Kingston Creative determined to elucidate the city as an art district
The organisers of Kingston Creative Art Walk are dedicated to continuously providing free guided tours in the developing art district of downtown Kingston. Meant to keep rhythm as the heartbeat of the city, the aggregation of artists and their wares and performances are planned to take place at every last Sunday of each month.
On June 29, the second staging showed that the effort is genuine, and will hopefully find an even larger turnout the third time around.
The Art Walk took trekkers on a tour of the Kwan Kung Chinese Buddhist Temple on Barry Street, hosted by Robert Hew and Vincent Chang of the Chinese Benevolent Association. There, they discovered a hidden part of Jamaica's history - through tales told within the halls of the three-storey temple overlooking Kingston Harbour.
The tour also included a stop at the National Gallery of Jamaica on Ocean Boulevard, where patrons were engaged in storytelling led by Amina Blackwood-Meeks; along with a dramatic performance by Anomaly, whose multifaceted members hail from the downtown community. The piece combined elements of theatre, acrobatics and dance.
Cashyaka McDonald, the rand pod lead for Kingston Creative, told The Gleaner that so far they have essentially accomplished some of their goals.
"Patrons discovered parts of the city they had never seen before, and they met people, venues and artists that they never met before, which makes them think of downtown Kingston differently. That was one of the main goals, and we hope to continue that," she said.
"We are all about dance in unusual spaces. We love the architecture found downtown, and that includes the sidewalks, the walls, the grille work and even the road itself," Neila Ebanks, founder of performing arts company eNKompan. E., added. Tribe Nine Studios and eNKompan. E. collaborated on their piece called 'Discovering your Tribe', staging their performance at the corner of Church Street and Water Lane.
The walk even included a rest stop at the local Kool Out Bar on Tower Street, for Sound system Sundays. Hosted by the bar proprietor Keith and DJ Shazad, the 'kooling' dominoes lyme was a slice of nostalgia, complete with vinyl record on the turntable.
Organised by Bookophilia and hosted at the Rise Life Management Foundation on East Street, the Art Walk also installed 'Market Street', where artisans, artists and creative entrepreneurs exhibited their arts and crafts. Exhibitors included Natures Pure Oils, Artistique Fashion, Adornable Accessories JA, Reme Metal Art, Delroy Home Decor and Jean A. Lindo Photography.
The next staging is scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 29.