For those of us who were lucky enough to spend this past Sunday taking a relaxing tour of the Liguanea Art Festival, the event provided a fantastic opportunity for supporting local artists and artisans, who continue to produce amazing work that inspires, provokes and brightens the lives of collectors.
Ideally suited to its new home of the Chinese Benevolent Association on Hope Road, the festival unequivocally captures a potent sense of Jamaica’s visual culture. Over 74 artists (photographers, sculptors, jewelry makers, painters, graphic designers) took part this year, showcasing their pieces in crisp white tents that attracted a wave of art enthusiasts, collectors and curious patrons. Regular folks and renowned figures – from Cindy Breakspeare to Delano Franklyn.
And that’s precisely the appeal of the Liguanea Art Festival, now in its 11th year: a wholesome family-oriented atmosphere, featuring tasteful cultural sights, a lively musical backdrop and a mouth-watering array of original Jamaican cuisine. TALLAWAH salutes founders June and Tony Wong of Liguanea Drug and Garden Centre – and the entire organizing team – for having the vision).
But the LAF is first and foremost an art extravaganza, and it was certainly bolstered this year by a rock-solid mix of new-generation artists (Tamarra Kirkpatrick, Andranique Morgan et al) and old-school veterans (the likes of Howard Moo-Young and Frank Marzouca) who shared space with folks representing the Institute of Jamaica, the International Youth Federation, and even the Japanese Embassy who were on hand to share elements of their culture.
At a time when Jamaica’s creative and cultural industries have arguably their greatest role to play in national development, the LAF, a truly authentic event, continues grow in colour and stature, staking its claim as an essential vehicle in the promotion of Jamaica culture and the creativity of the Jamaican people.