Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Tourist adds a touch of colour to MoBay

Published:Sunday | November 20, 2016 | 12:00 AM

A mural depicting a bird appeared near the craft market in downtown Montego Bay last Sunday. International artist Anthea Missy set herself to embellishing a public wall that was used as a trash-collection spot, complete with the pungent smell of urine, right in front of the tourist-centred Harbour Street market.

The artist, who spent 10 days in Jamaica backpacking along the coast out of the all-inclusive made-for-tourists paradise, explained: "Western tourists tend to remain captive to the all-inclusive resorts because they look new and feel safe. If the streets downtown looked brighter, tourists would feel more (comfortable) to come downtown, thus galvanising tourism that directly benefits the local economy."

Westerners stay behind the walls of their resorts where it is all shiny and new. Art can break this wall and encourage them to discover local flavours of Jamaica in downtown Montego Bay.

"I painted a bird because, to me, Jamaica is all about the fresh taste of nature, and I believe that if it is reflected in the local streets, it would make a big difference for local tourism."

Prior to painting the wall, the artist had spoken to the St James Parish Council, which showed a positive interest in having visible art in the streets of Montego Bay.