Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th Venice Biennale

Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 was a forum which brought together black Canadian curators and critics at the 56th Venice Biennale in order to build transnational networks and promote black Canadian visual art. The forum sought to ameliorate the invisibility of the works of black Canadian artists, curators, and critics within the international sphere.

The goals of Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 were as follows:

  • To foster greater awareness, understanding and opportunities for partnerships and collaborations between culturally diverse curators and the visual arts establishment, negotiating progression pathways for the new generation of leaders in visual arts.
  • To promote Canadian black artists and develop an engaging dialogue between Canadian art and the international stage
  • To allow Black curators a space for critical reflection, research, dialogue, experimentation, and exchange
  • To provide access to ideas, artists, and artworks that can be developed for curatorial research
  • To develop partnerships for future exhibition opportunities

Expanded Context: Black Canadians Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 was a unique professional development opportunity for Black Canadian curators and critics. It was a two-day gathering (held May 7th and May 8th, 2015) which addressed the politics and practice of curatorship in a globalized world.

The program of engagement included networking meetings and interviews with artists, curators, gallerists and collectors, as well as the opportunity to visit Biennale exhibitions and collateral events. The participation of Black curators and critics at the 56th Venice Biennale served to correct the visible absence of Black Canadian curators at key international arts events. The Expanded Context project provided an international platform for connecting Black Canadian curators, and created a global forum for these professionals to share projects and initiatives.

Participants included: Julie Crooks, Pamela Edmonds, Andrea Fatona, Sally Frater, Dominique Fontaine, Gaetane Verna, Camille Turner, Rinaldo Walcott.

Participants were selected from the group of curators and academics who attended the State of Blackness : From Production to Presentation conference. Keynote speakers included curators Bisi Silva and David Bailey

This project has been the subject of an article, “Questioning Citizenship at the Venice Biennale: Responses and Interventions” in C Magazine, Issue 128, and a podcast, "New Point of View at the Venice Art Biennale" by Fresh Arts International, Fresh Talk Series.

Other Resources:
The State of Blackness Website
 The State of Blackness on Youtube
 

  • We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
  • Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

 

Creator: 
The State of Blackness Logo - text and a gradient in stacked rectangles from black to gray
Canada Council for the Arts logo
Ontario Arts Council Logo
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 10:45am
Lab Member: 
Andrea Fatona

The State of Blackness Database

Photo of community meeting participants by Anique Jordan.

The State of Blackness Database project is a searchable, web-based, annotated catalogue of key visual art productions, analytic essays, oral history interviews, research papers and colloquia presentations – produced by and about black Canadian artists, critics and curators from the late 1980s to the present.  The database seeks to provide visibility, and make accessible, information pertaining to black Canadian visual arts productions.

The State of Blackness Database will create a centralized site to house scholarly information and works by and about black artists and cultural producers. The database will provide access to material created by black artists, curators, and critics who, because of racial difference, have historically been at the margins of Canadian art production. It will centralize and disseminate knowledge from a cross section of disciplines including fine arts, design, and curatorial practice. The database will be made available in multiple modalities (text, image, and audio).

The database will provide insights into transcultural and transnational knowledge production in the context of Black Canada, highlighting its relationship to art education, the politics of representation, and inclusivity.

Content of The State of Blackness Database will include:

  • A listing of curators, contributors, and Black artists
  • Headshots, bios, and links to curators’ and artists’ website
  • Artworks
  • Past and current exhibitions projects curated by and about Black Canadian artists
  • Digital versions of exhibition catalogues
  • Essays, interviews, and papers on black Canadian visual art

This project will provide access to scholarly information on Canadian black visual art productions. It will also increase the visibility of black visual art and develop the Canadian discourse on Canadian black visual art. The project was inspired by discussions held at The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation Conference.

Phase I (completed October 2017)

Vtape supported Phase 1 of the State of Blackness Database project. Vtape is a distributor of historical and contemporary media arts work by local, national, and international artists. It houses a research centre that caters to curators, scholars, educators, and the public. Vtape is also a world leader in the preservation and archiving of video art. The organization is committed to education and provides technical and research training to undergraduate and graduate students, cultural workers, and community groups through their internship programs.

Website: www.vtape.org

Guided by Andrea Fatona, and Vtape’s Artistic Director Lisa Steele, researcher Elisha Lim compiled data on Black Canadian video production and presentation activities that have taken place between the early 1980’s through 1999, cataloguing key visual and media arts curatorial projects, analytic essays, oral history interviews, research papers and colloquia presentations — produced by and about black Canadian artists, critics and curators from the late 1980s to the present. The research included an exploration of the programming archive at A Space Gallery and the Vtape holdings.

A community meeting was held in late October to discuss and vision ways in which end users of the information- black artists, cultural producers and community members -  can contribute to the processes by which new categories are developed to describe the materials. Preview access of the Vtape catalogue and a list of holdings by black artists were given to all attendees.

Other Resources:
The State of Blackness Website
 The State of Blackness on Youtube
The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation Conference

 

Creator: 
Group photograph of attendees at T.S.O.B. Vtape meeting
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 10:30am
Lab Member: 
Andrea Fatona

Paul Dallas

I am an artist and illustrator, educated at the Ontario College of Art, and the Royal College of Art in London, England. My clients include the New York Times, Time, BusinessWeek, Spin magazine, Vibe magazine, Polygram Records, Stroh Brewery International, MTV and Canada Post Corporation, among countless others. I have won over 130 international awards from American Illustration, Communication Arts Illustration Annual, Communication Arts Design Annual, the New York Society of Illustrators, the New York Art Directors Club, the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, the U.K.

Pam Patterson

My practice is performative and engages with/in diverse locations of/in culture. It is a practice that honours the self, the other(s) and the knowledge that is co-created. It is a practice that engages the self as a whole, a conversation among multiples -- diverse perspectives, experiences, modes of thinking and expressing. My study is in flux, in motion, as a place of multiple, interdisciplinary arts practices.

Creator Within: A Gathering of Indigenous Artistic Expressions Festival

Creator Within
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - 5:00am to Sunday, November 23, 2008 - 5:00am

The Association for Native Development in the Performing & Visual Arts (herein referred to as ANDPVA) mandate is to provide access, stimulate and promote creativity in the arts for artists/creators/producers of Native ancestry working in any discipline - by facilitating workshop & training opportunities, programming events, information services and networking opportunities, by advocating for Native art and Native artists, creators and producers, by rendering experienced and informed counsel, and by providing professional opportunities - to ensure Native art and artists a place of integrity within the Native and non Native community.

ANDPVA presents "Creator Within: A Gathering of Indigenous Artistic Expressions Festival", including participation by Faculty of Liberal Studies Instructor Tannis Neilsen.

Festival takes place at various locations in Toronto, please visit the website for a complete schedule.

Email: 
events@andpva.com
Cost: 
Free

Health & Safety for Visual Artists

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 10:30pm

Health & Safety for Visual Artists is a workshop designed to help visual and media artists develop safe
and healthy professional practices. Many visual artists repeatedly expose themselves to toxic and
potentially harmful chemicals and situations in order to produce their work and make a living. What are
the consequences? What can be done to create a healthier working environment?

Workshop participants will learn about:
• Toxicity in artists’ materials
• Health and safety in the studio
• Strategies for exposure reduction and risk management in art practices

Ted Rickard, MLS, MEd, CRSP, Manager of Health & Safety at Ontario College of Art & Design (1988-
2007)
.
While at OCAD Ted’s educational mandate reached all aspects of health and safety within the university including teaching students, faculty and staff. A leading expert in this field, Ted has advised on health and safety issues for many individuals, institutions and organizations including Art Gallery of
Ontario’s Conservation Department, Art Hazards Resource Association, Harbourfront Craft Studios and of
course past presentations with AHCF and CARFAC. He has published over thirty booklets and articles for
various arts and occupational health and safety journals, a number of in-house policies and procedures
manuals and audio-visual training kits marketed across North America and around the world. Ted continues to offer independent training services to the larger arts community through his work with T.J Rickard Safety Consultancy.

Workshop Fee: $25 / Students & Seniors: $15
To register please contact us at:
Phone: 416.351.0239 | Email: info@ahcf.ca
Or visit our website to fill in an online registration form at: www.ahcf.ca

For your comfort, this is a scent-free workshop. Please refrain from wearing any perfume, cologne, aftershave
or scented products.

Venue & Address: 
InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre 9 Ossington Avenue, Toronto, Ontario
Email: 
info@ahcf.ca
Cost: 
Free

Mukwa Geezis 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008 - 4:00am to Sunday, March 30, 2008 - 4:00am

The Association for Native Development in the Visual & Performing Arts (ANDVPA) presents its annual gathering at OCAD.

Venue & Address: 
Various locations at OCAD 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

Fourth-Year Week: From Theory to Practice, Taking your Visual Arts Career to the Next Level

fourth-year week
Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Kristian Clarke, Executive Director of the Ontario chapter of Canadian Artists' Representation/Le Front des Artistes Canadiens (CARFAC) will talk about taking your visual art careers to the next level.

Presented by Alumni Relations.

This week is all about YOU, the fourth-year student'to recognize your accomplishments as you near the end of your final year. Fourth-Year Week is a way for OCAD to say thank you and celebrate the valuable contribution you make to the OCAD community and beyond.

We welcome you to participate as your schedule allows.

March 10 to March 14, 2008

Connect, engage, reflect and have fun!

Check the Events Calendar for daily activities and watch for posters and a Fourth-Year Week brochure!

Venue & Address: 
Room 1320 113 McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario
Email: 
bjames@ocad.ca

IMAGINE THE PRINCESS OF WALES CENTRE FOR VISUAL ARTS AT OCAD U

An early model of the three Mirvish+Gehry towers, Courtesy of Gehry International, Inc.
Peter Kofman, Vladimir Spicanovic, Dr. Sara Diamond, David Mirvish and Craig Webb, Photo: Martin Iskander
Another early model of the three Mirvish+Gehry towers, Courtesy of Gehry International, Inc.

Picture a vibrant new gallery space and learning centre in the heart of Toronto’s cultural core that will bring OCAD University to the world. That’s a hope for the future for the OCAD U campus, and on February 14 Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor announced the name of the 25,000-square-foot facility: the Princess of Wales Centre for Visual Arts at OCAD University.

It’s appropriate this announcement was made on Valentine’s Day, because of the passions it’s awakening in everyone involved and connected to it. The use of the name was approved in a letter of permission sent on behalf of the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry: “Their Royal Highnesses are extremely grateful to you for raising this matter,” read the letter, “since Toronto always held a very special place in their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales’s heart.”

The new arts-dedicated facility will honour a legacy that associates the creative and socially transformative components of art with the Princess of Wales’s dedication to young people, intergenerational exchange and social concerns such as violence, poverty and HIV education. These themes resonate in contemporary art practice and OCAD U’s engagement with contemporary ethics and art in the social sphere. 

“There are very special moments as a leader when your heart both leaps with excitement and warms with profound gratitude,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U’s president at today’s announcement. “The day that David Mirvish called me and shared his hope that OCAD U would become his partner in the creation of a transformative King Street development with world-renowned architect Frank Gehry was such a life moment.”

The facility, part of the Mirvish+Gehry Toronto initiative, is slated to be built at the north east corner of King and Duncan streets in downtown Toronto. The plan proposes a myriad of opportunities for Toronto and international public to engage with the legacy that OCAD U represents.

Like the Sharp Centre for Design designed for OCAD U by Alsop Architects and Robbie/Young + Wright Architects Inc., the Mirvish + Gehry development will be visually unique. Craig Webb, one of Frank Gehry’s partners described the vision as three towers, each with its own identity, emerging from a cloud-like podium structure onto the Toronto skyline.

“Our goal is to define ourselves and our ambitions,” said David Mirvish, who compared the community spirit of the project to that of NYC’s 92nd Street Y, Manhattan’s renowned cultural community hub. “We’re building a neighbourhood that will serve the whole city, and we’re hoping the core of the gallery can be free to the public.” 

"This space will be about more than places to see and experience art,” said Vladimir Spicanovic, OCAD U’s Dean of Arts. “It will also be a place to study, curate and create artboth for OCAD U students and for the public.”

Imagine a space where you can:

  • See OCAD U’s permanent collection of more than 6,000 prints, paintings, sculptures, textiles and photographs by more than 250 notable Canadian artists
  • View exhibitions by curatorial students
  • Attend performances and the president’s lecture series in a 254-seat theatre-in-the-round
  • Access OCAD U’s expansive collections by master printmakers and archive of artists’ books
  • Study and research criticism, curatorial practice, art history, printmaking and publications
  • Produce publications in a hands-on studio for layout, editing, bookbinding and print-on-demand bookmaking

Find out more:

 

Georgia Dickie wins Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Artist Prize

Work from Georgia Dickie's thesis series, Findings, 2011.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 4:15pm

Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts announced this year’s prize winners, offering a range of prizes recognizing achievement and supporting projects. Among this year’s recipients is 2011 Sculpture/Installation medal winner Georgia Dickie, who will receive $10,000.

“Georgia Dickie’s practice seems to transcend time and ordinary language and therefore propels us towards a future, where everything is malleable, where transformation is the only constant,” said the TFVA news release.

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