Tourist adds a touch of colour to MoBay

Jamaica Gleaner - - ARTS & EDUCATION -

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 allinclu­sive made-for-tourists par­adise, ex­plained: “West­ern tourists tend to re­main cap­tive to the allinclu­sive 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.

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