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Digicel mural creates stir on the waterfront

Published:Sunday | August 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Dale bedasse of Edna Manley College puts some final touches on her creation
A boy walks in front of artwork done by students of the Edna Manley College on a fence surrounding the construction site for the new Digicel head office in Kingston.
A section of the mural on the fence surrounding the construction site of Digicel's head office in Kingston.
Esther Chin of Edna Manley College puts some final touches on her creation. - photos by Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

There's a new addition to downtown Kingston that has been creating a lot of buzz recently, even though it's still a work in progress. A colourful and captivating mural being created on the zinc fence surrounding what will become phone giant Digicel's headquarters on the scenic Kingston waterfront has been attracting visitors daily.

There's nothing strange about a zinc fence being used to surround a construction site, but Digicel, a company known to set trends with inventive marketing strategies, has turned the temporary fence surrounding its construction site, into an eye-catching talking point for people in the area.

With the help of the National Gallery, Digicel commissioned artists, some from Edna Manley College of the Visual Arts, to create the mural. The work on the ground is being coordinated by Stanford Watson, known for his experience with community art projects.

"This is really a representation of downtown culture. The artists are really allowed to use their creativity to come up with the designs. The plan is to engage people on different levels," he said, adding that the response from passers-by has been positive.

"People stop here every day and take pictures. There are artists who even stop and tell us that they would like to get involved, even for free," he said.

Digicel's Brendan Ahern, who has responsibility for the site, said the mural has turned out even better than expected.

"We knew the talent was there. This is part of Digicel's plan to bring life back to downtown Kingston, " he said.