Art
JM | Aug 31, 2022

Team of local muralists continues to aim big

Shemar-Leslie Louisy

Shemar-Leslie Louisy / Our Today

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From left: Yanque Yip; Olivia Grange, minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sports; and Jordan Harrison at the unveling of RE-IGNITED FOR UNITY (Photo: Shemar-Leslie Louisy/Our Today)

Since 2021, the team of Jordan Harrison, Yanque Yip and Anthony Smith have been bringing Jamaican culture to life with their murals. Some of the projects they’ve contributed to include ‘RE-IGNITED FOR UNITY’ – the largest mural in Jamaica, Wray & Nephew’s 14 murals across Jamaica project, the Sabina Park murals and other works with Kingston Creative.

The team’s goal is to continue as a group and to push themselves to do bigger projects and elevate the overall standard for Jamaican art.

“I think our group is a good mix of the right talents, the right work ethics and the right mindsets. We’re all dedicated and selfless. Anthony and I constantly push the limit, and Yanque keeps us on target,” said Harrison, when asked about the team’s dynamic.

“What we focus on when expressing our art is also different. I am a surrealist. I manipulate reality to express myself through art. Jordan is a realist, so, more often, he’ll try to recreate what he sees, and Anthony is a combination of styles and his work involves more research and ways to make his colour palettes and subject matter stand out,” said Yip.

A section of the Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum Kingston mural bordering the Kingston Harbour on Michael Manley Boulevard.

Harrison and Yip, speaking with Our Today, shared their life stories and how they got into art.

“My earliest memories with art date back to the first grade, but it was in the fifth grade that my aunt, Joan Graham, gave me a book about portraiture and my first project was drawing Asafa [Powell]. Although it didn’t come out perfect, it lit a spark in me,” said Harrison.

“I believe I can create anything once I apply myself.”

Jordan Harrison, muralist

Harrison, born and raised in Kingston, attended the Dunoon Park Technical High School and made special mention of his art teacher, Stephan Harriot, who guided and motivated him into adopting painting.

He went on to complete his studies at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts where he met his future team member, Smith, who connected him with his other future team member, Yip.

The 27-year-old credits the college for teaching him different approaches and perspectives to art that have helped to refine his craft.

“Since Edna, I’ve been all in with my art. I currently teach art through the Rubis Impulse HEART programme,” he continued.

Jordan Harrison at a mural he created for Studio174. (Photo: Instagram @JJHarrison94)
An oil painting by Jordan Harrison. (Photo: Instagram @JJHarrison94)

Yip has a similar life story to Harrison’s. He was born and raised in Porus, Manchester and was heavily influenced to appreciate art by his mother. He attended Knox College where he also cites his art teacher, Neville Thompson, as someone who provided a great deal of guidance and inspiration to him. He was president of Knox’s art club where he met Smith, who was a first-year student at the time.

The 30-year-old says his two passions are art and track & field. He currently trains in the 100 metres sprint category under Jamaican 400 metre record holder, Jermaine Gonzales.

His plans for the near future are to push himself with his training, alongside art, to higher heights.

Yanque Yip (Photo: Instagram @yanqueyipart)
Muralist Yanque Yip after a day’s work.

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