ArtBeats #Live celebrates the arts
It was a heady mix of fine arts, music, poetry, dance and vibrant energy. On Sunday, November 25, the fourth staging of the annual Osmosis Caribbean ArtBeats showcase at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston took the evening to a crescendo.
ArtBeats #Live was a beautiful example of what happens when the visual, literary and performing arts communicate and collaborate.
Patrons were awed with the selection of fine art across all genres from artists such as Lennox Coke, Mark Bell, Karen Carter, Ray Jackson, Devon Garcia, Coyotito Bennett, Aretha Facey, Leonia McKoy, David Dunn, Allan Richards, Fitz Mitchell, Antonio Scott among the scores of young and established artists.
Also on display were works of Alao Luqman, cultural diplomat appointed by the High Commission of Nigeria in Jamaica.
"We are honouring and recognising the arts in all its forms," said Karen Carter, managing partner of Osmosis Caribbean, which is an online fine art gallery. "There is immense talent in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, and ArtBeats is an effort to highlight that talent."
The guests were treated with gorgeous handmade jewellery made by Chupse, brand name of Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities who had on display and sale pieces made from Blue Mountain Coffee beans and fish scales, interwoven or mixed with crochet.
But, if anyone was expecting that they were there to view the arts, they were in for a surprise - it was a full artistic treat on Sunday.
The space was transformed with great art, great craft and the best dancers and poets Jamaica has to offer, plus a couple of talented solos performed by Courick Clarke and talented 'mus buss' young singer Janelle, a 14-year-old whose impeccable rendition was awe-inspiring.
The art enthusiasts who were at Legacy Suite on Sunday gorged on all elements of the fine arts, the brew of coffee served by CafÈ Blue and wines by Cro Wines from the vineyards of Croatia brewed the senses.
Legendary poet, Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris, Jamaica's first Poet Laureate, shared the ArtBeats #Live stage with other poets.
The other poets included multiple JCDC gold-medal awardee, master drummer and eclectic spoken-word artist, Mbala, and Darren Salman, whose God-centric delivery inspired and convicted at times.
Yours truly, whose second book, Kingston Buttercup, was one of three vying for the top poetry prize in the 2017 Bocas Prize, and Iowa Writing Programme and Bread Loaf writers' Conference Fellow, Millicent Graham, who read art-inspired poems from her two books, were the others who joined in this showcase.
The evening was hosted by Roxene Nickle and DJ Edson from Kool 97FM set the tone with specially selected music.
Osmosis Caribbean through ArtBeats, which serves as a platform for artists, lived up to the #Live, as patrons were treated to a flash mob on Afrobeat mix and a captivating dance performance on Rasanbleman by the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, School of Dance students - choreographed by Kerri Ann Henry, vice-principal, administration and resource development.
"This is a celebration of the arts," said Carter.
It was a celebration, indeed, of the best that Jamaican and wider Caribbean creative talent has to offer.
ArtBeats #Live was sponsored by Sagicor Group, JPS, CafÈ Blue, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, CGM Gallagher and Cro-Wines.