TRANSFORMING THE IMAGE:
African Canadian Visions Entering The Millennium
July 5 - September 14, 1997
The paradigm of this exhibition is that we must dispose of the stereotypical "ethnic art art" label that is and has been ascribe to art work from groups outside of Euro-Canada. Though their heritage is rooted in other countries, the artists who have created the works in this exhibition are very much a part of Canada's history and cultural mosaic:
Transforming the Image is significant to the Thames Art Gallery and Kent Country because it recalls the history and demographic presence of African Canadian heritage in this area: back to the times and experience of the "Underground Railway" the Dawn and Elgin Settlement, Mary Ann Shadd and Josiah Henson
Carl Lavoy - Thames Gallery Curator
"While Imagery, technique and spirit of 'black art' may have a strong cultural voice, it is first and foremost art"
Jim Adams, Visual Artist, Vancouver BC
The artists represented here are characterized by unique visions and a commitment to artmaking. This has allowed them to recycle found materials, and reassemble or create new statements that are contextualized by a series of issues and themes. These issues include: theories on gender, race and identity politics; "hybridity" as a defining moment for African diasporic American cultures in the "New World", In short, these visions are a blending of African, and/or Indigenous and Euro-Canadian traditions, and the reclaiming of lost identities and histories. As we approach the new millennium, the confidence in themselves as serious professional artists, together with the content directions in their work, provide us with energy and hope for the new age.
Curator: Rosalie Smith McCrea,
Curatorial Assistant: Orla Garriques
Artists: Jim Adams (White Rock, BC), David Alexander (Stirling, Ontario), Buseje Bailey (Toronto, Ontario), Gordon Christopher (Calgary, Alberta), Michael Chambers (Toronto, Ontario), Ormsby Ford (St. Lambert, Quebec), Ali Hosein Ottawa, Ontario), Roberta Huebene (Ottawa, Ontario), Artis Lane (Ruidoso, New Mexico - formerly North Buxton, Ontario), Carlyle Matthew (Port Coquitlam, BC), Llyod Pollard (Brampton, Ontario), Barbara Prezeau Stephenson (Port-au-Prince, Haiti - lives extensively in Montreal), Yvon Villaceaux (Ottawa, Ontario), David Zapparolli (Toronto, Ontario)