Downtown's Architectural, Historic Creative Design

Thursday Social

Thursday, October 04, 2018

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The Kingston Creative Artwalk and Market Street held Sunday last between 10:30 am and 4:15 pm brought the curtains down on the second staging of the Jamaica Observer Design Week JA 2018 — presented by Kohler.

Thursday Social began the walk in Trench Town with a guided tour of the Trench Town Ceramics & Art Centre by ceramicist Garfield Williams. Williams spoke of his past life overseas and of his return to Jamaica for the sake of the arts. He later provided a step-by-step presentation on the art of pottery.

Several walls in Trench Town are filled with murals of cultural and political icons, so it was easy for Jamaican muralist Mike Robinson — whose murals have found their way to Belgium — to point out his works along the way. Tour guide Doran “Blacks” Johnson, led the walk through the streets of Trench Town, highlighting several active art clusters along the way and providing insight on the legends of Trench Town.

Up next was Culture Yard, the former residence of reggae icon Bob Marley and “government yard” that inspired the ballad No Woman No Cry, written by Marley's idol Vincent “Tata” Ford, who was also Marley's neighbour. Culture Yard director Christopher Whyms-Stone handled the Marley talks, sprinkled with unique anecdotes about the musician and his family. The afternoon downpour ended just in time for a musical performance by Naila Rae.

Jamaica Cultural Enterprise afforded door-to-door shuttle service for the artwalkers. The National Gallery was the final stop for the monthly Last Sundays art installation. This month's theme: 'Beyond Fashion and Community Children's Art Exhibition,' which was the perfect complement for Design Week. Indeed, Jasmine Thomas-Girvan and Jessica Ogden delivered exquisite fashion-marries-art exhibitions. Additional offerings included works by Cosmo Whyte, Marvin Bartley, Yasmin Spiro, Ebony G Patterson, Kereina Chang-Fatt, The Girl and The Magpie, Seymour Lewis, Alfredo Piola, Peter Dean Rickards, Ayana Riviere, and Phillip Thomas. There was, too, a series of riveting dance and musical pieces by Quilt Performing Arts Company.

Dr Elizabeth Pigou-Dennis, architectural historian, associate professor and vice-dean at the Faculty of the Built Environment, University of Technology, Jamaica started the conversation last Friday at F&B Downtown with the presentation: A Journey of Architectural Imaginaries. The lecture introduced volunteers to the transformation of the capital city throughout years of natural disasters, adaptations of international architectural styles, and the current design/architectural atmosphere. That discussion developed into an historic architectural walk on Sunday, led by architect Patrick Stanigar, who informed on downtown Kingston landmarks from the National Gallery on Orange Street to the Swiss Stores on the corner of Harbour and Church streets.

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