All the way from Ukraine, artist Anton Katz is struggling to complete the early evening sound check, what with the wind barrelling down West Street and some highly energetic and good-natured local kids taking turns on the mic.
His job done, in a little under an hour, with a parked car beaming the necessary light, young artists from the community begin their live once-weekly broadcast on Jamartis 93.7FM – all while projections of their work-in-progress films are beamed onto the wall across the road, and curious passing cars.
“Like an oasis in the desert,” @RealDuttyMan replied on Twitter. Which [SIGH] is sadly true, what with violence returning to this part of Downtown/West Kingston and an election on the horizon.
Studio 174 and the work produced painstakingly over time, hand-in-hand with surrounding communities, is a reminder of what can be. The art space has published its own book, Soundspace Downtown, beautifully designed and bound, part curation of some of these stories and part an instructional workbook for others to replicate this community-centric work elsewhere.
“We just show people what’s right in front of them and the creativity that’s built up inside of them, that’s what you see coming out here,” explained Studio 174 founder Rozi Chung.