The Jardin’Art event has turned downtown Kingston into an art gallery.
The spring Jardin’Art, an art in the garden event, brings local artists to the forefront by decorating downtown businesses with cheerful pieces of artwork.
The artists’ work is displayed inside and outside of participating local establishments, including Mexico Lindo, Windmills, Frankie Pestos, The Queen’s Inn and Chez Piggy.
For Kingston artist Yessica Rivera Belsham, Jardin’Art provides her with the chance to display the importance of her Mexican heritage.
Belsham’s vibrant acrylic painting on glass is displayed outside Mexico Lindo. It depicts a scene from the Aztec legend, Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl — a story about eternal love.
She said displaying her cultural work outside of an authentic Mexican restaurant strengthens her connection to her own Mexican culture.
“I love Mexico Lindo, it feels a bit like home,” Belsham said. “They are very supportive of the arts in general, but also in supporting me because they know how passionate I am about our culture.”
Belsham’s second piece, outside Chez Piggy, is inspired by her Kingston family’s long-time connection with Chez Piggy. Her mother worked there for over 25 years. Because of the connection, Belsham painted a tribute to the founders of Chez Piggy, Rose Richardson and Zal Yanovsky.
David Dossett, a local Kingston artist and resident, single-handedly organized Jardin’Art.
Tired of Kingston events held exclusively at City Hall, Market Square or Confederation Basin, Dossett said he wants to draw attention to businesses and artwork unique to Kingston.
“I’m trying to point out that there is more to downtown,” Dossett said.
Acting as a broker between the artists and the businesses, Dossett said he knocks on doors and visits local business owners to ask them to participate with Jardin’Art.
Although Jardin’Art is a not-for-profit event, Dossett asks for $200 to have the artwork displayed. Half of that is given directly to the artist. He invests the other half into supplies to protect artwork from outdoor conditions and materials to improve its visual impact, including flowers and lights.
Dossett said he encourages a direct relationship between the artist and business. While the business helps an artist by displaying their work, it’s the artist’s job to create a piece that brings attention to the business.
“The artist takes a more direct approach to it as opposed to just supplying a piece of art for show,” Dossett said. “They’re actually helping the businesses by creating some kind of attention.”
Aside from creating a support system between artists and businesses, Dossett uses public art as an invitation for people to enjoy art without cost.
“[Jardin’Art] gives art to everybody without a cost and the businesses are supporting that,” Dossett said. “Everybody wins — the artists win, the people win and the businesses win.”
Dossett’s summer event starts July 1.
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