Gran Bahia gives Jamaican art home

While a few Jamaicans raise concerns over the growing number of Spanish hotels constructed in the tourist resort areas, the Gran Bahia Principe hotel management reaches out to all Jamaica partnering with artists.

At their Runaway Bay location, general manager Miguel Cano recently met with Anthea McGibbon, to offer her a home for the Suite Jamaica Gallery promoting arts and culture. CEO of the hotel , Pablo Pinero, is a world-reknowned art collector himself with high appreciation for Jamaican art. The hotel itself and Anthea, an artist, journalist, among other qualifications shares an over four-year-old relationship. The proposal was first made to her based on her skills, varied experience and expertise and her networking with Jamaican artists on a whole, by former general manager Geert Debruyne who now manages Mexican operations.

The developing Suite Jamaica gallery travels hotels to indulge international guests in Jamaica arts, culture especially visual arts. The entity is not-for-profit but participating artists agree to give part of their proceeds to art-related charity projects for developing the creative minds of Jamaica’s youth.

Through special events such as mini exhibitions, readings, workshops the works of artists, artisans, artistes will be exposed and sold at the Gran Bahia Principe. There will also be a promotions catalogue and special tours worked out for international visitors to meet with local artists in studio.

Opportunity is also there for promotion of products and services relating, on conditions applicable. As an added plus, Suite Jamaica staff will also speak on Spanish art and its influence on Jamaican art, with a few also being on offer for sale in the space measuring some 3,000 square feet.

The ‘galleseum’ it is hoped will be fully in operation by July month end, and maintained to first world standards, being the result of collaboration between seasoned Spanish managers and Anthea McGibbon all with vast experience in relating fields. After that the responsibilities will be assumed by Suite Jamaica staffers.

Suite Jamaica is headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica West Indies. Gallery Curator Anthea McGibbon says the overriding objectives by both hotel and management are a. exposing and selling artworks by Jamaica artists, b. earning funding for projects of OAaSIS Foundation, while c. enabling Jamaican artists to earn from their skills. d. influence an understanding of the link between the Spanish and Jamaica through the arts As a main benefit to the participating hotels, international visitors have a piece of Jamaica to take home without leaving premises, while they learn of Jamaican artists and culture, and indulge in workshops on the Jamaica arts.

Currently some Jamaicans especially with docked ‘Capitan Hook’ ship promoting Mexican pirate entertainment, see the Spanish construction as a modern day piracy plan. It is hoped that this notion will be dispelled among other benefits to Jamaican artists and country, such as an opportunity to sell and be exposed to the first world.
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