One of Jamaica’s finest street murals, The Bird, was commissioned by NEM beside its downtown Kingston headquarters.
Situated on Peter’s Lane, and facing the vehicular entrance to the NEM headquarters, The Bird was executed by artist Dion ‘Sand’ Palmer, who is a member of the RokTowa downtown Kingston artists’ collective.
“One of our areas of focus for our corporate citizenship is downtown regeneration,” states General Manager Chris Hind. Downtown is the judicial and legislative heart of Jamaica, but an out-migration of business activity and population has robbed the area of its former economic vibrancy.
The general insurance giant is participating in the massive downtown Kingston revitalization programme and is in the last stages of the complete redevelopment of its headquarters, Mr. Hind said. “The decision to make a connection with the RokTowa collective was quite natural, as that organization is involved in the cultural revival of the capital city.”
“The mural has certainly transformed our immediate environment,” he said. “The images are colourful, eye-catching and thought provoking. They transform what was a drab backdrop into something positive and vibrant.”
RokTowa was founded by artist Melinda Brown, an Australian whose vision is of downtown as a cultural tourism destination. Her artists’ programme has engaged the talents of artists from the downtown area as well as others to transform the physical and intellectual aspect of the area.
“RokTowa and its artists are from the area and their creation, The Bird’, is a testimony to the talent and imagination that exists in our inner city,” the General Manager declared. “We have received many comments from staff, customers and passers-by; most like it, some don’t, but nobody is indifferent!”
“We are proud to have partnered with RokTowa and the artist, ‘Sand’, so much so that we have commissioned another piece of work for the wall by the ATM,” he stated.