Artist Ashley Barnes: Black Diamonds

Feb 16, 2012

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Among the many Black History events this month, visual artist Ashley Mckenzie Barnes  presented her newest collection Black Diamonds  2012. The collection is currently on display at the intimate and cosy Nawlin’s Jazz Bar & Dinner Lounge located at 299 King Street West.  A commemoration of  7 influential woman performers in Black Entertainment history, the original (mixed media and acrylic) pieces pay tribute to entertainment icons: Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, the late Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Diane Ross and Billie Holiday.

Check out some of the pieces on display (below).

Stop by before Feb 29th to view some of entertainments iconic “Black Diamonds”.

Black Diamonds 2012.






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Jalani Morgan x Nik Dudukovic for OTMzine

Dec 20, 2011

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Photographer Jalani Morgan recently shot Illustrator Nik Dudukovic for the Winter issue of Off The Map Magazine.  The finished product resulted in an unconventional way to combine photography and fashion.

Check out the images and interview here.


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Inside Out Project

Nov 13, 2011

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The 5th Annual Manifesto Festival were proud organizers of art project “Inside Out”, Toronto series. The Inside-Out art project, is a large-scale global movement that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world.

Our friends Steve Carty & Jalani Morgan (of Hermann & Audrey) were two of the twenty-four photographers to participate in the event. The group task; translate the theme of  “Intergenerational” by using public art installations to transform industrial space into urban galleries. The Toronto project executed up to 400 portraits, which made it one of the largest collaborative efforts, to date.

Source: Hermann & Audrey

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Bay Street’s Art Gallery

Oct 26, 2011

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I say this always, Toronto is such a great place to live and filled with so much culture. Now some places to take in such culture may not be as easy to find. That is the case of the Bay Street WORK-shop Gallery located at the Bay Street Subway Station. An unusual place for an art gallery.

The gallery (pretty easy to miss if you’re not looking) has been open since February 2010 but the  STITCHES: Suzhou Fast Forward exhibit is the first public exhibition to be held in the space.

STITCHES features seven pieces of silk embroidery from the Zhou XueQing Embroidery Art Center in Suzhou, China. The exhibit invited a small group of architects, artists, designers, and inventors to create original works.

The Workshop Gallery will be open to the public from October 26th 2011 to February 18th 2012.


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Do U Original An Art Experience

Sep 12, 2011

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I know I’m not the Art Contributor but I had to give my two cents about my evening at the DUO: Do U Original Art Exhibition. Similar, to Russell Simmons writing a random piece for Global Grind, tweeting it and the hits (I’m sure) tripling on that day alone. I’ll be doing the same for the Art Contribution, all the while hoping that my hits do the

Do U Original. Is not always an easy statement to live by but at last evening’s presentation of the DUO: Do U Original Art Exhibition Artists; Jason O’BrienKwame Delfish did just that, they did them. I’ve become fond of DUO’s (previously members of JMK) work over the last few years. Largely because it was my truest introduction to the world of visual Art in Toronto. To watch their growth as artist collectively  and as individuals, was a pleasure.

Jason O’Brien’s exhibit The Audacity of Purple showcased  “A journey of intimate meditations inspired by the colour Purple.”   While Kwame’s Follow up Stream exhibit clearly demonstrates his passion for Art, beginning in his early adolescent years.

Jason’s past collections has commonly captured the essence of a woman and the strength behind her afro centric hair.  However, with the Audacity of Purple Collection it was refreshing to view several interpretations of Art, where the central inspiration is derived simple from one eye-catching colour, purple.  Symbolically, Purple is associated with Royalty, Power, Nobility and Creativity.  For Jason to capture some of the colours symbolism in his collection, added another level to his ongoing creative work. Favourite pieces: Caught Up In the Rapture and The Golden Palms.

Some may say I would be bias as I write this,  considering Kwame “The Del” Delfish is an extended part of the IAWH Family but “who cares, I was impressed”.   This collection was in my belief his best yet. It’s a clear example of an artist taking Art “to that next level”.  An artist either confident or crazy enough to mix an Obama piece, with Captain America caricatures, Teddy Bears, Chalk Boards and vintage elementary school desks, clearly this is a passion for Art, not just a talent.  Not that his past works weren’t representations of his creativity but Follow up Stream clearly incorporated elements of  “The Del’s” personality, big ole kid with a love of everything child-like.  Favourite pieces:  Captain America, L.O.L. and Peace. Love.Sacrifice.

DUO: Do U Original Art Exhibition A Must See!
Twist Gallery
1100 Queen Street West
Sept 1st – Sept 29th
11pm – 6pm



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