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The Sound of brush strokes – Quito Rymer [Picture Gallery]

 

Photos by Dan O’ Connor

Most people know Quito Rymer for his music. Three evenings a week his rhythmic folk and reggae songs resonate from his beachside restaurant and bar in Cane Garden Bay and echo through the hillsides.

But if you ask the internationally acclaimed musician how he would describe himself, he would simply answer:

“I’m an artist.”

Quito’s work is immortalized on concrete canvases around the BVI, lining the walls from Cane Garden Bay to Ridge Road and East End.

His experience drawing on walls dates back to his childhood, he explained. “Back then, I sketched—doodled—all over the walls in the house or wherever there was a blank spot,” he said of primary school days, growing up in Cane Garden Bay.

“But as I grew older, I started to want to do more, so I paid attention to perspective and details. I met a great painter from Massachusetts, and she taught me about art and shadows that make the painting more real.”

 

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Without formal training, Quito was able to hone his skills; his work today reveals remarkable maturity.

As Quito grew his passion for art, he also developed an interest in music. By 14, he was given his first guitar and quickly learned to jam, playing at local churches and around the community during Christmas.

By 18, together with his brother and a couple of friends, he started a “soul band,” playing gigs at weddings and parties. He traveled to the USVI and his workload expanded, consuming much of his creative outflow; his painting took a backseat. 

“But then a member of our band died in an accident—it chilled us, really—and we came back and did a lot less [music],” he said of the unfortunate event. “I went to the US, and that’s when I started sketching and painting more.”

Eventually, he moved back to Cane Garden Bay, where he developed land into what is now famously known as Quito’s Gazebo and Ole Works Inn. His artistic flame was reignited.

“I would sit here during the daytime and it was quiet—just like this,” he said as we chatted on his gazebo patio.

The lapping waves provided a rhythm through nature. “I would have an art show almost every two weeks, painting mostly with watercolours at that time.”

As a means of income, painting and a start-up business didn’t pay the bills, so his soulful music resurfaced.

Eventually, Quito and the Edge was formed and his musical acclaim traveled beyond the BVI’s watery boundaries.

“I wanted to make sure both of my talents were able to work together,” he said. “When I’m working on a piece of art, and it’s not really where I want it to be, I’ll back off and play my guitar; it causes me to come back and vice versa. They both work in unison.”

The marriage between canvased art and musical art also has worked as a stress reliever in his life, he said. Today, Quito plays three nights a week at his Gazebo-restaurant, and he also manages his business.

He hopes to hire someone to take over management responsibilities to help free up more time for painting, he said.

By the end of this month, he said he hopes to have a finished gallery on display on the second floor of the restaurant.

“I just need enough time,” the inherent artist said, continuing with a hearty chuckle. “If I had it, boy, all of these walls around here would be full of murals.”

Erin Paviour-Smith

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