Art media

ANYTHING THAT INSPIRES: 38 year old using art to motivate, bring change rural Ja

Thirty-eight-year-old Damian Cunningham has no formal training in art, but residents of his Point Hill community of St Catherine are convinced that when he paints he produces work that can rival any what other artist in the world.

Many who know him believe it is only a matter of time before Cunningham’s work puts him on the international stage.

But until that happens and with his community far from most popular cities, the artist, who locals say has a unique ability to bring his art to life, is on a mission to creating change and putting his rural community of Point Hill, St Catherine on the map.

“I have been painting since 2003 and I specialize in paintings of old houses, still lifes, people, landscapes and dramatic scenes,” Cunningham said.

Emphasizing that he does not like to rush his work, he explains that it sometimes takes him around three weeks to complete a painting.

Speaking to Loop News on Friday, Cunningham revealed that at a tender age he realized he had a passion for drawing.

Although he has no formal training in art, he would create designs that continue to exceed expectations.

An alumnus of Point Hill Primary and Junior High School, Cunningham didn’t take his abilities seriously until 2003 and a year later decided to pursue the arts as a viable career choice. In doing so, he chooses acrylic and canvas as his means of expression.

“The feedback since has been pretty cool,” the artist said when asked about the reception of his work.

“I paint from a reference like a photograph as long as the image is clean enough… People say they look like real pictures and look amazing…”, added Cunningham.

Over the years, the St Catherine resident has participated in several art events and his work has been exhibited in several galleries in Jamaica. He now uses his social media pages and websites to display his work.

Among its customers are tourists and locals.

But he faces some challenges in producing his work, such as the high cost of purchasing materials to complete his work.

“…The material is expensive. A tube of paint costs around $3,000 or $4,000; it all depends on the brand.

“A roll of canvas is like (between) $11,000 and $15,000, it all depends on the brand,” he revealed.

Despite these hurdles, it hasn’t deterred Cunningham from producing pieces that have even caught the attention of the Minister of Health and Welfare, Dr Christopher Tufton, who recently shared the artist’s story with its followers on social networks.

Meanwhile, for those interested in art, Cunningham advises them to make sure they have a passion for their craft.

“For example, you have to have the passion for it, because a lot of people are interested in it mainly because of the money. But it’s not like a field where you can make money quickly and regularly. , so you absolutely have to have a passion and a love for it“, he explained.

In her community of Point Hill, St Catherine, Cunningham passes on her knowledge to those who are interested.

“I used to have people follow me and come to paint, but some of them are looking for quick money and it’s not like that. However, people are always interested and I watch,” he said.

In the meantime, Cunningham admits he would need help with marketing to ensure his pieces “reach art collectors, as well as more overseas customers”.

For this purpose, people can contact him via social media. On Facebook he can be reached at Damian R. Cunningham, while on Instagram he can be reached at damian.cunningham.946.

His website is fineartamerica.com/profiles/damian-cunningham.

Those interested in purchasing his pieces can also reach him at 876-315-3513.