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Visual and Performing Arts Jamaica (VPAJ) opened a weeklong exhibition of Jamaican art and books, at the Jamaican High Commission, in London, yesterday (October 15).
Chairman of the company, Ms. Sharon-Fox Mould, said would be a major market penetration venture, aimed at making the cluster self-sustaining.
“This trip is actually a marketing penetration venture, so that we can get some things out of Jamaica that our creators make, as well as raise funding for the cluster to continue. This will be very important if we want the creative industry to really come into its own. The creative industry is very underserved in the Caribbean and yet it is going to be the financial base on which the country is built,” she told JIS News in an interview.
The VPAJ is an alliance of visual artists, film and television professionals, dancers and choreographers, dramatists, writers and publishers.
Mrs Fox-Mould said it was born out of co-operative efforts among practitioners in the island’s visual and performing arts as well as writers and publishers. It is one of 10 clusters supported under the European Union-funded Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
“Most people in the beginning didn’t think that such a cluster would work. However, because creativity is born out of the same type of energy, they have melded into quite a comfortable group. We are beginning to do a lot of cooperative things. The cluster concept is an EU concept and they have funded the cluster since its inception two years ago,” Mrs Fox-Mould said.
The VPAJ team in London also include jewellers, Ms. Demaris Mayne and Ms. Carol Campbell.
The exhibition, which lasts until October 22, features 40 original works of art by 12 Jamaican artists. The works include paintings, photographs and jewellery. The artists include Mr. Alphanso Blake, Mr. Ewan McAnuff, Mr. Edward Channer, Ms. Mayne, and Mr. Jeremy Francis.

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