Kalaboration: Artist Commissions and International Exhibition Program features Freestylee

By Holly Bynoe Monday, May 21st, 2012 Categories: Culture, Diaspora, Updates

Kalaboration is a partnership project between The Drum Arts CentreSchool of Art Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) Birmingham City University and RoguePlay Theatre. It is funded by Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council and granted the Inspire mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme. We are pleased to announce the Artists’ Commissions; each artist has drawn inspiration from the themes of the Olympic Games and the anniversary of 50 years of Jamaican  independence.

Freestylee Artist without Borders’ – 16th July – 14th September, The Drum.

Kalaboration is pleased to be hosting “Freestylee: Artist without Borders” an exhibition of poster art by internationally acclaimed poster artist Michael Thompson aka Freestylee. Thompson studied graphic design at the Jamaica School of Art in Kingston, Jamaica, now the renowned Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. On landing an apprentice position he started to experiment with simple silhouetted graphic designs concepts suitable for screen-printing and poster art. Thompson has been living in the United States since 1990 and worked as a freelance graphic designer and consultant. He has been described as a “creative activist” in a recent interview in Arc Magazine, due to the subject matter his work; from reggae music, police brutality, homophobia in Jamaica, the Arab Spring and persecution of fellow artists such as Ai Wei Wei. Thompson launched the first International Reggae Poster Contest in order to celebrate the pioneers, musicians, artists and institutions that made Reggae music possible and this exhibition features many of these artists and genres, which have seen reggae music become a global phenomenon.

Holly Bynoe
Holly Bynoe

Holly Bynoe is a curator, visual artist and writer based in the Caribbean. She is the Executive Director of ARC Magazine, and a graduate of Bard College International Center of Photography (2010) where she earned her M.F.A. in Advanced Photographic Studies. She currently holds the position of Chief Curator at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, and is co-director of the annual arts conference Tilting Axis and Caribbean Linked Residency Program.