• Lucie

Let's Paint The City Kingston Style

Updated: Jul 17, 2019

On the last Sunday of June I was invited through Love Not Likes Ja to Kingston Creative's Art Walk that was held downtown at FnB Downtown. I was excited because I've always wanted to go and my alumni school (Edna Manley College) had an exhibition that was a part of it as well.

What is Art Walk?

The Kingston Creative Art walk is a well-curated and growing collection of performances, music and art. Kingston Creative art walk is a movement with a mission to make downtown Kingston a vibrant center for creatives and creative entrepreneurship in the Caribbean. They are developing Downtown to be an arts district and an entrepreneurship hub to provide a vibrant space for creative entrepreneurs to gather and to thrive. By driving entrepreneurship and activities, they are optimistic that Downtown will become an art and culture hub similar to Wynwood Art District in Miami, USA. These activities will encourage development and will leverage some of our most underutilized assets which includes the history and architecture of Downtown, the natural beauty of Kingston Harbor and key locations such as the National Gallery and the Ward Theater. This will for strengthen local identity and grow the economy which will in turn be a more livable inner city, with a demographic of creative, active and engaged citizens.

For this particular Art Walk the activities included community yoga, a photography exhibition by The Trio, Resonances exhibition by Edna Manley College, entertainment by Pandoridim Steel Band and Alpha Boys' Band, and a ride across Kingston. By all means we weren't able to do all of these activities. We were only able to view the exhibitions, check out the street market and of course dine at FnB Downtown. Below is a schedule of the day's activities.

FnB Downtown is not just a restaurant. It's also a bar and lounge, store and exhibition space. It will soon add to its list a working space or hub for creatives. Our host Craig Phang Sang who is an award winning photographer greeted us on our arrival and gave us the full run down of activities for the afternoon. He suggested that we start with the Resonances exhibition.

So we started our 3 minute walk down the street to view the Resonances Exhibition which is a selection from the 2019 Edna Manley College final year students curated by Veerle Poupeye. Speaking with Veerle about how she went about selecting the students for the exhibition and her answer was simple, she chose these six students as they all had a common thread or relation to the theme that they were going for as well as these pieces went well with the space they had rented. The talented students chosen were Trishaunna Henry, Joni P. Gordon, Leanne Mair, Yulanah Mullings, Mark Robinson, and Keisha Walters.

Edna Manley Resonances:

Selections from 2019 Edna Manley College Final Year Exhibition

Even though it was a Sunday the street was busy with art enthusiasts soaking up all the activities and enjoying the steel band music playing by the Pandoridim Steel Band. After walking for a few minutes we came across the Resonances sign and we entered the space. The space or building was worn and old and had a vintage, under construction vibe. Immediately upon entering, the first thing that got my attention was the "Cinderella dress" on a mannequin, but it wasn't the dress that was interesting but the words that were written on the dress.

Another favorite was imaginative creatures created in realistic form and I particularly liked the one below.

But the entire collection for the exhibition was wonderful and I quite enjoyed it. I would love to go into my interpretation of all the art but that's for another post. Instead what do you think about the pieces?. Comment below and let's start an art conversation.

FNB Downtown

After viewing the Resonances exhibition we went back down the street to FnB Downtown for lunch. First, let me just say the staff were so friendly. Now let's talk about the food. Delicious! simply delicious! I had the oxtails and beans with rice and peas and let me tell you I couldn't help myself but to use my fingers to get the last piece of meat on the bones. It was just really tasty. Fellow bloggers Sue-Tanya and Ronnia had the Ratatouille and they said they liked it a lot. Ornella had the chicken Alfredo and she expressed that it was quite good as well.

They have an eclectic menu with something for everyone. You'll find salads, Jamaican dishes, homemade soups, Italian style pastas, wraps, sandwiches and more. Also ask about their daily specials. I can't forget about the drinks. They have a wide range of cocktails, beers, wines and other beverages. All in all I think FnB Downtown is a great place to have lunch and if your in a mood to just chill, drink and chat they have a lounge and bar where you can rest easy with a beer and unwind.

Market Street

After filling our bellies we checked out the Market Street which was behind the FnB Downtown building. Andrea Dempster Chung founder of Kingston Creative gave us an overview about market street and the Art Walk event. Then she gave us a tour of the market where we were introduced to various creatives and guess who we saw? Mutabaruka! It was clear to see that the Art Walk had a wide range of supporters from both local and abroad.

After walking through market street we went over to Fleet Street to take some photos and visit Life Yard. At Life Yard we chilled in the garden and met up with Danijah, a multi award winning writer who informed us about a writing program for children that he founded, but I'm going to talk more about that program in my next post.

All in all we had a great time at the Art Walk and learned a lot about the #paintthecity movement. Definitely follow Kingston Creative on Instagram @kingstoncreative and join their mailing list to keep up with the latest events and details for the next Art Walk. Join the movement and use the hashtags #paintthecity and #KingstonCreative #DKAD on social media.

Check out my vlog of the Kingston Creative Art Walk

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