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Great Huts Resort presents its 8th annual Jamaican Arts Odyssey

Great Huts Resort presents its 8th annual Jamaican Arts Odyssey

Great Huts is a Jamaican gem set on an escarpment 100 feet above the brilliant azure waters of Boston Bay in the parish of Portland, the favorite parish of many Jamaicans. Sitting on five lushly forested acres dotted with 17 bamboo huts, treehouses and a modern Afro-inspired cliff-side villa, this culturally rich, picturesque retreat is undeniably the most unique resort in Jamaica. According to owner and designer Dr. Paul Rhodes “Great Huts combines respect for Mother Nature with a keen celebration of Jamaican and Afro-centric art and culture.” Handmade furnishings, masks, carvings, paintings and sculptures by local artisans are intricately woven throughout the property, showcasing the island’s talent and creativity.

The 8th annual Jamaican Arts Odyssey is an immersive, three-day midsummer celebration where artists and art lovers imbued with the spirit of Portland, Jamaica and Africa will gather for exhibits, discussions, demonstrations and a much-anticipated Masquerade Cocktail Party. Everything is free unless otherwise noted, but donations are welcomed in support of the Portland Rehab Management Shelter, a 24-hour facility that provides the homeless with housing, help and hope.

The Odyssey will begin on Friday June 22nd, as mystical artist Nakazzi presents her tribute to the legacy of renowned Jamaican ceramicist and sculptor Gene Pearson from 11am to 4pm at the Grosvenor Art Gallery, 1 Grosvenor Terrace, Kingston. Between noon and 1:30pm, Nakazzi will lead a discussion on Pearson’s works and influence while cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are served. R.S.V.P. for this discussion at or call 876-407-8615 by June 15.

On Saturday June 23, the inaugural Masquerade Cocktail Party will take place at Great Huts in the Great Room of the Africana House from 7:30 to 11pm. This event will be co-hosted by Dr. Paul Rhodes and internationally acclaimed artist Professor Bryan McFarlane, who will also make a special presentation on “Reclaiming Ancestral Roots: The Healing Powers of West African masks and Contemporary Arts.”

Steven Golding, President of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and Executive Chef of Café Africa, will be on hand to talk about the authentic cuisine from Congo, Liberia and Ghana he has developed for the Jamaican palate.

Throughout the weekend a variety of interactive workshops led by acclaimed artists will be free and open to the public, from mural painting to portraiture, maskmaking to calabash decoration. A Sunday morning paint-and-sip…and a two-day showcase of eclectic fine art, typography, artisan crafts, abstract works, sculpture, photography and much more…will present opportunities for discussion with participating artists, ranging from emerging talents attending Edna Manley College to Jamaican artists of international acclaim.

Rain or shine, this moving and memorable excursion — from Jamaica’s rich African heritage to the inspired and inarguable talents that bejewel our island home — will be enhanced by stunning clifftop vistas of the Caribbean, as well as the creative panache of Great Huts’ property and Africana House. There will be no admission fees for watching and participating in demonstrations, performance pieces and dynamic African drumming. 20% of sales and workshop donations will go towards the Portland Rehab Management (PRM) Homeless Shelter.

Participating artists will include:

Bryan McFarlane, Nakazzi, Lisa Rossini, Mazola Wa Mwashighadi, Savannah Baker, Philip Ambokele Henry, Marcia Henry, Micheal Layne, Lyndon Douglas, Marguerite Gauron, Joavan Puran, Kione Grandison, Denva Harris, Stephanie Lue Yen, Mark Bell, Hopeton Cargill, Lisa Hendricks, Tunde Akinniranye, Christoff Hamilton, Vali Valenti, and introducing Shane Bell and the emerging students from the Edna Manley College.