Saturday, September 01, 2018

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On Sunday, August 26, Kingston Creative welcomed art enthusiasts and supporters of brand Jamaica to Water Lane, downtown Kingston, for its fourth Artwalk and market street event.

A partnership with and the official launch for newcomers on the art district, Jamaica Rising, the monthly art tour and market street event is a hub for some of Jamaica's burgeoning performance and visual artists as well as creative entrepreneurs. The primary aim of the event, according to Kingston Creative director Andrea Dempster-Chung, is to provide an avenue for creatives to monetise their creative interests. “Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to create economic and social value, gain access to global markets and have a positive impact on their local communities,” Dempster-Chung disclosed to Saturday Social.

Just over 30 purveyors of locally manufactured products, including jewellery, skin and hair care products, along with local artists, had their works on display.

The first leg of the walk, commencing on Water Lane, ended at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Port Royal Street, where National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica member Alex Lawson, performing on a viola, welcomed the artwalkers.

Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Visual Arts Development Specialist Sana Rose-Savage then led the art lovers to a viewing of the most outstanding works in this year's JCDC 2018 visual arts competition. Over 40 works were mounted on the walls of the ground-floor corridor, including the top three Jury's Choice entries: the Conard Stone sculpture Knowledge, Esther Chin's mixed media work The Tapestry of Ma, and Renae Johnson's digital print photograph Diligence.

On the upper floor, inside the gallery, artist Patrick Kitson displayed 51 of his pen and ink works — his acclaimed 'Pentings'.

The Main Circulation Area of the National Gallery of Jamaica for Last Sundays was the next stop where, with works of artists Renee Cox, Monique Gilpin and Paul Stoppi as backdrop, recording artiste Nickeishia Barnes treated her audience to an energetically charged performance of hits by Adele, Aretha Franklin and Bob Marley.

The walk culminated with the group being led back to Water Lane for a performance by the Fabian Thomas-led Tribe Sankofa. Presented by seven members of the local performance art company, Sankofa's Walk an' Talk performance was delivered through a mix of spoken word pieces and poems interspersed with musical selections, including Tarrus Riley's Lion Palm, and Dennis Brown's So Long Rastafari.

From Water Lane it was on to F & B Swiss Stores on Harbour Steet for a special feature of the artwalk: the post-walk Jamaica Rising pre-party.

Event coordinator MaŽlle Johnston thanked partners, stakeholders and patrons for their commitment to the Building Bridges-themed event before introducing the evening's performers, who included Sarah Couch and Kai Wakeling. The works of Deone Simone, Abbebe Payne, Germay Cappelin, Crystal Furlonge, Toby Grant and Jeo'Vannie Baxter were also on display.

The Jamaica Rising team then ushered the group back to Water Lane for a Back To School Block Party, an initiative undertaken to raise funds for a yet-to-be-determined school in the inner city. This, in accordance with its mandate to encourage national pride, cultural awareness, youth development and self-discovery. Tijean Bennett, Indie Allen, Yaksta, Dann I and Martei Korley served as the night's entertainment.

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