The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) have partnered on a multidimensional mural project titled, ‘Paint Up Yu Creative Space’.
The project, which will be undertaken in three phases, aims to promote the international designations Kingston has received and highlight opportunities for Kingston to showcase, in creative ways, the essence of its culture.
It also aims to use art as a focal point and attract visitors to communities within the city, create satellite enterprises for community tourism projects and economic generating activities, promote social and community enterprises locally, and beautify and rejuvenate the capital city.
This was stated by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, during her participation in the monthly meeting of the KSAMC in downtown Kingston on December 10.
“By utilising walls, fences, buildings and public spaces in and around the creative city, Paint Up Yu Creative Space will draw on the creativity and artistic talents of the community to reflect our identity in mural form and frame. The aim is to change how art is viewed by communities and identify ways of allowing sections or whole communities to become a part of living art,” she said.
The Minister added that the murals will be a must-see place of interest for locals and visitors.
Ms. Grange said under Phase One of the project, a wall on Temple Lane has been identified and is earmarked for painting.
She noted that painting is expected to commence shortly, adding that the Ministry and the KSAMC are already in receipt of the design concept and will commission the mural in a matter of days.
“We are also in dialogue with the Mexican Embassy in Jamaica to invite and host with Mr. Irvin Gomez, an internationally renowned muralist, to paint interpretative wall art also along Temple Lane. We are in dialogue with the Mexican Embassy for Mr. Gomez to host a workshop at the Edna Manley College with students and fellow street artistes to share know-how and techniques,” Ms. Grange said.
She noted that at the end of the exercise, a Jamaican artist will be afforded the opportunity to paint a similar mural in Mexico, adding that the gesture will further cement Jamaica’s long-standing cultural and bilateral cooperation with Mexico.
“This mural will be done in February in Reggae Month,” Ms. Grange informed.
She said under Phase Two, two separate walls that have been identified within the vicinity of the Coronation Market will be painted within the next six months.
“The Mayor has already committed to rehabilitating those walls, so that they can accommodate works of art which embody the ethos… and the people who have bought and sold goods and services at this historic and cultural space,” she said.
Ms. Grange noted that Phase Three of the project will see the internationalisation of a perimeter wall identified at Flag Circle along the city’s waterfront.
“The aim is to invite embassies and permanent missions to commission pieces of art on the perimeter wall, which represents the friendship and cooperation both countries continue to experience,” she explained.
Ms. Grange said the Ministry and the KSAMC will conduct the necessary preparatory work to get the apportioned sections rendered and primed to allow for painting.
“Corporate sponsors will be asked to come on board and partner with us on the new downtown Kingston. At the end of the process, all the murals painted within the creative city will be joined together and displayed on a Creative Jamaica App that will provide information on the locations of the murals, the artistes who worked on them as well as the inspiration which gave birth to the mural,” she said
She pointed out that the murals and the app will provide not just a place of interest but a platform for branding and for promotion.
“This venture, if fully supported, can become the glue which binds our individual task into a collective masterpiece,” she argued.
Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, said the project is aimed at the continued beautification of the city.
Councillors on both sides of the political divide expressed appreciation for the undertaking.