How will the arts fare in this new realm that has opened up in the year 2020? Some say that the arts sector has been democratised, because the new surge in virtual art events allows people from all walks of life to participate in what were previously billed as exclusive art events. The UK National Theatre is airing a production of “Small Island” by Jamaican author Andrea Levy on Youtube, which anyone can now watch for free. Frieze New York and Art Basel also went online, offering high-value works to remote buyers. Notable sales include a painting by Louise Bourgeois bought for $1.5 million, and a 2020 George Condo painting, purchased for $1.4 million. For these art galleries, the investment in setting up their online presence and going virtual has definitely paid off.
In Jamaica, virtual art events are also trending. This weekend, Kingston Creative launches its fourth month of Virtual Art experiences starting with the Virtual Meetup on Friday June 26th which kick-starts a weekend filled with a series of virtual events. From the convenience of home, viewers can enjoy a live performance by Runkus (IG @runkusmusic @runkusinno) and then join Miriam Hinds Smith – Dean of School of Visual Arts, EMCVPA, Nicola Byron – Managing Director, Island Art and Framing, Lennox Coke – Fine Artist, Romaine McNeil – Visual Artist and Moderator – Veerle Poupeye, Art District Development consultant discussing whether Virtual Art shows are just a fad or the way of the future.
The panelists discuss a sustainable future for the visual arts and look at the role of visual artists in social justice, human rights and movements like Black Lives Matter. Will the digital divide create even more of a gap as culture goes online? Those without access to devices or data may be left behind – and how can this be avoided? Join the inspiring, thought provoking conversations at the Creative Meetup on Friday at 5:00 pm on Zoom and have your say. To join the Meetup, register via Eventbrite or visit the link to the registration form on the Kingston Creative IG page for access to the event (https://www.instagram.com/kingstoncreativejm/).
On Sunday June 28, Visual Arts will be in the limelight as Kingston Creative highlights Jamaican painters, photographers and sculptors in the 4th edition of the Kingston Creative Virtual Artwalk. The Virtual Artwalk demonstrates one of the ways in which artists can overcome the negative impacts of COVID-19 by taking the Artwalk that previously physically took over the streets of Downtown Kingston to the virtual platform on Instagram (Instagram live and IGTV).
The virtual festival from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm celebrates the art as it strives amidst the covid-19 pandemic showcasing several mini-features from a range of artists including; The Jamaica Photography Society, Richard Nattoo – Visual Artist, the National Gallery Virtual “Last Sundays” performance and a Mural Tour of Water Lane, Downtown Kingston. The Artwalk not only displays artists’ work but also provides a means for art lovers to contact the artists and shop for their favourite and authentic Jamaican artwork.
Just before the Virtual Artwalk we wake up our creative spirit with Virtual Yoga with Andrea Molnar at 10:30 am, harmonizing body, mind and the environment. Later on at 4:00 pm we cosy up virtually to have a friendly chat with artists on their creative journey on IG Live for an Emerging Artist Talk with Morgan Creque, a representative from the Curatorial Studies class at the EMCVP, where we engage in conversations centred around the life and works of young and upcoming artists. Get to know people like you who are on their journey towards that dream of fulfilling their creative calling! Hear their stories, ask the questions you seek answers to, hear how they brave this new world in real time.
So the line up in summary:
- Friday June 26th
- 5:00pm – The Creative Meetup
- Sunday June 28th
- 10:30 am – Yoga with Andrea Molinar
- 11:00 am – The Virtual Artwalk – with National Gallery of Jamaica
- 4:00 pm – Emerging Artist Talk
So much to gain from all these events! Try not to miss a moment, but if you can’t be present for all the events, join when you can. Look out for the agenda on Instagram for a more detailed outline of the events.