Exhibition Billboard can be found here on Facebook and an interview with one of its founders, artist, Camille Chedda follows below
What is Exhibition Billboard and what is the idea/ aim behind it?
Exhibition Billboard Jamaica is a facebook group I created to inform people of exhibitions or art events in Jamaica and exhibitions featuring Jamaican artists internationally. This applies to all visual arts i.e fine arts, applied arts and includes spreading information about art sales, classes, fairs and lectures.
How does it work if I am interested in posting my event or attending an event?
Members of the group can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with information about any event they would like to see on the group page. I generally provide links to pages outside of the group that others have created to promote their art events.
Do you attend the events and if so is there any kind of reportage or documentation or plans to do so in future?
I have not been to most of the events because I am operating out of town (most events are Kingston based). Documentation is something I would like to do in the future for the group. For now I’m relying on the Gleaner/Observer to provide feedback on events, but these sources tend to be inadequate at times because they don’t always report on these shows.
When was it started and what are your plans for developing this initiative?
This group was started in the latter part of 2008. So far I have had positive feedback, but I would like to play a more active role in attending events and providing information about them. I would also like to get more people involved in developing the group to make it more interactive. I would like to have more dialogue about shows. I suppose this could be extended into a blog such as artjamaica.blogspot.com.
How do you see this activity in your role also as an arts practitioner?
Its been beneficial for me. It is important that people see your talents and unique ideas. I think its sad if your works are on display in a gallery or an art fair and no one is there to see it. You get no feedback, you get no sales. I think it's my job to spread awareness of art happenings so that both the artist and the art viewer will benefit.
Is being a kind of arts journalist changing your outlook or place within the arts scene?
Not sure if I can answer this one since Ive not been attending much of the shows.
How does a social network like Facebook allow you to devote time to providing this service?
It makes it easy for me to reach people outside the usual art crowd and get them to see art. Facebook has become a daily staple in people's lives so I found it useful in reaching a wide range of people.
What are the kind of trends/changes you are seeing in the 'Jamaican Arts Scene' with your work with Exhibition Billboard?
I know that people are more aware of art happenings. People use the group as a calendar of events and have been able to plan their time around seeing an exhibition or attending an art class. Art events are getting the notice they deserve. People outside the general art circle are getting involved in viewing art. The Jamaican art scene is growing as a result.
ART:Jamaica is closing out. This site has been edited and written mostly by practicing visual artist & lecturer, Oneika Russell, since 2006. There are a couple of projects that will be keeping me busy for a while. Thanks for your support and I will continue to maintain our Facebook group and page however. For further inquiry, reach me at Oneika Russell on Facebook or @oneikarussell on Instagram and Twitter.