Tourists, artists, enthusiasts, and the general public descended en masse in sections of downtown Kingston on Sunday, June 30, as parts of the shopping district, usually sluggish at that time of day, were teeming with life for Kingston Creative’s Artwalk.
Boasting many seasoned veterans and younger talent, as well as exhibitions in food, wines, fine arts, ceramics, and photography – Sunday’s Artwalk catered to the imaginative palette of scores of patrons who turned out to the monthly audio-visual spectacle.
It was a packed schedule, kicking off as early as 6 a.m., with cyclists gathering at Fleet Street for the ‘Ride Across Kingston’ event; followed by a refreshing ‘Community Yoga’ session along the scenic waterfront.
Art lovers were later treated to visual stimulation by ‘The Trio’, which presented a riveting photography exhibition along Water Lane.
While the eyes were engaged, so too were the ears, as the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Panoridim Steel Band serenaded the crowds with creative and entertaining renditions of popular soca, dancehall, and afrobeat songs.
Following the Artwalk along Water Lane, towards the National Gallery on Orange Street, the Alpha Boys’ Band feted patrons to a nostalgic afternoon trip down memory lane – with reggae hits across generations, followed by a hotly contested poster auction from finalists in the International Reggae Day design competition.
Many creatives displayed their wares at Artwalk. See the gallery below.
Executive Director of the Kingston Creative Andrea Dempster-Chung told Buzz that the Artwalk, while still in its infancy, goes a long way in restoring pride in downtown Kingston.
“We stand on the shoulders of those who have been advocating for creativity”— Andrea Dempster-Chung, Executive Director of the Kingston Creative
“Kingston Creative is a movement; it’s a group of people who believe our capital city should not look like this. We want to create an art district in downtown [Kingston] – our very own, Jamaican-owned Wynwood,” she explained.
“We stand on the shoulders of those who have been advocating for creativity and waving this flag for a long time but sometimes, it’s not time yet, but we feel the time is really now,” Dempster-Chung added.
Dempster-Chung, a co-founder of the artistic renaissance that is Kingston Creative, further argued that the global creative industry, worth a staggering US$2.25 trillion, is very lucrative and with it, endless possibilities are on the horizon for talented Jamaican artists.
Dempster-Chung told BUZZ she hopes corporate Jamaica gives more attention to the untapped opportunities now available through a partnership with the local creative industry.
“It’s a national conversation and so we really need corporates to come on board. This is about transforming our country. The creative industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors, and it’s what we’re best at,” she said. “See what is happening on the harbour: there’s a whole lot of developments going on. We need to make sure that creatives are at the heart of it.”
“The creative industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors.”— Andrea Dempster-Chung, Executive Director of the Kingston Creative
“What Kingston Creative is about is making that a reality. You should step into downtown and feel that we are a creative capital and the creatives should be prosperous,” Dempster-Chung told BUZZ.
Kingston Creative’s Artwalk, held on the last Sunday of each month, has stood as a primary staple in the creative calendar for the last three years.