The Business Year

A series of relentless, creative, and hungry ventures are stirring up the capital's cultural scene, saving older gems from oblivion and putting lesser known or previously stigmatized ones on the map for the first time.

Andrea Dempster-Chung

co-Founder & Executive Director, Kingston Creative

Kingston Creative’s Last Sundays Artwalk and Market consists of a walking tour and series of artistic performances that showcase culture and talent, combined with an artisanal market. The performances include various art forms such as dance, literature, film, theater, visual arts, gaming, and music, and take place in alternative spaces such as lanes and abandoned buildings without roofs, as well as in traditional cultural institutions. It is a vital outlet for young creative and emerging artists who need a platform or opportunity for people to visit the old city. Thanks to the important support of our partner, Trenchtown Cultureyard, the Artwalk also offers the chance to visit inner-city communities with a rich cultural heritage, like Trench Town, Beat Street, or Parade Gardens, thereby reducing some of the fear and stigma that exist around these areas and providing valuable opportunities for exposure for the creatives who live in them. Overall, the Artwalk is a huge catalyst for cultural tourism.

Dr. Jonathan Greenland

Acting Executive Director, National Gallery of Jamaica

Jamaica, and the entire Caribbean, have an incredible richness of artistic and cultural traditions, and the National Gallery’s role is to facilitate, channel, and exhibit those creative expressions. We are here to encourage and express this wealth of creative ability so that there is a constant interaction between the general public and the arts and artists in Jamaica. The country has long had a strong visual arts tradition, as well as strong musical and theatrical communities. At the National Gallery, we have a permanent exhibition that looks at the history of Jamaican art, in addition to a series of special exhibitions that look at different aspects of the art world. An important and treasured part of our mandate is to exhibit local artists, which is why we have exhibitions such as biennials, which are very inclusive. We are also doing exciting improvements to the gallery’s interior and exterior and interior and streamlining our biennial to fit more with international standards.

Charl Baker

Artist & Stylist, Charl Baker

I am a visual artist, stylist, muralist, and designer, so my work takes various shapes and forms. I am passionate about working in mixed media and using upcycling materials has remained a big part of my goal to reduce my carbon footprint and bring about social consciousness. With that in mind, I have recurring themes of trees in my artwork. At present, the most exciting aspect of Jamaica’s art sector is the rebuilding of downtown Kingston, along with the creation of an arts district. Being a part of a group called Kingston Creative has also been exciting and rewarding; it is definitely a movement that will create change and put Kingston Harbour on the map. We have already started working on smaller murals along the waterfront and are set to start large-scale buildings throughout the downtown core. Kingston will be on the art map in a way it never has before; it will be like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

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