Jamaican Arts Odyssey: see & experience beyond sun & sand

Jamaica’s Great Huts resort is a pioneer for the Caribbean with what may prove to be a proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: art tourism. In its latest initiative, Jamaican Arts Odyssey, visitors to Great Huts, Port Antonio, Jamaica, can enjoy a number of the island’s galleries and museums and meet some of Jamaica’s renowned artists. The Jamaican Arts Odyssey will be offered between May 14-22 and July 9-17, 2011 and will afford visitors the vibrant, creative, side of Jamaica. For Suriname, Jamaica is very important because of the visual artists who were able to study at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

A brilliant idea, which might be worthwhile to explore for a larger area: a Caribbean Arts Odyssey … Or different editions … What about a Sranan Arts Odyssey?

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The week-long journey includes a discussion on the painters and sculptors of Jamaica, and visits to parks and historic sites. Among the galleries to be visited are the Mutual, Olympia, GrosvenorBolivar and Harmony Hall galleries with keynote presentations by noted curators Rosemary Thwaites and Gilou Bauer. Also featured are visits to The National Gallery of Jamaica, which also has an interesting blog, and the studio of preeminent Jamaican sculptor Gene Pearson.

Edna Manley - Horse of the Morning, 1943, Guatemalan redwood, height: 129.5cm, Edna Manley Memorial Collection National Gallery of Jamaica, Gift of the Hon. Michael Manley / PHOTO Jeff Plokonska, courtesy National Gallery of Jamaica
Albert Huie - Crop Time, c. 1955, acrylic on board, 87x99cm, collection: The National Gallery of Jamaica / PHOTO Courtesy National Gallery of Jamaica
Gene Pearson - Mother, 1992, bronze, height: 57cm, The Aaron & Marjorie Matalon Collection / PHOTO Courtesy National Gallery of Jamaica, 2011

Dr. Paul Rhodes, proprietor of Great Huts, recounted how each of the cultural programs he packaged, involves his passion. “I am a lover of the visual arts and have developed programs which aspire to educate and stimulate the vitality and imaginations of guests in the areas of history, black consciousness and pride, spirituality and the visual and performing arts.”

Dr. Paul Rhodes / PHOTO Courtesy Great Huts, 2011

The US$750 eight-night package price for Jamaican Arts Odyssey includes a daily Jamaican breakfast, accommodations at The Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston and Great Huts in Port Antonio, tours, receptions, select meals and taxes. Airfare is additional.

In addition to its existing faith-based packages to Jewish, Christian and other believers for the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons, Great Huts wants to tap the art market. According to Dr. Rhodes, Great Huts is a “canvas and an expression of creativity especially in the zone of Afro-centric Jamaican art by intuitive carvers, painters, sculptors and ceramicists.”
The upcoming Jamaican Arts Odyssey, asserted Dr Rhodes, will give visitors an opportunity to “see and experience a Jamaica beyond the sun and sand, enjoy Great Huts resort and the creativity of the Jamaican people, as well as the capital city Kingston as they make new friends in the process.”

The Jamaican Arts Odyssey will be held twice annually and become another opportunity for students, practitioners and collectors of art to learn, enjoy and acquire beautiful pieces of art, if Dr. Rhodes has his way. “There is no pressure to purchase so visitors may simply experience the vibrant visual arts scene in Jamaica, choose to buy a book or perhaps crate and ship a new collection to keep a part of Jamaica in their home or gallery.”

Free sessions open to all

The following art programs and lectures are open to all at no cost. Ground transportation from the Pegasus to the galleries and refreshments are gladly shared. Buses to galleries will leave 60 minutes before each event. RSVP 350-0077 advised but not required.

Saturday, May 14, 18:00 – The Columbus Restaurant, the Pegasus, presentation by Mazola ‘What is art and how is it created?’

Sunday, May 15, 14:00 – At the Grosvernor Gallery, presentation by Douglas Reid

Sunday, May 15, 18:00 – At the Bolivar Gallery, presentation by Hugh Dunphy

Monday, May 16, 10:00 – At the Mutual Gallery, presentation by Gilou Bauer

Monday, May 16, 14:00 – At the Olympia Gallery, presentation by Rosemary Thwaites

Wednesday, May 18, 19:00 – Great huts Resort, The Interplay of Art Culture and History in Jamaica   (transportation to Great Huts Boston Bay is NOT provided)

Thursday, May 19, 17:00 – Harmony Hall, near Ocho Rios, presentation on Jamaican Art (transportation to Harmony Hall is NOT provided)

Saturday, May 21, 17:00-18:00 hrs – Great Huts Resort, discussion on Pop Art followed by cultural show of African

For further information, contact Dr. Paul Rhodes at + 1 876 350-0077, email  info@GreatHuts.com or visit the website. Curators Rosemary Thwaites and Gilou Bauer can be reached on + 1 876 927-1608 and  + 1 876 453-5630 respectively.

About Great Huts

Built upon a four-plus acre plateau atop the northeast point of the Jamaican coast, Great Huts is an intimate vacation village of comfortably furnished dwellings, including Wi-Fi in communal areas, expansive cliff side views with dining areas, hammocks everywhere, a lovely beach and a sea pool. Activities range from total relaxation and quiet water sports to dramatic day trips such as valley hiking, river rafting, mountain climbing or a visit to a Kingston museum, gallery or historical/spiritual attraction.

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