Ever heard of or been to KOTE? That stands for Kingston on the Edge and is an urban art festival that happens every year in Kingston. If you’ve never been, don’t feel bad, I haven’t either but have always heard of it and with an interest in expanding my social circle and calendar I have decided that this year that will change. After watching the promotional video of Kingston on the Edge and seeing not one face that I recognised (except of course the ever-present artist LA Lewis -_-) I decided that this was a good move for me. Here’s a description of KOTE from their website:
Kingston on the Edge (KOTE) is the brainchild of five friends (Beatriz Pozueta, Carolyn Lazarus, Enola Williams, Joaquin Portocarero and Omar Francis) who wanted to showcase Jamaican artists in a creative and free manner. The festival is a weeklong celebration of art and the artists who live and work in and/or are inspired by the city of Kingston, and has quickly become a much anticipated fixture on the local art calendar.
Providing a forum outside of the traditional spaces, the Festival allows the artists to express themselves and push the boundaries and definitions of their art and offers an opportunity for artists, venues and the general public to interact creatively, with a view to developing and harnessing the incredible artistic potential of Jamaica. We have found that this environment motivates and inspires the artist to experiment with their work, often leading to the birth of new and exciting movements in the local scene.
The festival features painting, sculpture, photography, film, poetry, dance, theatre, music, performance art, installations and anything else one can think of in the realm of artistic expression, and is the only one of its kind in the country.
Here’s the video that I watched that peaked my interest even more.
They have a full schedule of activities as you can imagine and one such activity is the Social Atrocities exhibition put on by my little munchkin’s Uncle and Aunt who are both artists themselves and met at art school. From their camp:
On Thursday June 26th, the Olympia Gallery and House of the Arts will host the opening reception for a highly anticipated fine art exhibition dubbed “Social Atrocities.” Three local artists will
display paintings addressing social issues often ignored or overlooked. Though they all have varying styles of execution their main aim is synonymous; to allow the viewer to question their realities and acknowledge unavoidable truths. These young Jamaican artists seek your assistance with creating an impact surrounding various cultures and classes while using their art as a tool to document social activities and personal views on reality. Come on out and show your support for contemporary Jamaican Art.There is no cover charge however patrons will be accommodated in purchasing their favourite pieces. This event is a part of the K.O.T.E. Urban Arts Festival 2014.
“Your greatest obstacle is yourself.”
“My interests and heartfelt passion has never wondered in the direction of another career path,” he told the HOA Team as we picked his brain in an effort to understand him better. More particularly, he strongly believes that growth is inevitable for this field and all those involved in it.
He admires a string of phenomenal artist who have gone ahead of him and paved the way for present and future artists.
Here you will see a rebel who seeks to mirror the reflections of the society through representational visual narratives. Kimani Beckford, 2011 Prime Minister’s Youth Award recipient for Arts and Culture, appreciates pieces that not only attack social issues head on but ones can pull on emotions and feelings making them profoundly indescribable. His body of work that will be on display was influenced by curiosity and interest from his immediate environment, the environment of friends and family as well as various elements from the wider world.
Beckford’s next big step is to be signed with a well-known gallery, an opportunity he hopes will accommodate much exposure for him and his work.He also has high hopes for the future of Jamaican Art. “I foresee different movements emerging and with that, Jamaican visual art will have a stronger spot in the history of art.”
Intrigued? Are you an art lover? Come out and explore! See more on houseofthearts.org