Re-Writing Our Narratives: Reclaiming power through Afrofuturism + Indigenous Futurism

Wednesday, February 28, 2024, 2:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond Street West, Toronto
Register Online

Re-Writing Our Narratives: Reclaiming power through Afrofuturism + Indigenous Futurism panel coincides with Onsite Gallery’s current exhibition power.

Panelists Jason Baerg, Kestin Cornwall, Edan Maxam, and Kathy Moscou explore the transformative power of speculative reclamation, Afrofuturism, and Indigenous Futurism in their creative practices and artistic works. Delving into these captivating realms, they will tap into alternative narratives of history, identity, and culture, challenging stereotypes, breaking barriers, and empowering agency. The discussion will be moderated by Susan Jama, Programs + Community Coordinator.

Currently on view at Onsite Gallery until May 18, 2024, power and Taqralik Partridge: ᐳᓛᖃᑎᒌᑦ (Pulaaqatigiit)


About the Panelists

Images (left to right): Jason Baerg, Kestin Cornwall

Jason Baerg is a registered member of the Métis Nations of Ontario and serves their community as an Indigenous activist, curator, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. Baerg graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from Rutgers University and is enrolled in the Ph.D. program at Monash University. Baerg teaches as the Assistant Professor in Indigenous Practices in Contemporary Painting and Media Art at OCAD University. Exemplifying their commitment to community, they co-founded The Shushkitew Collective and The Métis Artist Collective. Baerg has served as volunteer Chair for such organizations as the Indigenous Curatorial Collective and the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition. As a visual artist, they push digital interventions in drawing, painting, and new media installation. Baerg has exhibited solo nationally and internationally. They sat on numerous art juries and won awards through such facilitators as the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and The Toronto Arts Council. For more information about their practice, please visit JasonBaerg.ca.

Artist Kestin Cornwall is an assistant professor who has been teaching in the Faculty of Design (Illustration) since 2020. Cornwall’s unconventional mixed-media visual work incorporates classic portraiture and classical references with hybrid art image creation. Cornwall employs various techniques, combining beautiful hand drawings with strong digital image-making, screen printing and ink transfers. Cornwall also uses skilled acrylic and aerosol painting on wood and other canvases to create unique work.

Cornwall’s work raises thought-provoking questions regarding equality, immigration, and what it means to be Black in North America. Cornwall explores culture and humanity’s relationship with beauty, sex, nature, and cultivation through his creative process. Cornwall uses images to challenge the mass public perception of Black people and people of colour, shaped by history, entertainment, media, and pop culture. The compositions are filled with references to media, popular culture, music, and art history. Cornwall’s work aims to add beauty to the world while invoking the unending social responsibility to capture thought.

Images (left to right): Edan Maxam, Dr. Kathy Moscou

Edan Maxam is an Afro Indigenous/ Latinx (Cuban, Caymanian and Mi’kmaw) multidisciplinary artist born and raised in T’karonto. Edan works with analog and historical methods of photography to discuss themes of identity, family history, oral storytelling, healing and activism. She received her BFA in Photography with a minor in Art and Social Change at OCAD University. Edan continues to do work in community arts and has future plans of becoming an Art Educator that supports BIPOC youth. Currently, Edan Maxam works as the Indigenous Education Coordinator at the Harbourfront Centre.

Dr. Kathy Moscou is Interim Dean, Faculty of Design, OCAD University. Her background merges visual arts, health and design for social justice. She has a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Masters Public Health and is a Fellow at WHO Collaborating Centre for Governance, Accountability and Transparency in the Pharmaceutical Sector, Univ. of Toronto. She uses decolonized frameworks to examine governance, policy to foster wholistic health, inclusive neighbourhoods and equity. As a member of the Solid Black Collective she conducts research exploring the experience of Black creatives, led the Vaccin8 for the Culture campaign and mentors Black youth.

Dr Moscou is a mixed media artist & designer who’s visual storytelling explores issues of identity, empowerment, celebrates the Black family, and gives homage to elders as knowledge keepers. Recent interactive installations have engaged the public to contribute to the hidden Black history of St John’s Ward – Toronto, Ontario and envision a just and equitable future by “Planting seeds of Change” Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

About the Moderator

Susan Jama

Susan Jama is an art worker with over 5 years of experience leading community engagement and public arts programming with strong grassroots experience. She is the Programs and Community Coordinator at Onsite Gallery. Susan has worked with various institutions that approach heritage in a community-minded manner including Toronto Ward Museum (TWM) and Black Artists’ Networks in Dialogue Gallery & Cultural Centre (BAND). She graduated from Masters of Museum Studies from University of Toronto and completed her Bachelor in Psychology & History at York University. She currently serves on the Museum Education Roundtable board and sits on Group of Ontario Emerging Museum Professionals (GOEMP) Committee.


Onsite Gallery is generously supported by The Delaney Family.

We also acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and Nexus.About Onsite Gallery
www.ocadu.ca/onsite

Onsite Gallery, OCAD University’s flagship professional gallery, presents contemporary, Indigenous, and public art and design to advance knowledge creation and stimulate local and international conversations on the urgent issues of our time.

Gallery Hours
Wednesday: 12 to 7 p.m.
Thursday to Saturday: 12 to 5 p.m.
Gallery admission and all events are free.

Onsite Gallery is an accessible venue with all-gender, single-user washrooms.
» Detailed accessibility information found here

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada’s university of the imagination. Founded in 1876, the university is dedicated to art, design and digital media education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines.

Contact Information:
Susan Jama
Programs & Community Coordinator, Onsite Gallery
susanjama@ocadu.ca

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