Friday, April 24, 2015

Osmosis launch photos

Osmosis (link here) has positioned itself to be the
Caribbean's premier online arts portal.
I think it's an awesome idea!
Here are pictures from the launch,
which took place at Decor VIII,
(7 Hillcrest Avenue, Kingston, Jamaica), recently

Osmosis conceptualiser, Amitabh Sharma (second left) is surrounded by a
bevvy of beauties from left Heather Smith, Karen Carter and Wendy Jumpp.

Phillip Supersad plays the flute and accompanying drummers join in the beat.

Julian Robinson, minister of state in the Ministry of Science, Technology,
Energy and Mining, speaks at the launch event.

Osmosis Caribbean - Jamaica’s Premier Online Art Portal launched

Web initiative to market Jamaican and Caribbean fine art worldwide

It was a the perfect setting, starlight Caribbean skies, cozy ambiance, the beats of the drums resonated in the air to build up the crescendo as Jamaica’s premier online web initiative was launched on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

The gardens at 8 Hillcrest Avenue came alive; as this initiative took centrestage, in a launch event sponsored by Scotia Private Banking Group.

Osmosis Caribbean is taking Jamaican arts to the next level,” said Hon. Julian Robinson, Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, in his keynote presentation.

Minister Robinson added that initiatives such as Osmosis Caribbean reaffirm Jamaica’s strategic position, as a hub for information technology, nurturing entrepreneurial capacity and taking Brand Jamaica to a global scale.

“I wish this venture all the success,” the minister said, adding that this venture will encourage setting up of other e-commerce initiatives in Jamaica.

Mr. Roger Grant, Centre Director, Scotia Private Banking Group, while congratulating the principals of Osmosis Caribbean, reaffirmed his institution’s support to the fine arts.

“We at Scotia Bank have always supported arts, being the organizers of Celebration of Arts exhibition, encouraging and nurturing new and emerging talent,” Mr. Grant said.

“This is not merely a web initiative,” Mr. Grant continued. “Osmosis Caribbean is hallmark of e-commerce and how businesses are conducted in 21st Century.”

Unveiling the website, Mr. Amitabh Sharma, creator and the brains behind Osmosis Caribbean, expounded that the genesis of the concept was laid down during his deliberations with Art Gallery Décor VIII. “It is the birth of a new dimension and a new medium for the creative thought process,” Mr. Sharma, said, thanking Décor VIII for their support.

Osmosis Caribbean is an initiative that takes Jamaican and Caribbean fine arts beyond the stereotypical, giving it a international flavor and reach out to the global sphere,” Mr. Sharma said.

He further informed the guests that Osmosis Caribbean is a truly indigenous product, having being designed and developed in Jamaica. “This is a representation of Brand Jamaica, and exhibits the top class quality, that is second to none in the world.”

The crescendo to the unveiling transcended into a mystical sphere, with the beats of the drums lead by ace drummer and ceramist par excellence, Phillip Supersad.

Osmosis Caribbean will showcase a range of fine art – from the masters to the young and contemporary artists. “What sets us apart is the fact that we would issue certificate of authenticity, personally signed by the artist, along with the artwork purchased,” informed Mr. Sharma. “The art enthusiast will not only be assured of investing in a quality artwork but also get a personalized touch with their purchase, which they can cherish for a lifetime.”

Osmosis Caribbean wishes to thank their Media Partner Caribbean, Associated Partner WhittyGordon Projects and has committed its support to Chupse as their outreach partner.

The genesis of this venture was formed around the need to develop and harness an international market for Jamaican and Caribbean Fine Art, and authentic merchandise. 

The web initiative, conceptualized by Amitabh Sharma, a media professional, owner of Synapse Communications, a PR Consultancy, along with artists, marketing and technology specialists.

Osmosis, Caribbean’s 21st century initiative, will market and sell Jamaican and Caribbean fine art internationally. The venture seeks to converge the artists’ creations with technology, offering marketability of their works in the Caribbean and global high-end art marketplace. It is our endeavor to be agent for change. 

We will strive, constantly, to spread awareness of Caribbean’s art and artists; fulfill the demands of our consumer; and review the best creations in the market. We will provide new products and services; support and contribute to the artists’ community by hosting and supporting shows, events; and by promoting the Caribbean as an artist's oasis and destination.

For media queries and further information please contact: Amitabh Sharma, Synapse Communications, mobile: 1-876-339-2338 or email:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Easton Lee’s ‘Kiss Mi Granny’ tells stories sweet like stew peas

It was “a wonderful stew peas evening” – from the first chords of Dr Carol Ball’s mini music segment, called ‘Sweet Riddims’, to the final sounds of Carole Reid singing old time Jamaican tunes, giving the audience a little ‘brawta’.

Jamaican culture and language were at the centre of Saturday evening’s celebration, even though the main purpose of the gathering was to launch Easton Lee’s fifth book, humorously titled ‘Kiss Mi Granny’.

Every presentation was rife with a mixture of patois and English, seasoned with anecdotes that elicited laughter from an enrapt audience. Chairperson Glynis Salmon, head of BalaPress, set the tone with a ‘Good Howdy-Do’, explaining that each of the evening’s segments would be likened to parts of the process of cooking a pot of stew peas.

After prayer by Father Laurius Lewis and a rendition of ‘Above All’ by songbird Andrae Shepherd, things went into slow simmer, with readings by Erica Allen, Fae Ellington, Leonie Forbes and Tiffani Robinson. Each lady read a praise poem from Lee’s book, giving the audience pause for reflection on the author’s love affair with his “Creator God”.

“Dance me, Lord, dance me,” read Ellington, the lilt and sway of her voice drawing the audience into a reverie of movement with the majestic. Leonie Forbes stoutly declared, “Dem sing and dance we story” – a poignant line from the poem ‘And When Dem Play and Sing’.

Carole Reid wrapped up the segment with her singing of ‘Oh My Gracious Father’, a song written by Lee to the tune of Puccini’s 'O Mio Babbino Caro’.

Then it was on to the second segment, and the simmer heated to a boil. Readings from Ellington, Forbes, Robinson, and Grace McGhie-Brown had the audience in stitches as they heard ‘Stories and Teachings From Granny’. The selections were jawbreakingly funny, and the readers emoted and expressed their roles like the veteran media and theatre personalities they were, to the amusement and delight of the audience.

Storyteller Amina Blackwood-Meeks read from the preface she wrote for the book, sharing that Easton introduced her to writing for radio, and helped her develop her “voice”, while admonishing her “vices”.  Professor Carolyn Cooper’s offering was a fitting reminder of one of Jamaica’s most famous ‘granny’ lines: “Mek fashion and tun yuh hand.”

“Only Easton Lee could have brought the cream of the creative arts and media together in such a satisfying mix,” said Steadman Fuller, keynote speaker for the evening, custos of Kingston and CEO of Kingston Bookshop, main distributors of Lee’s work.

Alluding to the stew peas imagery, he said that the readings gave “food for thought”, and brought to mind cultural icons Miss Lou (Louise Bennett), Maas Ran (Ranny Williams) and Miss Olive (Lewin). He added that Lee’s book was a call for a return to uplifting values like care and concern for each other, and said it should be made required reading in primary schools.

In his response in the evening’s final segment, Lee noted that one of his main motivations for writing ‘Kiss Mi Granny’ was “to give our younger generations an idea of what we were taught by our parents that have kept us”.

“We don’t pay enough attention to that wisdom and work ethic,” he lamented. “Do you know how many teachers, lawyers and doctors came out of that? That [work ethic] paid university fees for many of us.”

He went on to say that he strongly believed in living a life of purpose that would benefit younger generations. “Our life must be to help the young people to understand – to be proud of themselves and of Jamaica,” he said. “In God’s wisdom, he gave us each other. None of us can do without the other.”

In thanking everyone who attended the launch, or helped to make the book possible, he topped off what was truly an evening of sweet Jamaican stew with a line his own mother used very often: “God works in mischievous ways.”