Last Thursday we took a short walk down to the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood to check out the SELAM visual arts festival. Although this visual arts component is only in it’s second year, Sound the Horn has been putting on the SELAM festival to showcase and inspire youth of Ethiopian/Eritrean heritage since 2004 . With the hard work of theatre director Wayne Mengesha and multiple-hat-wearer-producer-action woman Addis Embiyalow amongst others, this initiative has grown progressively in it’s creativity and professionalism.
The quality and variety of the art – from painting to photography to video – in the gallery installation which takes up the entire top floor of the Gladstone Hotel is a testament to how far the festival has come. Artists featured include Kal Assefa whose impressive work you might recall from the inaugraul SUPAFRIK pop-up in July as well as photographer Naz Tana who was responsible for the images in the Afrotropolis look-book. The works of new and emerging artists from SELAM’s youth arts program are also showcased here. We especially like the Aden Abebe’s photography (see picture of veiled woman below).
The SELAM visual arts festival runs till this Sunday October 23rd and concludes with an open mic featuring Kamau (whose album you NEED to hear), Ayo Leilani, Dey and Helen Yohannes. Special Shout out to Taiwo Bah for providing the beautiful photographs.
Posted in Art, Event, Photography
Tagged Addis Embiyalow, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Gladstone Hotel, Kal Assefa, Naz Tana, SELAM, SELAM Visual Arts Festival, Sound of Horn, Taiwo Bah, Toronto, Weyni Mengesha
My name is Chinedu and I am a SUPAFRIK. I am also a designer and my 8 year old label is called Chinedesign. A few weeks ago on a quiet sunday morning, I launched a collection for summer called Afrotropolis . I hadn’t shown a collection in two years (I took a break to go to school and learn more about the business) so I felt a bit of pressure going into the showing. Between the challenges of the live mannequin concept and the snowstorm in the middle of spring, so much could have gone wrong and yet for the most part everything went right. I am happy that the collection and my choice of presentation was well received. I got a mention in the National Post and Afrotropolis is making its way through the blogsphere like here and here. There’s more to come but I’m keeping it mum for now. In a future post, I will break down the African inspiration behind the collection. In the meantime you can check out the lookbook photographs by the amazing Naz Tana as well as the video above that I sliced together from amateur footage of the event (excuse the occasional shakiness and the guillotine effect).
Available at the upcoming SUPAFRIK pop-up.
Ndebele Wall Art Silk Dress (A)
Posted in Afrotropolis, Fashion, SUPAFRIK
Tagged Afrotropolis, Benin, Chinedesign, Chinedu Ukabam, Fashion, Kente, Lookbook, Naz Tana, Ndebele