Tue | Jan 28, 2020

Creative juices paint vibrant picture at final 2019 Artwalk

Published:Monday | December 23, 2019 | 12:53 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
David Dunn, potter, explains the concept for some of his pieces on display at the Kingston Creative Artwalk Grand Market along Water Lane in downtown Kingston yesterday.
David Dunn, potter, explains the concept for some of his pieces on display at the Kingston Creative Artwalk Grand Market along Water Lane in downtown Kingston yesterday.

On behalf of her cousin, Victoria Lee Sylvera, Elizabeth Langdon found herself among scores of Jamaicans converging on downtown Kingston yesterday, displaying artwork at the final 2019 staging of the Kingston Creative Artwalk, along Water Lane.

Since Sylvera had to attend another art exposition yesterday, Langdon, who works closely with her, took up the mantle to showcase a series of pottery and handcrafted items.

Langdon told The Gleaner that Sylevra’s cottage industry, Touch By VLS, is run from her Stony Hill home in St Andrew, and Sylvera invites single mothers to learn how to use ceramics in various creative ways and to make a living from the artform.

“I am here selling my cousin Victoria’s pottery. ... Everything is local clay,” Landon said, showing particular fondness for her cousin’s urchin collection.

Also out to showcase his creative pieces was David Dunn, who recently retired from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

“These are all clay pottery. I have a variety of masks, tiles, bowls, pendants, jars, small plates, hand-painted tiles,” he said, showing off his collection.

Dunn expressed joy that local interest in art has grown over time due to events such as the Artwalk despite most art galleries finding it hard to keep their doors open.

“There are so many pop-ups, going on all over the country, and artists are exposing a wider variety of artwork to the locals whether it is Kingston or in the country. You find that people are now educated in different types of work. When you look at these pieces, right away, you realise they have functions and are not just beautiful,” he said.

Katherine Johnson, a volunteer with the Kingston Creative team, told The Gleaner that events such as the Artwalk are part of a larger push to restore downtown Kingston to its former glory.

“You always hear our parents saying downtown was once vibrant, and Kingston Creative is trying to bring that back. One of our main things is what you see here today. What this Artwalk does is bring artists and communities together. Sometimes we have people from Rose Town, Trench Town, Tivoli, and all over, to encourage them to bring back a certain kind of unity and to encourage business down here again,” she said. “When the place looks good, you feel good also.”

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com