PUMA.Creative in Kingston, Jamaica
Rosie Chung runs Studio 174, an artist space in the inner city. Ms Chung, aside from being a practicing artist herself, also teaches at the Edna Manley Visual and Performing Arts College, runs and self-funds Studio 174 and provides art therapy classes for children and teenagers with learning problems, medical conditions and problems with addiction. This multiplicity seems to be a norm—many artists in Jamaica wear a variety of career hats and fulfilling many functions in order to subside.
Studio 174 is a double storey space on a corner of a block that combines derelict buildings with small businesses and thriving street merchants. puma.creative meets with two painters Alicia Brown and Leasha Johnson to look at their work, discuss their goals and ambitions and invite them to create a profile on the network and connect with other art professionals within, and interested in, the Caribbean.
As one of the only spaces for emerging artists to exhibit and sell their work , Studio 174 provides an invaluable opportunity for artists who are working towards establishing their careers as full-time art professionals. Rosie explains that grant support for artists is minimal, and the collector base in Jamaica is less focused on the emerging arts making the making the possibility of being a fulltime artist unlikely.
puma.creative is introduced to Jeremy Francis, one of Jamaica’s only professional location scouts for the film industry, and photographer in his own right. Francis talks about the need to train future generations in the business of filmmaking—and the need for young trainees to gain experience both abroad and locally. As a photographer Francis works both privately and commercially, and also talks about his involvement in two organizations focused on preserving the environment in Jamaica. His input on the filmmaking is invaluable.