Northbound 2021 Digital Exhibitions


Engage with local artists from the comfort of your home! North York Arts is thrilled to announce the return of our Northbound Exhibition Program – and this year we’re fully digital! Northbound Exhibition Program is an NYA’s signature program that supports the professional development of emerging artists while prioritizing new-generation (18-29 years old), Newcomer, and North York artists.

This year, NYA was challenged to rethink how Northbound could thrive online. We asked ourselves: how can we provide each artist with an individualized platform while encouraging the public to immerse themselves in the experience? Working with our selected artists, curator Claudia Arana, and our Northbound team, we came up with a fully reimagined digital program!

Starting September 20th, each artist will have their own web page that is completely curated to fit their vision. The art and the website itself will work in tandem to create a fully realized exhibition. Each exhibition will be enhanced with an artist talk and an Instagram Live to complete the experience.

Make sure to mark your calendars for each exhibition launch, artist talk, and Instagram Live on North York Art’s Instagram page.

Register today!

“Alone Together: Six Feet of Separation”
Anna Kavehmehr
Exhibition launch: September 20, 2021
Artist Talk: September 21, 2021, at 6pm
Instagram Live: September 23, 2021, at 12pm

“MERAKI Project”
Exhibition launch: September 27, 2021
Artist Talk: September 28, 2021, at 6pm
Instagram Live: September 29, 2021, at 12pm

Ashley Beerdat
Exhibition launch: October 4, 2021
Artist Talk: October 5, 2021, at 6pm
Instagram Live: October 7, 2021, at 12pm

“Unraveling Dreamscapes”
Aqsah Shah
Exhibition launch: October 11, 2021
Artist Talk: October 12, 2021, at 6pm
Instagram Live: October 14, 2021, at 12pm

Anahita Akhavan
Exhibition launch: October 18, 2021
Artist Talk: October 19, 2021, at 6pm.
Instagram Live: October 21, 2021, at 12pm

About the Artists:

Anna (Kaveh)Mehr was born in Tehran, Iran. She moved to Toronto in 2013 to pursue a career in art. She holds a master’s degree in digital media and a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Her art is largely based on poems, music, and literature. Telling stories through art has been her lifelong passion. She loves to depict complex human emotions and is constantly inspired by people’s conflicts and relationships with one another and with nature.

Meraki is a creative tandem founded by Paula Marin and Felipe Noriega, Colombian photographers, Toronto based since 2016, due to the Colombian armed conflict. The project is a call to transform the social stigma that Colombians have, due to drug dealers, and the armed conflict. Part of the solution proposed by the artists is to reveal that new face, through documentary images, in which the camera becomes an instrument to connect with these inhabitants.

Ashley Beerdat is a self-taught visual artist and arts instructor of Guyanese descent who grew up in Mississauga, ON. Using oil paint as her artistic medium, she explores themes of mythology, folklore and storytelling to navigate the world around her. Through her work, she constructs fantastical worlds from her imagination in a contemporary, playful and whimsical way. She spontaneously lets stories unfold in her painting process to indulge and discover a new reality.

Aqsah Shah is a visual artist born and based in Toronto, who acquired her BFA from Pakistan. Her work takes inspiration from the impact of dreams on human reality, unifying dreamscapes and real life through subaquatic symbols and void-like imagery. Viewers are able to glimpse into an inconceivable perspective of otherwise regular. She currently works as an illustrator while pursuing professional accreditation in web-development & UI design from University of Waterloo.

Anahita Akhavan earned an M.F.A. at the University of Saskatchewan, where she was awarded with a full scholarship and holds a B.F.A. in painting from University of Tehran, Iran. She has mounted solo exhibitions at Snelgrove Gallery (Saskatoon), Negarkhane Honarha Gallery (Tehran), as well as group shows in Toronto, Missoula, and Lethbridge. In 2016 she was awarded the ICCC grant to curate Voyage to Vorres Museum in Athens, Greece. In 2018 she participated in the artist residency Joya: arte+ ecología, Spain.


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North York Arts (NYA) collaborates with artists, arts organizations, and partners to develop, strengthen, and promote cultural programming and initiatives for North York communities.

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Image courtesy of North York Arts.