BLACK ARTS FELLOWSHIP 2023-2024 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Deadline: November 29th, 2022 at 11:59pm EST, Applications closed
Notification: Successful applicants will be notified via email at the beginning of February 2023.
Wildseed Centre for Art and Activism is launching the second Black Arts Fellowship, an expansive interdisciplinary program for eight emerging and mid-career Black artists. This paid 12-month fellowship curates intensive residencies, workshops, mentorship, creation time, and presentation opportunities to offer fellows the space for deep, collaborative and playful exploration and creation in community. This fellowship emerges from the intersection of art and activism. Artists are invited to infuse their practices with knowledge of ancestral and contemporary Black struggles for liberation; to imagine their work within the projects of abolition and decolonization; to deepen their understanding of care and community commitments in the arts; and to experience the kind of joy that comes from moving with, for and fully alongside other Black kin.
This program is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and Toronto Arts Council.
INAUGURAL BLACK ARTS FELLOWSHIP COHORT
new to their dance career, started exploring movement as a form of expression in January 2020. She trained and created under the guidance of Ravyn Wingz and Sze-Yang Ade-Lam during the Right To Dance Intensive. During this time, Abigail was not only reacquainted with themselves, but also discovered dance as a form of processing grief, celebration and libration. They hope to continue creating, growing as an artist and connecting with their community doing the things they love
Danilo Deluxo McCallum
(@danilodeluxo) is a Toronto multidisciplinary artist, graphic designer, and cultural curator. His creative practice explores the multiplicities of Black identity through a lens of Afrofuturism. His futuristic portraiture investigates the relationships of dreams, magic, technology, ancestral wisdom, ethnicity, culture patterns and symbols.
Most recently in 2020 he was chosen by the City of Toronto to create the artwork and design for the Toronto Sign at Nathan Phillips Square. The design titled Patterns of the People celebrates the diversity and brilliance of Black communities in Canada.
Danilo Deluxo is the creator / curator of Black Future Month (BFM) – Toronto’s 1st Afrofuturism Group Art Exhibition – which ran annually from 2013 – 2017 receiving strong support and recognition. In 2016 as an extension of BFM he was awarded a grant from Myseum of Toronto to curate Black Toronto 2116, accompanied by @Blackcanvas101- an Instagram Database of Black artists and designers across Toronto.
His work has been exhibited at: the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), The Art Gallery of Mississauga (AGM), Daniels Spectrum/ Artscape, Harbourfront Centre, OCAD University, Project Gallery, Hashtag Gallery and other galleries in Canada and internationally.
McCallum is a graduate of OCAD University (Communication and Design), and working as a Community Arts Educator, Muralist and Mentor is an integral part of his practice.
Deluxo has worked in the Public Art realm for over 15 years, producing murals across the GTA as well as internationally in France, London, Colombia, Jamaica and in the USA. He is a member of the Black Curators Forum, and collaborates on initiatives with BSAM – Black Speculative Art Movement. He works on large-scale collaborative projects as a member of the XYZ Collective and executes design projects through his independent company The Deluxo.
is a multimedia artist from Bujumbura, in Burundi, currently residing in Toronto. She uses performance art, installation, video, spoken word and movement to create pieces that give her the chance to explore and express rage, love, desire, beauty, or pain in relation to her own body and mind.
Her work heavily questions our preconceived notions of gender, race, sexuality and class. It is grounded in the firm belief that blackness is past, present and future at any given moment.
Me Time, (she/her) is a DJ, educator, event producer and community advocate who engages dance music as a catalyst for social change. Known for her EveryBody and Bass Witch events, she is a champion of safer spaces that celebrate sobriety and moderation, provide a platform for marginalized artists and hold intentional joyful spaces for self-expression and play. Me Time continues to bring people together in isolation with interactive virtual happenings, including Brunch n Boogie and AbunDANCE, a guided meditation for the isolated raver.
Me Time joins Wildseed to expand her artistic practice through the development of an immersive rave opera that celebrates dance as a powerful form of healing, protest, community building and radical hope. She is grateful for this opportunity to explore new modalities, collaborate with faculty and fellows, and sow the seeds of systemic change.
Aisha Lesley Bentham
is an internationally trained artist-scholar, creator and vegan chef from Toronto, Ontario and has earned her BFA Honors Acting degree with a minor in Women and Diaspora Studies from the University of Windsor. Aisha has studied the works of Suzuki, Viewpoints, Laban, Contact, Commedia Dell’Arte and neutral mask and attended the world renowned company Arthaus Berlin(formerly known as LISPA) in Berlin in 2016 where she studied Devising Theatre and Performance with Thomas Prattki. In summer of 2016, she founded a residency for multi-disciplinary artists/creators called RootReach which allowed creators to work in a hybrid environment where they developed solo pieces. Aisha uses media, sound, visuals and props to create and manipulate her performances. In 2020, Aisha completed her MA in Theatre and Performance program at York University where she is investigating the intersections of cooking and Performance. Her love for food, art and lifestyle inspired her to create a vegan food company in 2017, formerly known as HUE Foods but now called choosing.hue, a vegan food and lifestyle brand that inspires vegan meals, offers tips and tools on how to be a more sustainable and aware consumer. Aisha recently joined the TEDx family 2018 and had the opportunity to be a competitor on Season 7 of Amazing Race Canada.
HAUI aka Howard J. Davis (he/him)
is a multidisciplinary entrepreneur of many artistic trades, including performing, directing/producing, design & photography in film and theatre. His work is influenced by his mixed heritage and explores themes of race, gender, identity while seeking to push the boundaries and blur the lines of theatrical mediums.
Career highlights to date include acting and video designing at Canada’s Shaw Festival. Directing his internationally screened, award-winning film C’EST MOI. He assistant produced and was the photography on Dené/Métis filmmaker Marie Clements’ film RED SNOW now available on CBC Gem. Upcoming Haui is developing and writing a new interdisciplinary theatrical work about Portia White supported by the Ontario Arts Council. His feature-film directing debut entitled MIXED↑ premieres on OUTtv in November 2020.
Born and raised in Trinidad, Natalie Wood obtained her studio training at Ontario College of Art and Design and went on to complete an MA in Art Education from the University of Toronto in 2000. Wood is a Professor in the Social Service Work Program (SSW) at George Brown College (GBC) and is presently pursuing a PhD through the Faculty of Environmental Studies program at York University.
Wood’s work cohabits the areas of popular culture, education and historical research and has been presented nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions including Zsa Zsa (2003), Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art (2007, curated by Scott McLeod), Nuit Blanche (2007, curated by Michelle Jacques), A Space (2009), Streaming Alterity, Art Gallery of Peterborough (2012, curated by Pam Edmunds and Carla Garnet), and video festivals (the New York Mix Film and Video Festival, Inside Out, Images Festival, Pleasure Dome and Mpenzi Film and Video festival where she won the Audience Choice Award in 2006). Wood has attended residencies at the Spadina Museum House and at the Caribbean Contemporary Art Centre 7 in Trinidad. She is the recipient of numerous awards from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Wood received the 2006 New Pioneers Award for contribution to the Arts in Toronto and was nominated for the 2006 K. M Hunter Interdisciplinary Arts Award for her web-based project Kinlinks which is online for viewing at www.kinlinks.net. Upcoming exhibitions include the Aird Gallery (2020) in conjunction with the CONTACT Photography Festival (2020), Charles St Video (2020), A Space (2021) and Paul Petro Contemporary Art (2021).
is an interdisciplinary fibre artist and educator who has lived and worked in Canada, Asia and Europe. She studied both at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada and The Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium. She explores and researches aspects of mythology, ancestral and architectural forms and meanings.
Since graduating from Sheridan College’s animation program, Elicser Elliott has amassed a collection of murals and public artworks that have come to help define Toronto’s cityscape. Moving beyond notions of the streets being his only canvas, Elliott has exhibited works at The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Royal Ontario Museum, and LE Gallery. Elliott has also acted as an arts educator working with the Art Gallery of Ontario’s “Free After Three” youth arts program, and the Toronto Jazz Festival, teaching youth aerosol paint techniques.
Elliott’s most notable works can be described as a highly improvised collage of soft characters and organic shapes, layered and blended through transparencies. His character work is often mediated by past experiences and relationships while also drawing on the likenesses of passers-by to complete his community-based murals. Elliott has also illustrated and produced a small run of books titled “Know Love”.
has been performing professionally for over 10 years. Chenise now considers herself a Jazzer; a performing artist connected to rhythm and humanity. She considered performance as a career at a young age with connections to working artists through her highschool, Cawthra Park Secondary School. While earning her BFA (Ryerson University) she was able to hone her passion for theatrical and collaborative arts and discover her love of jazz. Chenise further developed her artistry at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and has since devised her own philosophy on jazz. She has most recently worked with Esie Mensah, Rodney Diverlus and Francesca Chudnoff. Chenise has performed across Turtle Island and continues to direct her own works. As a teacher, Chenise loves to encourage bravery and creativity in others, whether they are pursuing dance as a career or doing it for fun. For Chenise, dance is a means for support and expression; dance is a language of connection to be shared.
is an artist born in Toronto Ontario Canada who specializes in illustration. Taught the basics of drawing at an early age by her father she continued her artistic education at the Etobicoke School of the Arts. From high school she was accepted into one of Canada’s most respected post secondary visual arts institutions: Ontario College of Art and Design. There she spent five years working in various disciplines including drawing and painting, film and video, new media and printmaking. She spent her last year of college in Italy being exposed to the old masters. After graduation she spent four years alternating between working and traveling to countries such as Japan, Morocco, Trinidad and Tobago, and most extensively Brazil. It was a
church facade in Sao Paulo adorned with only black saints that solidified her dedication to make art that showed the competent, the beautiful, the composed and the carefree black figure. Most recently she works with traditional publishers and self publishers to create children’s literature and comic books. She is also the creator, writer and illustrator of a graphic novel series called Everything is Wonderful.
Natasha “Courage” Bacchus
I am Natasha “Courage” Bacchus. I am an athlete and artist, passionate about mental health, deaf advocacy, fitness and physical expression. Throughout my life, I have nurtured my passion for fitness by competing as a professional athlete and securing medal positions in both the Deaf Olympics and Pan Am Olympics as well as many other competitive sporting events. While running was my first passion and a means of emotional release, I used acting as a mode of physical expression and found theatre and film to be the preferred spaces for me to thrive as an actor. I have participated in a number of theatre and film productions and have a strong desire to continue to grow and develop as an artist in these industries, expanding representation to include
differently-abled persons and empowering Black Deaf women in Canada to shine on and off the stage.
is a Caribbean-Canadian artist and recent graduate with a BFA from the Integrated Media program at OCAD University. Growing up Black, trans, and queer in Toronto, much of their history has been obfuscated systemically, and they struggled to find place in a landscape that worked tirelessly to maintain their exclusion. This formed the framework of Taymah’s practice, which is focused on reclaiming colonial spaces and reinstating power to silenced politically and socially marginalized bodies. This focus is explored through the documentation and investigation of black, queer, and trans identities, with research taking form as documentaries, interviews, exhibitions, and community engagements.