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KOTE 2014 - Social Atrocities

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.

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.”

This figurative painter sees himself as a filter between society (the art public) and art (images created). Greg Bailey magnetized inspiration from Jamaica’s social landscape to fuel the fire behind the body of work that will be on display at this month’s anticipated upcoming exhibition, “Social Atrocities.”Bailey has high hopes for the future of Jamaican art considering he himself ‘answered a calling’ when he decided to pursue a career in this field.

“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.

To date, his biggest achievement as a creative being has been exhibiting at the 2012 National Biennial at the National Gallery of Jamaica.


She loves to create three-dimensional (3D) objects while learning and implementing various techniques across the board of the art spectrum (textiles, painting, weaving etc). For this body of work, long time painter, Monique Lofters, decided to utilize bright colours and gem tones, after having stepped away from chiaroscuro (an effect of contrasted light and shadow) for now. The body of work that she will be displaying come June 26th at The Olympia Gallery is dubbed “All that’s Glitter…All that’s Gold.”

The inspiration for this name and theme came along by way of a song from recording artist Rebbecca Furguson called “Glitter & Gold.” Lofters fell in love with the song more and more each time she listened to it. She saw this as an opportunity to reflect on our the state of our changing cultures around the world. Her observations concluded that vanity overtook the preservation of culture and roots.

Lofters has been practicing art from as early as the age of ten, when she became a member of the art club at Quest Preparatory. She had this advice for other artists with regards to inspiration, “Don’t wait on inspiration only to come your way, that may be once in a blue moon. Continue to push yourself through reading, interacting with other artist and travel, travel, travel.”

Her greatest achievement to date is participating in two international exhibitions, one of which was in London,England through the Black Circle Gallery by Theresea Roberts and had a few pieces sold. She intends to continue this body of work, pushing the boundaries as an extended series which she is hoping can travel beyond Kingston.


“Spend more time with persons who are greater than you in what you do best.”

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 lauds “The energy and support from fellow artists” as his reason for continuing his journey as a visual artist. When asked by our team what was the most important thing he has learnt as an artist, this is what he had to say. “Art is undefinable, it is difficult choosing to become an artist. There is no transition really in becoming, you have to grow being the artist. Picasso once said, ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up’.”

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.”

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