part of Young’s “World Faces of Pan Am” photo exhibit showcasing the diversity of the 41 participating Pan American countries in last summer’s Games in the Golden Horseshoe and Greater Toronto Area region.

The commissioned exhibition, which was part of PANAMANIA, was on display in the Commerce Court west lobby from July 10 to August 23.

“This is quite the honour to be making this presentation to the president,” said Young, who spent 14 years in the United States before returning to Toronto last year. “The image is of a Guyanese resident that I shot and it’s part of my series of works that I use to inspire people and remind people across the world that we are one.”

Young said the creation of each image for “World Faces of Pan Am” was executed with the focus mainly on the colours of each country’s flag. The Guyana flag colours are green, white, gold, red and black.

“The colour theory and placement is exacting throughout the process of the make-up followed by a dramatic lighting style and unique composition that renders the face majestically hovering within the composition,” he said. “The bonus element in this special collection is that all 41 women photographed not only have roots in each of the 41 participating nations of the Games, but are all residents of this city.”

The creative process for the collection was developed over a 14-month period and culminated in the original collection of seven faces – Jamaica, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Colombia, Mexico and Germany.

Young said the first face was captured in New York in 2009 when he returned from an emotional journey to Sierra Leone to direct and produce a documentary film, Freetown Reborn.

The creative artist, who sees himself as an orator specializing in communication through creative experimentation of new age and traditional art-forms, is the son of a Jamaican-born mother whose father was Chinese from Hong Kong.

Vinette Young, a former Jamaica Tourist Board employee who migrated to Canada in 1971 and became a dietitian, died last July at age 84.

Story by Ron Fanfair