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Curated by Common Collective at George Brown College

Building on the legacy of Black History Month in Canada, Black Futures, developed by the college's Office of Anti-Racism, Equity and Human Rights Services (OAREHRS), Teaching and Learning Exchange (TLX) and Student Success division, is an exciting new initiative created to foster, promote and celebrate Black futures of excellence, opportunity and success. 

This digital exhibition honours and celebrates the creativity and ingenuity of self-identifying black students, alumni and affiliates of George Brown College.

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Visit Common Collective's Digital Gallery featuring The Descendant Project by Natia Lemay and other sculptural and painterly works by Claire Heidinger here

We, the Common Collective, see the lack of diversity and perspective necessary to have critical examinations of contemporary IBPOC art in public and cultural institutions. Although the art world may attempt to be post-colonial, it cannot escape the problematic discourse of racial logic and national identity. These are the very issues in which it tries to work against- resulting in institutions collecting, promoting, and glorifying work that can create blind spots. We will not allow these institutional bodies and their capitalist structures work to promote the racialized commodity. Through fire and rot, we allow the sick bodies and rotting fruit succumb to worms and insects. Shamelessly excreting the intimate, vulnerable, and grotesque depictions of loss through sexuality and beauty, and destruction and sacrifice. We are the fruit, grown and harvested from our ancestral vines, nourished by the water and sun of the resilient spirit that lives within us. Our bodies remain resilient, but have been transformed by the violence and effects of colonialism, withering with each generation to come, and depleting itself back into our colonial landfill. We encourage edification by non-IBPOC individuals and prevent the exploitation of our labour. We sacrifice in a ritual of destruction, cleansing, and purification, to disrupt the continuing cycle of our annihilation.


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We use terminology like, IBPOC (Indigenous, Black, People of Colour), because we believe as Canadians to put Indigenous people first. At Common Collective we support our Indigenous members and acknowledge our place as settlers in Tkaronto and based upon Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, Haudenosaunee, Mississauga, and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation land.

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Common Collective was created as a support system for up and coming artists and to encourage diversity and growth in all forms.  Seeking to push outside institutional boundaries and create opportunities for independent learning to promote stories told by contemporary urban artists. 

"We live within the same city and are influenced by a similar cultural hegemony. The upcoming TINT Show explores the differences and similarities in the human condition by considering the freedom of individual expression created by Toronto artists." - Common Collective

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Bringing Artists Together

Natia and Claire met during their first painting class at OCAD University. A friendship blossomed as the two shared a love for the arts. They both came to realize that there needs to be a safe space for IBPOC artists to share their work in a common collective. They sought to create Common Collective Arts to foster the sense of community that they needed as artists. 

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