One of the most popular projects on the Jamaican contemporary art scene is the Paint Jamaica project, which has transformed the once-abandoned Fleet Street in Kingston into the most electric, art-covered street in the city. Learn more about the social street art project and the idea behind it from the founder, Marianna Farag.
CT: What is the story behind the creation of Paint Jamaica?
MF: I was always an avid traveller and a lover of art, so when I visited Jamaica in 2014 I sought out art centres, museums and artists. My search led me to Parade Gardens, an inner-city community in Kingston, where Fleet Street is located. I started to meet a lot of artists, and realised that the art scene here was incredible. Then I thought, “Why don’t we use street art to uplift communities in need?” That’s how the idea came to be.
CT: When did the project start?
MF: In April 2014, Paint Jamaica was just a thought. The project really didn’t start until July 2014, when we created two projects, each lasting about 10 to 15 days.
CT: Who are the artists involved in Paint Jamaica?
MF: The murals are created by local professional artists and the residents of Parade Gardens. Taj Francis, Kokab Zohoori-Dossa, Matthew McCarthy, Paige Taylor, Jordanne Brandy and Randy Richards are a few of the artists that have contributed. There are many others.
CT: Are there any plans to expand beyond Fleet Street?
MF: Yes – as well as outside of Jamaica. There is a complete imbalance in the number of artists in Jamaica versus the outlets available to showcase their talents. We’re working on that.
Visit Paint Jamaica’s Facebook page to discover more of the stunning artwork you can find on Fleet Street.