More murals for KingstonWednesday, August 25, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
MORE murals are coming for the walls of downtown Kingston. Kingston Creative, the local organisation focused on social and economic transformation through the arts and culture, is spearheading yet another drive to breathe life into another section of the capital city.
The organisation has partnered with the Social Development Commission, Sherwin Williams, Digicel Foundation, and community group Renaissance Jamaica to pull off this project.
Events lead at Kingston Creative Kathrine Johnson told the Jamaica Observer that this project will focus on Trench Town, widely regarded as the cradle of Jamaican popular music and brought to prominence due to the status of some if its former residents, including members of the Skatalites, and The Wailers, including Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer.
“This was really the idea of Nesta Andrews of Renaissance Jamaica, who was looking to inject some life and colour into the community starting with the wall of the Calvary Cemetery. He just wanted to beautify the space as it is believed that residents will begin to feel better about their community if it looks better. He also felt that the murals should reflect the history of Trench Town,” said Johnson.
The organisation has since issued an open call to artists to submit their designs for consideration and possible selection.
“We generally issue an open call for transparency. The responses will be reviewed by our team which also includes residents of the community. We have set a deadline for August 30, but we may have to extend given the prevailing circumstances with COVID-19 and lockdowns. We just want to give everyone interested a chance to submit,” Johnson added.
This upcoming project in Trench Town is part of Kingston Creative's Paint the City programme. So far, 63 murals have been painted across downtown Kingston on Rosemary, Luke and Water lanes, Barry Street and has moved into Hannah Town.
Paint The City falls under the arts organisation's aim to develop downtown Kingston as a creative city.
Johnson noted that Kingston Creative is fully aware that painting murals will not solve the problems of the inner-city communities located in the area, some of which include security, housing and other social amenities, but the organisation is also aiming to provide resources to spur economic activity.
“One of the things we are looking at is training and helping persons find access to markets and connections to corporate buyers. Those are some of the things we discuss at our monthly 'meet up'. This Friday the Downtown Dialogues series continues. We will be meeting with residents to discuss 'What is a Creative City?'. We will use the feedback to guide the way we move forward,” said Johnson.
Due to the pandemic, the forum will be conducted via Zoom and on the Kingston Creative YouTube page.