Media Alert: MBJ to Host International Reggae Poster Contest Awards and 20th Art of Reggae Exhibition

Montego Bay, Jamaica 09/11/17 // MBJ Airports, operator of Jamaica’s leading gateway to the world, Sangster International Airport, will host the International Reggae Poster Contest Awards and 20th Art of Reggae Exhibition opening on Friday 17 November.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for 5pm in the Departures Terminal at Sangster International Airport and will be followed by an opening of the 20th Art of Reggae Exhibition, featuring the top 100 posters selected from 1,270 entries submitted by 748 graphic designers representing 75 nations spanning the globe. The winning submissions will be exhibited in the check-in area at the airport before becoming part of its permanent collection. They can also be viewed on the web at

“We are pleased to be partnering with the International Reggae Poster Contest and featuring these outstanding international works that celebrate Jamaican music and culture,” said MBJ Airports CEO Rafael Echevrne. “The abundance of submissions from so many countries speaks to the power of Jamaican music and the extent to which it resonates with people of all cultures. It’s only natural that we should exhibit these works at the airport, where the world’s cultures converge,” Echevarne added.

Julia Egorova, of Russia, submitted the winning poster. The second place selection was submitted by Cortney Benvenuto of the US, and third place by Simona Galizia of Italy. Posters by two Jamaican graphic designers, Andre Hutchinson and Phillip Taylor, are also among the exhibited works.

The International Reggae Poster Contest will be held alongside a ceremony awarding winners of an artisan’s competition, whose crafts will be made available for sale in partnering retail outlets at the airport.

The brainchild of late Jamaican graphic designer Michael “Freestylee” Thompson, the International Reggae Poster Contest was launched in 2012 in collaboration with Greek graphic designer Maria Papaefstathiou. Papaefstathiou will present 50 posters by the late artist in the Freestylee Roots art exhibition alongside members of his family on 18 November at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston.

The International Reggae Poster Contest engages reggae fans from across the globe by providing a platform for artistic expression that celebrates the universal appeal of and respect for Jamaican music and culture The Thompson and Papaefstathiou established the contest to heighten Jamaica’s musical presence internationally by engaging the international art community and boost support for a world class Reggae Hall of Fame in Kingston.

The contest also aims to raise awareness and funding through the sale of posters for the Alpha Boys’ School, a Kingston-based non-profit institute that provides vocational training and general education for 150 teens and young men from inner city communities. Alpha Boys’ School has nurtured several notable icons of Jamaican music and continues to make an important social and cultural contribution.

The International Reggae Poster Contest submissions celebrate Jamaican music on a whole, from mento to ska, rocksteady, dancehall and the sound system culture. Two jury panels comprised of 24 judges each are comprised of citizens of Jamaica, Canada, Greece, the US, Mexico, Cuba, Ghana, China, Japan, Bolivia, Italy, Israel and the UK.

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