There is an art revolution happening on Island. Local and international artists are painting beautiful multi-storey murals that celebrate the Cayman Islands’ culture and wildlife. The renaissance arguably started in 2014 with Jason Kennedy’s two-storey mural of a blue iguana playing bongos on the Cayman Cabana building in George Town. Kennedy’s piece proved popular, starting a conversation with visitors and residents alike. Today, that conversation has grown with restaurants, bars, hotels and even beauty shops competing for their walls to host the latest and greatest showstopping mural.
Carlos V. Garcia has been on the front line of this exciting trend. Since moving back to Grand Cayman six months ago, Garcia has created 10 public murals, and more in private homes and residences. His work can be found at Morritt’s Resort, Atlantis Submarines, Margaritaville, Ultra Lounge and Grill, the Cotton Club, Singh’s Roti Shop, Impressions Beauty Salon, Latin Taste Restaurant and the Cayman Turtle Centre. If the quantity of murals Garcia has created doesn’t impress you, the fact that he is a self-taught muralist should. Garcia can paint pieces from abstract to realist, with the murals usually falling somewhere in between.
Garcia’s work is not the only art popping up. KAABOO Cayman, the music festival making its debut on February 15, 2019, is also adding to the local street art scene. Jason Felts, KAABOO’s chief brand officer, explains: “Art has been an integral part of the KAABOO brand from its start.” Grand Cayman is proving no exception, as the festival has already seen the creation of three murals — on Mail Boxes Etc, the Esterley Tibbetts Highway and West Bay Road. Felts continues, “In Cayman, we set out to design a programme which would allow us to connect with the local artists and art enthusiasts.” The murals are doing just that. People are wondering who painted them and what they mean, continuing an important conversation on public art.
Amandalynn, KAABOO’s artistic director, describes painting murals as a freeing and personal experience and hopes that the initial KAABOO mural programme will inspire others to create more murals on the Island.
Amandalynn goes on to say, “I have found that murals bring communities together, by not only creating a beautiful image but by also creating a destination for people to return to over and over again.” Just like a moth to the flame, the whole island is paying attention to Grand Cayman’s technicolour revolution, vying to be the first to see the latest creations.
Author Rachel Hartman said, “Art is a conversation we are all invited to”; however, in this case the conversation is coming to us — in big, bold, beautiful, brushstrokes 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide.
Flights of Fancy
Amandalynn explains that the inspiration for her mural behind the Esterley Tibbetts Highway came from local butterflies: “I was inspired by the local flora and fauna of Grand Cayman. I had a very magical experience after our first mural project on Island, where I was surrounded by a flock of white butterflies.”
The Sir Turtle Rewards programme encourages Cayman Airways Frequent Flyer members to support local nonprofit groups/organisations and causes by donating their accumulated air miles. Find out more on caymanairways.com.
Author: Stacie Sybersma