Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
Art enthusiast Hyacinth McDonald is gearing up to host a monthly event aimed at promoting Jamaican art and culture. It will be hosted at Décor VIII, 8 Hillcrest Avenue, St Andrew, and is expected to give patrons a vivid display of various art forms.
According to McDonald, she wants to create an atmosphere where artists can express their talent through music, painting, sculptures and drawing, among other forms.
The location is also the former residence and rehearsal space of cultural icon Dr Olive Lewin and, as such, McDonald feels it is appropriate. "We have an art gallery here and we think this place is more than just art; it is culture. This is where Dr Olive Lewin once lived and the spirit of music and culture lives in this place, and we wanted to keep that alive," she said.
Each staging will feature guest performances from musicians as well as established and up-and-coming poets. McDonald said her main intention is to develop a comfortable atmosphere to facilitate cultural education through entertainment. "We want to create this atmosphere where people can come and chill and have some good music. We don't want to lose what the place had, and we also want to educate people on culture because culture is dying in Jamaica, and we want to hold on to what we have," she said.
McDonald, who is also the director of Décor VIII, said persons should be interested in the event because it can take them on a cultural journey. "This event is about education. A lot of young people don't know much about culture, just reggae and dancehall, but here we will be able to take you through a cultural journey without even putting you in a classroom. When you come to this event, you won't want to leave, because it feels so good," McDonald said.
The events are due to start on the last Saturday of September and continue every last Saturday. Gates will open at 3 p.m and admission is free.
In recent months McDonald, through Décor VIII, has presented a series of exhibitions, an art auction and the launch of an art market.
"Décor VIII events are a little different. We are always incorporating culture. Be it through Phillip Supersad and his drummers, the Jamaican Folk Singers, a steel pan group or merely a pianist. That addition of musical talent is what goes hand in hand with Jamaican art and, of course, what makes our events so much more fun," McDonald said.