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Street Art Exhibition 'Anything With Nothing' Headed to National Gallery of Jamaica

Michael Robinson's Selassie & Anthony Brown's 'Janice' photo: Olivia McGilchrist

Kingston’s streets, or at least the art which covers its walls, will be strutting into the National Gallery of Jamaica on Sunday, May 25, 2014, with the opening of the exhibition, ‘Anything with Nothing: Art from the Streets of Urban Jamaica’. 

Anything with Nothing will explore the art that populates the city’s walls, looking at memorial murals, the occurrence of Rastafari-influenced works as well as the way these images are used to value and valorize community, cultural and political heroes.

The exhibition is  curated by NGJ Chief Curator Charles Campbell and Monique Barnett-Davidson, Assistant Curator. It will feature works originating from Matthews Lane, Denham Town, Waterhouse, and Spanish Town. The exhibition combines specially commissioned works by ten notable street artists as well as photographic and video documentation of the art and the artists at work. 

Featured artists include Kemar Black, Anthony Brown, Danny Coxone, Ricardo Lawrence (Ricky Culture), Cleaver Cunningham, Vernon Grant, Michael Robinson, Andrew Thomas (D.I) and the Rastafari Community Development Movement.

 According to a release put forward by the NGJ, ‘Anything With Nothing’ seeks to explore and uncover the social and communal value of these works of art.

“[T]he exhibition seeks to recognize these murals as an important artistic and social phenomenon that has a major impact on the visual culture of the island and the communities in which they reside,” the release said.

The exhibition opening coincides with the NGJ’s successful Last Sundays programme. The opening will be accompanied by poetry from Professor Mervyn Morris, Poet Laureate of Jamaica, the roots Reggae band Pentateuch as well as Japanese dancehall duo Ackee and Saltfish. 

Indeed, the morning can truly turn into an experience of Jamaica meets Japan as attendees will have the dual pleasure of viewing ‘Anything With Nothing’ as well as the other current exhibition Japan: Kingdom of Characters which explores the impact of characters from animation and manga on Japanese society.

The Sunday morning programme begins at 11:00 am with performances commencing at 1:30 pm. Anything With Nothing closes on July 11, 2014. The Sunday opening is free and open to the public, but the NGJ welcomes donations.