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Us. Here. Now. Black History Month @ Toronto’s Union Station

Toronto, ON (Feb. 4th, 2019)  To commemorate Black History Month, the photography and digital art exhibit Us. Here. Now. launches inside Toronto’s Union Station on Wednesday February 5th at 7pm and runs until the end of the month. Curated by Wan Lucas, Us. Here. Now. combines the mediums of photography and digital art with the theme of “connections” to highlight the plethora of talented multi-disciplinary artists and unique personalities from within Toronto’s black community. The multi-layered exhibit boasts two central features:

Us.Here.Now. – is a group photography exhibit in the West Wing that features original photography by SoTeeOhGillian Mapp, and Brianna Roye, showcasing notable Black Torontonians from different neighborhoods throughout the GTA. Each subject’s photo was taken in a place that holds special meaning to them and their work. The exhibit displays the breadth of the black arts experience in Toronto, through the wide range of community subjects it documents; from dancer/choreographers (Esie Mensah, pictured), curators (Ashley McKenzie Barnes), wordsmiths (Ian Kamau), fashion designers (Adrian Aitcheson), DJ’s (Bambii), musicians (Just JohnWitch Prophet), comedians (Kenny Robinson), filmmakers (Charles Officer) and visual artists (Michelle Pearson Clarke), all the way over to theatre directors (Weyni Mengesha), jewelry makers (Asia Clarke), literary entrepreneurs (Miguel San Vicente + Itah Sadu), and photographers (Yasin Osman) like themselves. 
A Thousand Paths Home – is a presentation of the work of Yung Yemi in the Oak Room, commissioned for Union’s Connection exhibit, featuring digital art interpretations of the late Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond, alongside select Afro-futurist icons Erykah BaduJanelle Monae and Lauryn Hill
Yemi adopted the aesthetic of Afrofuturism, that borrows from pop culture, African adornment, and science fiction to cast these contemporary artists alongside a much revered Canadian historical figure.

Viola Desmond

The fact that this monumental month long exhibit is being hosted at Toronto’s Union Station is both timely and topical. The word ‘Union’ is defined as the act of joining, and every year millions of people use Toronto’s Union Station as a connection point to rejoin their loved ones, homes, and communities. As a hub in the center of the city, Union links us to familiar and unfamiliar people and places. Just as Union Station helps us make connections, this exhibit will help guide Torontonians of all cultural stripes to come make a connection with Toronto’s thriving Black multi-disciplinary arts community. Join Toronto’s Black creative class on February 5th at the launch of Us. Here. Now. hosted by G98.7 FM’s Jemeni, featuring music by DJ Agile and a panel discussion.

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