Published on October 14, 2022.
By: Priscilla Wiredu
The Black Artists Networking in Dialogue (BAND) is a Gallery and Culture Centre located in Toronto, Ontario. Through charitable means—including but not limited to: volunteers, donations and fundraising events—the organization’s mission is to support, document, and showcase the artistic and cultural contributions of Black artists across Canada and internationally.
BAND has many values when it comes to expressing Black art, emotion, and culture.
The goal of BAND is to connect Black culture to Black communities, and to inspire, enlighten and educate others through social media.
They offer specialized programs for aspiring artists and provide them with an opportunity to have their original artwork displayed in the public eye.
The BAND’s Emerging Artist Exhibitions focus on solo professional exhibits, where the artists are given the opportunity to showcase their artwork. With the help of the gallery, artists are able to enhance their understanding of the exhibition process and build strong connections within the artistic world.
BAND’s Performing Arts Series is an opportunity for emerging artists to present their unique ideas, showcase intimate performances and experiment with arts.
BAND’s Canadian Culture Series is a unique presentation which provides in-depth dialogue on trending events among Black artists, cultural workers, gallery directors, curators, and volunteers.
The BAND Gallery and Cultural Centre is dedicated to helping emerging artists, curators, and administrators progress in the artistic scene. They do so by providing an accessible venue to showcase artists’ work to the general public.
BAND has partnerships with Scotiabank, TD, Canadian Heritage, RBC and the City of Toronto.
BAND is offering a multitude of exhibitions throughout the summer months, each with a different theme in mind while collaborating with different artists. Some of the ongoing exhibitions are:
Grounding in Nature: An Interactive Performance
This is a live performance that explores ideas of connectivity and space. It is a collaboration between Dancer Aisha Nicholson and Artist and Technologist Aljumaine Gayle. It will showcase an unrevealed art piece and dance that tangles with the notions of “response and reaction,” encouraging the audience to rethink their relationship to their environment.
The Kiki House of Christian Siriano is a house that values inclusivity, variety, excellence, growth and hard work. It was established in 2017 by Twysted Siriano and Overseer Songbird Siriano. Kiki’s House includes professional artists and creatives such as DJs, commentators, photographers, editors, teachers, dancers, musicians, drags, stylists, designers, founders, and organizers.
This combination of mediums naturally translates into a ballroom floor where we see performances from the most unique to the best dressed. From face, to realness, to sex siren, to runway–the House of Siriano undoubtedly offers an exuberant presence on and off the Kiki ballroom floor. Enjoy their live ballroom event presented in collaboration at two twos.
Garden Concert with Kyla Charter
Kyla Charter, a Jazz and Contemporary Vocal Performance alumnus from Humber College, uses her gift as a storyteller in her musical approach. This performance will also include a capella vocal percussion, dynamic rock, R&B and folk melodic aesthetics. She will perform alongside a three-piece band and will play songs off her new EP, Edible Flowers!
Solo Exhibition – Leone McComas
Visual artist and designer Leone McComas is showcasing her sense of artistic responsibility in her solo exhibit. She uses her craft in mural art, oil painting, and graphic design to alleviate the struggles of anxiety, social polarization, and emotional fatigue she confronts every day.
BAND offers memberships and donation opportunities in support of their centre. Their membership rate starts at $20, and they qualify for tax receipts. These donations help to fund future exhibitions and other opportunities for new artists. Some of their memberships are as follows:
The Charles Roach Member – $20/month
Named after Canadian civil rights lawyer Charles Roach, this membership allows premium and early access to information about BAND exhibitions and programming.
The Jean Augstine Member – $50/month
Named after social justice advocate and former MP, the Jean Augistine membership allows early access to BAND exhibitions, programming, and first-wave invitations to exhibitions, openings and events.
The Michaelle Jean Member – $100/month
Named after the former Governor General of Canada, the Michaelle Jean membership includes early access to BAND exhibitions, first-wave invitations to openings and events, access to private events, and in-studio visits with artists.
Get Involved – Program Opportunities
BAND is all about giving back to the community and helping it grow. This is why they offer opportunities for those who wish to become a part of the centre’s team and uphold its mission statement. Below are some of the opportunities for people to get involved:
For individuals passionate about working in the arts and supporting Black artists, volunteering with BAND is a great way to help create equal opportunities for Black artists. BAND volunteers usually work on specific, short-term projects, including but not limited to: social media, graphic design, exhibition preparations, and groundwork. They offer a volunteer application form for those who are interested in joining.
BAND Gallery and Cultural Centre is dedicated to providing opportunities for mid-career professional Black artists. They accept exhibition submissions frequently. Submissions must include a short bio, an explanation of your background as an artist, an artistic statement, the projected costs of your exhibit, and a portfolio of five photos of original art. The submission form can be found here. These submissions are reviewed by BAND’s Curatorial Advisory Committee each fall. BAND’s Gallery coordinator will then contact all successful applicants.
Everyday Collectors: Artist Feature
To celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2020, BAND created an art piece series to cultivate the spirit of Black art, made accessible to all and any Black community. BAND highlights both Black collectors and Black artists through their support. They hope their stories inspire people to purchase art by Black artists to diversify their art collection. If you’re interested in submitting something, you can find more information here.
BAND Gallery and Culture Centre aims to give Black artists a voice and opportunity to inspire Black communities to become enriched in art as an expression and outlet. It is about being proud and expressive towards Black identity. If you would like to contact BAND, you can visit their contact page or follow them on their social media platforms:
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