Looking down from the foothills of the Blue Mountains, past New Kingston to the city’s downtown and harbour. Photo by Matthew Henry

Kingston beat

For many visitors to Jamaica, the capital Kingston, at the foot of the Blue Mountains, is just the gateway to the country’s beach resorts. But, as Tanya Batson-Savage explains, Kingston’s bustling cosmopolitan scene and dynamic cultural offerings make it an essential destination. Here’s her list of must-sees and must-dos, from art to music to cuisine.

Photo by Bart Sims

Ewan Atkinson: boy next door

The fictional Neighbourhood invented by Barbadian artist Ewan Atkinson is like a childhood fantasy complicated by grown-up concerns, Allison Thompson writes.

Artist Lene Kilda’s Nutmeg Princess. Photograph by Orlando Romain

Sea beauty

In Grenada’s underwater sculpture park, a new Nutmeg Princess offers divers a handful of spicy bounty.

Bahamian artist Lavar Munro. Photograph courtesy Lavar Munroe

The Anti-expected: Lavar Munroe

Selected for the prestigious 2015 Venice Biennale — the art world’s major international event — Bahamian Lavar Munroe creates mixed-media works that explore tricky ideas of “difference.” Nicole Smythe-Johnson finds out more.

Pick of the month

Caribbean Bookshelf (May/June 2001)

New and recent books about the Caribbean.

65 Gallus Street, recently restored by architect Laura Narayansingh. Photograph courtesy Laura Narayansingh

Trinidad & Tobago’s houses of history

A combination of neglect and commercial redevelopment has endangered Trinidad and Tobago’s unique architectural heritage for decades. But as Erline Andrews discovers, a handful of private individuals have bucked the trend, investing in restoration projects that give old buildings new life.

Cheryl Daley-Champagnie. Photograph by Franz Marzouca

Heart forms: Cheryl Daley-Champagnie

Cheryl Daley-Champagnie is both a businesswoman and an artist. A graduate of Jamaica's School of Visual Arts 21 years ago, she has been a painter, teacher and creator of the "sisterlocks" hairstyle. Her many interests have led her to set up her own centre for spiritual nourishment and work. Petrine Archer-Straw talks to her.

Old meets new: guests are greeted by the dolphin relief (Sandy Lane's logo) carved into the entrance way, and by the classical pediment

Barbados: Tropical Classic

A return to the grace and elegance of the past in Barbados.

Artist La Vaughn Belle. Photograph QStudio LLC. www.qstudiovi.com

La Vaughn Belle: big art from a small place

For artist La Vaughn Belle, coming from a “small place” — St Croix — doesn’t restrict her imagination or her ambitions. David Knight, Jr, investigates the social impact of Belle’s questioning artistic practice.

Photograph by Pixachi/shutterstock.com

Word of mouth (May/June 2014)

Barbados’s biennial literary festival is back, and a popular Caribbean photography book becomes an exhibition in Toronto.