Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Designer Chalik Campbell to muralise Ward Theatre ceiling

Published:Sunday | March 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small
Decorative painting artist, colour consultant, muralist, and custom furniture designer Chalik Campbell.
Work done by decorative painting artist, colour consultant, muralist, and custom furniture designer Chalik Campbell.
Work done by decorative painting artist, colour consultant, muralist, and custom furniture designer Chalik Campbell.
Work done by decorative painting artist, colour consultant, muralist, and custom furniture designer Chalik Campbell.
The Ward Theatre
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Master decorative painting artist, colour consultant, muralist, and custom furniture designer Chalik Campbell has been selected to lend his expert hand to the renovation of the Ward Theatre.

To revitalise the historic building's interior, Campbell will be fashioning Venetian-style columns as well as muralising the ceiling. Campbell's concept intends that the mural will represent the essence of Jamaican music, film, and theatrical performances.

"That location has been a theatre since the 1700s, pre-dating slavery and surpassing the test of time, and so it should be more than just a national theatre," Campbell told The Sunday Gleaner.

For Campbell, his efforts will be focused on representing those who have made significant contributions to the performing arts in recent times.

"What is intrinsic is that it has a lot to do with those players who were forerunners in the performing arts. It is a place where performers never saw themselves as professionals - not until accomplishing a performance at Ward Theatre," Campbell said.

The legendary Louise Bennett-Coverly and Ranny Williams are some of the undying names who have performed on the Ward stage before the rise of their careers and the eventual degradation of the building. As such, the mural will feature the faÁades of major players in the local entertainment industry to highlight creative contributors who have existed within the last 60 to 70 years of Jamaican history.

"Though the history of The Ward Theatre is so rich where [slavery] is concerned, I'm not sure I want to bring out any of that. We have evolved - and we were slaves back then. There's no way I'd want to represent us in that light," Campbell told The Sunday Gleaner.

"How we were able to express ourselves in the capacity of being free ... . That energy fuses us together. That is the intrinsic value that attracts the world to us."

 

19 years experience

 

Campbell's experience as an interior designer spans 19 years.

Commercially, the muralist was responsible for the aesthetics of former Corporate Area restaurants StarApples, Jam Rock, and Rib Kage Bar & Grill. Campbell has also taken on private projects, with responsibility to renovate spaces from ceiling to floor. Some of his past clients include Minna Israel, Kenny Benjamin, and Tom Finson.

The multifaceted tactician has even renovated small local hotels, including the Abahati Hotel (Grovesnor Terrace) and The Caves Resort (Negril).

Outside of muralling, Campbell is the CEO of Raps Mobile Outdoor Media, a company that offers 'experiential marketing' - data-driven guerrilla marketing campaigns that takes clients directly to their target market. From ad walkers (branded street team members who travel with backpack billboards) to ad trucks, Campbell refers to experiential marketing as a "disruptive level of communication".

Campbell is also the founding director of Outdoor Cinema Jamaica, which is exactly what it sounds like. From public parks to beaches, Outdoor Cinema Jamaica offers outdoor movie experiences. He is also an official Branson Centre Entrepreneur.

kimberley.small@gleanerjm.com