HOW TO BUILD A MUSEUM: Theaster Gates’ Exhibit ends this weekend at the Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto

“An ailing house that grew a healing song”

This expansive thematic show that uses House music as both an allegory and an art form ends this weekend. It’s worth spending time moving back and forth through the rooms to hear, or rather feel, how the soundscape informs works that are deceptively benign but loaded with signifiers of oppression / liberation creating intersections where labour meets love.


Throughout the duration of How to Build a House Museum local Toronto dancers Jasmyn Fyffe, Kosi Eze, Esie Mensah, and Diana Reyes have animated the most cavernous of the rooms to echo the movements of the video installation bringing the vision off the wall.

Today, Saturday, October 29 Toronto talent Esie Mensah will be performing between 2 – 4 pm.

“Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates takes over the fifth floor of the AGO’s Contemporary Tower with an immersive exhibition exploring the potential of the house museum—historically important landmarks that have been transformed into legacy sites. Gates proposes new ways of honouring and remembering Black experience and explores the potential of these spaces through music, dance, video, sculpture and painting.”

For more info on the show click here.


Images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

TORONTO TALENT: Sara Golish & Ekow Nimako at this year’s Manifesto Art

Two young women, one black, one white, holding hands and a print of a painting of the black woman

Manifesto Festival 8th Annual Art Show features Visual Artists from around the GTA.

Two young women, one black, one white, hugging each other and smilingI met these two beautiful women, Esie Mensah and Sara Golish, at the Opening Night art exhibit at Manifesto two years ago. Esie was proudly standing in front of the stunning portrait Sara had painted of her. I noted both these women had serious style. But more than that, they had spirit. I have a knack for picking out the good souls in a crowd. They were both vibrant and gracious, two qualities this world needs more of.

I met Ekow Nimako at the same place, Daniels Spectrum, but only just recently during his Building Black Exhibit this past winter. He is also someone who is vibrant and gracious and just like Esie and Sarah, full of talent.


Manifesto About Us from themanifesto.ca on Vimeo.

As part of Manifesto 2014 you can see both Ekow and Sarah’s work at tonight’s 8th Annual Manifesto Art Show

MANIFESTO EVENT DETAILS

WHERE: Steam Whistle Roundhouse, 255 Bremner Blvd.
WHEN: 7pm – 2am
HOW MUCH: $15 advance tickets purchased here
MORE DETAILS: All-ages & Licensed w/ ID and more info on Facebook Event Page

You can see more of Sara’s work Facebook and her website.
More of Ekow’s portfolio on his website and Facebook

Young white woman leaning against a yellow stucco wall
Young black woman leaning against a yellow stucco wall with her right arm outstretched, wearing a shirt that says AFRICA

Young white woman holding a stylized drawing of a black woman, she is in front of a yellow stucco wall
Young white woman leaning against a marble wall holding a stylized print of a black woman
close up shot of a black man's hands holding a lego monkey head
Side profile of a young black man looking at a lego monkey head he is holding in his hand
upclose shot of black man's hands holding a pink lego mask
upclose shot of black man's hands holding a pink lego mask and peering over it
Young black man walking towards camera, wearing round, gold-rimmed glasses and standing in front of yellow stucco wall
Young black man and young white woman hugging each other and smiling, standing in front of yellow stucco wall
All images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

THE SPIRIT OF SANKOFA: Looking Back at the History of African Dance with Esie Mensah

“Many dances of the past we are still doing in the present”

Each year Harbourfront Centre hosts the KUUMBA Festival to kick off Black History Month. This year take advantage of Toronto dancer / choreographer Esie Mensah’s “A Journey Through African Dance.”

It was very important for me to showcase Africa over the decades. Being a part of a traditional African group I wanted people to experience where many dances originated from. As I did research I realized that many of those dances from the past we are still doing in the present so I turned to the music. In showcasing the dance I am showcasing the music of Africa over the decades. You will see Africa from the traditional, afrobeat (40-70s) and azonto (present). We see people be inspired by politics, love, and just feeling good. I want to represent Africa in a beautiful light. When we appreciate our history we can continue to be innovative at any point in our lives.”
~Esie Mensah

Along with her evening talk Esie will also be leading an Afrofusion dance class at 3 pm. And if dance classes are your thing why not grab a snack then return at 6 pm for more Toronto dance talent – Jasmyn Fyffe with be teaching a workshop in Contemporary Dance.

All events at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre as part of KUUMBA.
Get the latest on  Esie on twitter @EsieMensah & Jasmyn on twitter @JasmynFyffe.

Female dancer leaping into air on beach with water and rocks behind her
Image of Jasymn Fyffe by Rob Rogers.
Female dancer jumping up into air in studio with mirror behind herImage of Esie Mensah by TOPortfolio.

 

#MYMANIFESTO: A Revolution Accomplished Artfully!

MANIFESTO Festival 2012 “Love by Every Means Necessary”

There are moments that the impact of art takes your breath away. The deep beauty of Sara Golish’s portraits was the force that hit leaving me temporarily without air or words.

And that was just the start of what turned out to be a well curated show celebrating 20 years of Toronto’s Fresh Arts program. The one-night-only show also included artists-at-work outside on the patio of the beautiful new Regent Park Arts & Cultural centre.

This event was part of the Manifesto Festival, the brainchild of cultural provocateur Che Kothari. The festival is now in its 6th year and has proved a powerful force in mobilizing many of Toronto’s youth by offering programming and events that ignite youth to use art as a tool for personal transformation that can lead to social change.

Manifesto seems to draw into its orbit of raised consciousness an immense talent pool of people that are thoughtful, activated and ready to push positive change forward – the perfect antidote for a world burdened with a lot of pain and in need of some artful healing.

More about Manifesto on their website – www.themanifesto.ca. You can also follow them on twitter @Manifest_TO.

Check out some of night’s artistic talent…

Sara Golish
Malcolm Yarde
Jordan Clarke
Mark Stoddart
Eugene Paunil













Photography by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.