Art & Culture
Art Styles In Jamaica
Jamaica Is A Muse That Has Inspired Talents For Centuries
From sculpture to pottery and painting, Jamaica has some of the most talented artists around. Find out what has influenced our art, and how we’re inspired by our island.
In Jamaica, not only is our island bursting with colour, from the misty mountain cliffs, to the tropical jungles and sky blue sea, but so are our people. Coming from all around the globe, with different customs, traditions and stories to tell, it’s no wonder we are creative in everything we do. This stands true in our art.
Our paintings, sculpture and pottery are amongst the best in the Caribbean. As we are so diverse, our artists work in a variety of styles, modes and forms, ranging from the academic to the self-taught, the surrealist and symbolist to the impressionist and social-realist. With classic and abstract forms influenced by Europe and America, and technique and colour from Africa, our pieces are truly unique and varied.
Over the years, we’ve produced some renowned artists, who we’re most proud of:
- Edna Manley, sculptor and painter.
- Albert Huie, landscape painter.
- Cecil Baugh, master potter.
- Kapo, prominent self-taught artist.
- Alvin Marriot, realist sculptor.
- Dunkley Barrington, internationally recognised artist.
- David Boxer, internationally recognised artist.
Our art is everywhere you turn. From traditional galleries and museums, to roadside spots and inner-city walls.
When you’re in Jamaica, just look around and take in our work. Browse the galleries, wander the streets in search of new
The Sounds Of The Island
We Create Music So Contagious, It Has Spread Around The World
If there’s one thing we’re well known for, it’s our music. From storytelling, to chat and gossip, if we can make music out of it, we do. See who influences us and why we love it.
This is what we’re known for, here in Jamaica. The passionate and infectious sounds of our folk music are almost like the heartbeat of our people. With origins from villages in Africa, where our forefathers mourned the passing of an ancestor, welcomed a son into the family, or celebrated the end of the harvest, folk music has been a big part of our lives.
Music has always been our tool to express ourselves, which is why our beats are full of history and stories of freedom, independence and the current political climate. The fusion of our African and European heritage has produced several forms of music that still thrive in many modern communities.
These forms fall into three main categories:
Work and entertainment
With their roots in the slavery period, these songs were used to pass messages and gossip to friends. It also lightened the load of daily chores.
The most popular forms are Kumina, Pocomania and Rastafari, and are characterised by drumming and chanting.
Our traditional dance music forms, Jonkonnu, Bruckins, Dinki Mini, Quadrille and Mento, celebrate our special holidays and events. We wear colourful costumes and have a feast.
Feel The Rhythm
Learn How We Traditionally Express Ourselves In Music
In Jamaica, there’s always a reason to dance. Whether you’re celebrating, or just walking down the street, you’ll find us Jamaicans swaying to the beat. Find out where our moves come from.
In Jamaica, dancing is part of our daily lives. We dance everywhere and for all occasions – for worship, cultural celebrations, formal events, social gatherings and to tell stories. When there’s music, our hips start to sway, hands clap and the whole family from young to old, move to the island beat.
If you treat yourself to an evening in a local club or HQ, you’ll discover many new dance moves. You can bet that every time you visit Jamaica, there will be a new style to try.
The Edna Manley School of Dance, the National Dance Theatre Company and other well-known groups keep Jamaica’s dance tradition alive with regular shows. Often the themes of their performances explore the works of Jamaican composers and artistes. They have received both local and international acclaim, exposing our dance forms to our people and the world.
For us, dancing is about expression and we recommend that you try a few moves whilst on holiday. To live is to dance, so enjoy!
Feel The Vibe
Come On And Find Your Holiday Rhythm
What really makes Jamaica the slice of paradise it is, is the gorgeous, rich culture of those who live here. Learn about our cuisine, traditions, art, language and music and find yourself falling into step with the island of All Right.