'Interested in Art. Interested in Jamaica. Sometimes those interests collide as I experience the world globally.'
ART:Jamaica began as a teaching aid for Fine Arts and Foundation students at Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts. in Kingston, Jamaica. From the beginning it has been designed edited and maintained by Jamaican artist, Oneika Russell. Overtime the blog has gone through various changes from acting as a Notice Board, to a review column to features page. It is still evolving and hopefully growing. ART:Jamaica hopefully enables connections which may in some small way discuss, document and contribute to the Arts in Jamaica.
5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY COMING SOON!
In November this year, this blog will turn 5. So much has happened in that time. I was originally inspired to start this blog back in 2006 for three reasons:
1. The PROJECT GALVANIZE blog that Trinidadian Artist Mario Lewis was involved in and told me about. That blog really showed that the life within an art scene could be documented and seen by the world in a very easy way.
2. When I put on my first solo show at Edna Manley's CAG[e] gallery in 2006. The show was something I had put great amounts of work into, as artists do, and I felt like newspapers were not at all interested in covering it as an art event. Perhaps because it was a new alternative space or because I was not old enough to be in an established collection or because I wasn't a galleryist contacting the papers . Either way it was a frustrating time for me
3. I had just begun teaching 'Time-based Media' at Edna Manley College and wanted to give students a new media option to talk about Art.
So in combination I started to think that if I was having this problem, maybe other artists were having the same problem as well. Many of the larger newspapers would do really nice spreads on established gallery events and highly collected items of an older generation. This is true globally but I decided that I could maybe try to contribute to that area at least locally. The established older generation of artists certainly deserve their props but there seemed a kind of neglect at the time of the things the younger generation of contemporary artists were up to. So while many of the original reasons and inspirations for starting the blog have changed or are changing, I continue doing it because I think Contemporary Art is a fascinating thing. I am really interested in how artists organize themselves apart from the gallery system. In an area where there seemed to be a focus on exhibitions and not much on processes, ideas etc. I wanted to showcase that a bit as a kind of public document to add to what the world understands the 'Jamaican Art Scene' to be about.
So hopefully with your help we can go forward to see another 5 years even more successfully. I am always happy when creatives share interesting aspects and details about their work and events etc., so feel free to participate. See submission info on our 'Info' page.
Thanks to some great teachers at Edna Manley College and Goldsmiths College as well as experiences at The National Gallery of Jamaica for encouraging particular directions.