Since 1983, after completing undergraduate studies at the Edna Manley School of Art, Jamaica. Ras Akyem I Ramsey has proceeded to explore his artistic idiom, while sharing his knowledge with other emerging Barbadian talent. He is a veteran of exhibitions throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, England, and the U.S., many with his colleague Ras Ishi Butcher.
In 1986 his work won first prize at the Benson & Hedges World of Art.
Ras Akyem I's work is represented in the Barbados National Collection, as well as major private and public collections in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and North America.
His solo exhibition 'Art Animal', held July 1995 in Barbados, was highlighted by his tribute to the late Haitian-American artist Jean Michel Basquiat, 'Altar for J-M Basquiat', described by one critic as "a triumph of composition."
In 1996 Ras Akyem's paintings won the Gold Medal at the Third Biennial of Caribbean and Latin American Painting, held in Santo Domingo, and were part of the collective submission by Barbadian artists which won the Country Gold Medal.
During 1995-1997 Ras Akyem successfully completed postgraduate studies at the University of Superior Arts (ISA), Cuba's prestigious art academy. His work has been published and discussed in such publications as “Barbadian Art: What Kind of Mirror Image?” and “Caribbean Art”, by Veerle Poupeye.
In 1998 he was awarded the Barbados Service Star in that year’s Barbados Independence Honors.
The artist’s statement is: “Art is an act of magic; an intuitive response to primal/ancestral imperative, a passionate impulse to create or destroy.” ■