The Rock Tower (8 Pechon St. at Tower St., 876/922 9229, 876/509-0480, or Fidel Sutherland at 876/377-1381, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rocktower.org, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri.) also known as ROKTOWA by the artists, is an inner-city gallery that helps develop local talent by encouraging linkages between practical art and export markets. Creative Director Melinda Brown brought the concept from her pioneering studio in New York City's Meatpacking district to Downtown Kingston, where she continues her crusade for urban renewal through community art. ROKTOWA artists work in oil, clay, and alabaster, among other materials.
The Easel (134 Old Hope Rd., Liguanea Plaza by Wendy's, just above Sovereign Centre adjacent to Mothers restaurant, tel. 876/977-2067, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Wed., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Thurs.–Sat.) sells painting supplies and has a gallery with Jamaican abstract, realist, and expressionist artists represented, among them Eugene Campbell, David Pottinger, Richard Hall, and Gonzalez Barnes. The average painting sells for US$450, but prices range from US$100–2,500. The gallery is managed by Abigail Smith and Managing Director Yvonne Roach.
Revolution Gallery (44 Lady Musgrave Rd., tel. 876/946-0053, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat.) has some exceptional crafts as well as excellent work by Jamaican painter Natalie Barnes, among many more.
Island Art & Framing (Orchid Village, 20 Barbican Road, tel. 876/977-0318, email@example.com, www.islandartandframing.com) sells a wide variety of local and imported arts and crafts and can frame just about anything.
Sanaa Studios (25 Barbican Rd., behind Burger King, tel. 876/977-4792 or 876/822-7528, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sanaastudios.com, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sat.) offers classes in ceramics, drawing, painting, art photography, and jewelry making. A small gallery has a steady flow of exhibits by students and others. Drop-in rates are US$20–35 for three-hour sessions.
Amai Craft (Shop #27, Red Hills Trade Centre, 30 Red Hills Rd., tel. 876/920-9134, email@example.com, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sat.) sells paintings specializing in Jamaican intuitive, or self-taught, artists. Belgium-born Herman van Asbroeck, the proprietor, founded the gallery in 2000 but has been living in Jamaica for more than three decades. The gallery is located upstairs from the unassuming framing shop Herman runs on the ground floor.
Grosvenor Gallery (1 Grosvenor Terrace, Manor Park, tel. 876/924-6684, firstname.lastname@example.org) has contemporary art exhibits and occasional crafts fairs that brings artists and craftspeople from around Jamaica. Call for upcoming events.
The Art Centre (202 Hope Rd., across from the University of Technology, tel. 876/927-1608, email@example.com, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat., free admission) is housed in a uniquely designed apartment building commissioned by A. D. Scott in the 1960s. Inside, colorful murals adorn the walls and art is displayed on the upper two levels as part of the building's permanent collection. The gallery uses the ground floor space for its transitory exhibits. Rosemarie Thwaites is the gallery director. Paintings start around US$100. On the same compound there is an art supply and framing shop.
The Mutual Gallery (2 Oxford Rd., New Kingston, tel. 876/929-4302, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat., free admission), run by curator/director Gilou Bauer, is Kingston's most dynamic venue for new artists. The Mutual Gallery holds a yearly competition looking for trends and upcoming talent; new artists are invited to compete by submitting a catalog of works and a proposal for what they plan to do in the competition. From the initial submissions, 10 artists are then asked to submit two original pieces created for the competition. Then five or six finalists are asked to submit a minimum of three additional works, from which the winner is determined. Contestants must be Jamaican or have lived in Jamaica for at least two years. The first-prize winner receives US$1,500 and the People's Prize winner receives US$750. The five judges on the selection committee tend to be members of Jamaica's artistic and academic community. The Gallery sells many artists' work, which can be viewed in a storage/viewing room at the back, taking 30 percent gallery commission. Uptown Jamaicans and collectors are the most frequent buyers. Exhibitions are sponsored by local corporations.