Celebrate Jamaica: Each One Teach One, Jamaica at DC’s Flower Mart

Last Friday and Saturday, Flower Mart 2012 hosted over 130 vendors at its annual event…along with special performances and displays showcasing Jamaica.  I attended the event on Saturday.  As I walked onto the Cathedral grounds I heard Reggae music from speakers, entertaining those who had sought shelter from drizzling rain.  Flower Mart was held at the Washington National Cathedral — floral + art displays and the KC Chapel Choir inside the Cathedral — and hundreds of vendors, tents, and performances outside.  Jamaica was on full display and much of the crowd gobbled it up.  The floral displays were lovely and they attracted lots of visitors (I’d appreciate if folks could identify the flowers in the pictures below…I’m clueless about those things…are those Anthuriums and Birds of Paradise?).

Lovely colours…

What is the name of this flower? I love it…looks like a honeycomb.

This reminds me of floral displays from church…

The flag…and some flowers.

Love this one…

Also on display was lots of art made by Jamaicans – photographs, oil paintings, drawings, carving, pottery.    

I’m told those prices are in US$…good for the artists!

I often wonder if we really can’t trademark these colours…

Cheery Stewart-Josephs with her paintings…love the one of the cricket bat.

Some photos…

Pottery from Phillip Supersad (more on him later…)

I was finishing up Marlon James’ “The Book of Night Women” when I attended this event and these paintings immediately reminded me of the book…

More from Bernard Stanley Hoyes

Pottery from Rose Town Potters. Loved this stuff, simple and elegant.

Gorgeous bowls…simple,. but gorgeous.

Later, outside at the front of the Cathedral, there was a well-received drumming performance from the Akwaaba Drummers.  Sounded like Kumina to me.  The children loved the drumming and one man in a wheelchair did not miss out on the fun.  


Inside the Cathedral the KC Chapel Choir (they were so cute, I wanted to pinch their cheeks…but I didn’t…promise) effortlessly delivered many songs, classics and adaptations.  

Great performance…I loved their version of “Redemption Song”…found it hauntingly beautiful.

Also on site was a busy tent manned by Grace Foods giving out free samples of banana chips and coconut water (boo, it contained sugar!), just beside the Embassy of Jamaica tent that offered glimpses of Jamaican literature, crafts, tourism, and food (free Christmas cake, Easter bun, and Blue Mountain Coffee).

The Embassy tent…folks love the freeness!

Some of the publications on display in the Embassy tent.

But what really captured my attention was a small tent sheltering a potter’s wheel.  That display belonged to Jamaican potter Philip Supersad (he also lectures at The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts).  I may have missed some of the earlier lessons but I was glad to catch him guiding a young girl as she used the wheel.  It was really mesmerizing to watch as he at first helped her shape something out of that lump of clay, and still enthralling as he effortlessly formed what could become a vase.

Phillip Supersad’s tent.

Each one teach one…this interaction at a Jamaica 50 event struck me…

It was clear to anyone who attended 2012 Flower Mart that Jamaica was the honoured country.  If even in a small way I think that lots of people learned about Jamaica last weekend.  I was proud 🙂

2 Responses to “Celebrate Jamaica: Each One Teach One, Jamaica at DC’s Flower Mart”
  1. petchary says:

    This is wonderful! What a lovely event. It is always good to see all these positive cultural aspects of Jamaica on show, and also in an interactive sense. Mr. Supersad is a very good potter – we are very strong in that field I think! (Yes, the red flowers with the spike in the middle are anthuriums and the spiky orange ones bird of paradise, but I can’t offer much more information on the flowers I’m afraid!)

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