Tag Archives: Toronto

Cutting Edge Eyewear. #MadeInGhana

 

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This summer when Afrobeats rising star Mr. Eazi hit Toronto for his epic concert, he was on the hunt for some stylish accessories to compliment his wardrobe. Bohten was one of the first brands that immediately came to mind for the exclusive SUPAFRIK photoshoot with Mr Eazi. We love the clean lines and high quality finishing of their products but what endeared us to Bohten was their commitment to sourcing and incorporating African materials into their manufacturing process. We are excited and proud to support Bohten as they take a big step towards furthering that vision of a new Africa by creating a lens production hub in Ghana. They have started a Kickstarter campaign which also doubles as pre-sale for the upcoming Bohten5 collection showcasing a redesign of their milestone products & its first Aviator Frames as part of their 2018 generation of glasses. Early bird perks includes up to 55% discount on retail price as well as custom patterns when you order the new Wanderlust Maple frame pictured above! They have already hit their target but you should still try to get in on the perks before the campaign closes November 5.

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Behind the Scenes at Style and Profile!

We can’t believe that Chinedu Ukabam’s Style and Profile is just about coming to a close. Tonight, the SUPAFRIK fam will be at the Come Up To My Room Love Design Party to celebrate our hard work and long nights. Chinedu partnered up with Gregorio Jimenez from Honour Carpentry to create some amazing pieces for Style and Profile. Here’s a look back on a few moments (out of the countless hours!) spent putting it all together. The show is still on until Sunday evening – if you’re in Toronto and haven’t checked it out already, make sure that you do!

 

 

Where We Spend Our Late Nights: BAND Gallery

It’s been a busy start to the year for SUPAFRIK. We’re just about to wrap Chinedu Ukabam’s installation at Come Up To My Room, Style and Profile, and jump right into getting ready for Water Carry Me Go. None of our planning, plotting, and scheming would have been possible without our outstanding sponsors at Black Artists’ Network Dialogue (BAND) Gallery who have generously opened up their studio space for us. They’re dedicated to highlighting and supporting the work of Black artists and cultural workers in Toronto, and are, in a nutshell, pretty dope. Here’s an introduction:

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What is the Band Gallery Mandate?

BAND Gallery and Cultural Centre is dedicated to developing emerging and mid-career professional artists and arts administrators by providing an accessible venue to showcase artists’ work and to present Black cultural community events and programs to the general public.

What is coming up in the space?

We have two main events coming up in the next few months.

The first is Black History Month Programming 2016 happening from February 11th to March 6th entitled “50 years of Creating Safe Spaces: From The Rent Party to Club Night.” This interactive exhibition will bring music, videos, photography and dance together to document safe spaces. This exhibition will include the photography of Ian Watson along with the archival promotional posters of Hot Steppers who bring us Bump and Hustle.

The second is the Scotiabank CONTACT Festival happening from April 28th to May 29th. In partnership with Autograph ABP,BAND presents the first solo exhibition in Canada by the celebrated African photographer James Barnor, showcasing a wide selection of street and studio portraiture from the 1950s to the early 1970s. Through the medium of portraiture, Barnor’s photographs represent societies in transition: Ghana moving towards its independence from colonial rule and London becoming a cosmopolitan, multicultural metropolis during the ‘swinging’ sixties.

How can artists in the community get involved with BAND Gallery?

We have opportunities for people in the community to get involved at the gallery as volunteers. Volunteers are responsible for gallery maintenance and guest relations, with an emphasis on educating and exhibiting. If interested please send cover letter and resume to Paula Kennedy at admin@band-rand.com.

 

To the BAND team from SUPAFRIK: Thanks for all of your support!

Inspiration: Futurustic-Nostalgic Hairstyles in Anticipation of #StylenProfile16

SUPAFRIK’s Creative Director, Chinedu Ukabam, is transforming the bathroom at the Gladstone hotel into anode to Afro-pop art and the distinct aesthetic of barbershops across Africa. He’s one of the featured designers at the hotel’s annual Come Up To My Room design event, where artists are given free reign to transform areas of the hotel into immersive installations. Imagine a (futuristic!) nostalgic alternate dimension dedicated to hair and its capacity to shape, mold, and coiffe identity; his exhibit, “Style and Profile”, is exactly that.

Hair. Wouldn’t it be interesting to look inside the heads of Black men and women and see how our brains respond to a simple mention of the world, or is it just us? Hair is a powerful component in our experience.  Chinedu Ukabam was inspired by the fact that, for many, walking into barbershops provides the opportunity for them to pick an identity—haircuts that promise to turn wearers into Lumumba‘s or Private Eye‘s, or more recently, The Weeknd—and of course, to debate and disseminate today’s hottest topics.

In “Style and Profile”, Ukabam has created a barbershop that takes the shaping of identities very seriously, and very literally. It’s a futuristic comment on the ways in which people have chosen to portray themselves, especially via social media. If hairstyles were all we had before, lighting and angles filter the images we depict today; notwithstanding a stream of selfies reflecting bathroom mirrors and the caricature we most identify with.

Oh, how we see ourselves…

So, while The Lumumba might still be your look of choice, such cuts are an accessory to the multi-dimensional narratives in our virtual timelines.

Chinedu Ukabam’s Style ‘n Profile exhilarates our senses in a captivating installation at the Gladstone Hotel from January 21-24. Below, you have some African pop-cultural references inspiring the themes running across the thread of his art…

Which one is most you? From The Prince to The Flattop, The Executive to Suave, insta-choose the look that is most you! Most true. Most new. most astute.

As we reminisce, isn’t it profound to see the return of old styles and the periods in which they’ve come back? From Lumumba’s iconic part, to the Weeknd’s rather wicked renaissance of the Mini Dread.

Now talk about futuristic nostalgia! Here we have a Rwandan man with an Amasunzu hairstyle circa 1923. What name would you give for this style if it was one of the options in the first image?

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Oh ladies, how varying the styles can be! So much to choose from.

 

Artist Chinedu Ukabam used various pop-culture references as inspiration for his installation.

Come and join us for a once in a lifetime barbershop experience at the Gladstone Hotel from January 21st – 24th. Pre-purchase your tickets at Eventbrite here. Join the conversation online with the hashtag #StylenProfile16.

By: Daniella Kalinda

 

SUPAFRIK Takes Over Toronto To Kick Off the New Year!

Happy New Year!

We hope your 2016 ring-in was filled with love, laughter, and lots of Afrobeats. On our end, we’ve been quietly working towards getting ready to kick in SUPAFRIK’s 2016 debut, and it’s looking to be a great. We have linked up with some of the marquee institutions in Toronto, and we’re planning on sprinkling contemporary Africana fairy-dust everywhere we go. Keep reading to find out more!

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January 21-24 | Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St. W, Toronto |
‘Style & Profile’ at Come Up to My Room 
SUPAFRIK Founder Chinedu Ukabam has been selected as a featured artist at “Come Up to My Room” at the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St W). In case you aren’t familiar, it’s the biggest alternative design festival in Toronto. The hotel invites artists and designers to transform rooms and spaces into a world of their own. Chinedu’s installation, “Style and Profile”, is an ode to Afro-Pop-Art. It is inspired by African barbershops and explores notions of identity in all its seriousness and absurdity. He will be creating original prints and mixed media artwork, and collaborating on some furniture designs with his old friend and man of many woods Gregorio Jimenez. We’re inviting you all to come up to HIS room. PS: The big reception party is on the Saturday 23rd.

Exhibition Admission:
$10 | General admission (per day)
$25 | School groups book tours with lukus@gladstonehotel.com.
$5 | Student day on Jan 22  (with student id)

February 5 | Royal Ontario Museum | Water Carry Me Go @ Royal Ontario Museum Friday Night Live and Kuumba
This one, we’re super excited about! Water Carry Me Go is a fashion-art exhibition featuring seven African and Afro-diasporic designers from Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, UK and of course, Canada. Each designer is creating an avant-garde garment for the show.  The unique exhibit will centre on the theme of water, an element that connects Africa and its Diasporas in a multitude of ways—as a passage, a cause of displacement and the origin of mythology. The show aims to dismantle artificial distinctions between fashion and art.  We could not have done this without the support of TD Bank, Seven Continents, and Honour Carpentry. “Water Carry Me Go” will first debut as a performance art piece with “live” mannequins during the Royal Ontario Museum’s Friday Night Live, before being permanently installed at the Harbourfront Centre’s Architectural Gallery from February 6-12 for their Kuumba festivalLearn more about the artists here!

Exhibition Admission:
ROM Friday Night Live | Tickets can be purchased at this link
Kuumba @ Harbourfront Centre| Admission is free for everyone.

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February 5 | Royal Ontario Museum | GUMBO #4 @FNLROM + Tattoo
GUMBO is back, this time at 2 locations! The ROM will be hosting the 4th edition of the popular GUMBO music series that Chinedu and Wan Luv started last summer. The first party was at Caribana. The last party took us to New Orleans. This time, we’re pulling out all the stops for Carnival time. First, it’ll start it off as a public dance class with renowned choreographers Esie Mensah and Pulga Cesar Muchochoma with music by DJ Revy B to get you up to speed with all the latest dances from Africa and the Caribbean. Then, it’ll morph into an intense Afrobeats/Afrohouse Soca Reggae dance party with Deemaks, Sean Sax, and Donet at Tattoo (567 Queen Street West).

Exhibition Admission:
ROM Friday Night Live | Tickets can be purchased at this link
GUMBO After party | gumbo4.eventbrite.ca

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We’ll be updating you all with more information leading up to the event! Be sure to follow us on Instagram @SUPAFRIK and on Twitter @Chinedesign. If you have any questions, email hawa@SUPAFRIK.com.

 

 

 

Help Wanted! Apply Within.

We are looking for interns and volunteers to work on some exciting projects we have lined up for 2016 in the Toronto area. If you have an affinity for contemporary African culture and a passion for fashion or the arts, we have some awesome opportunities that you will definitely be interested in. You can find more information on the paid internships and volunteer positions below.
 
1) Communications Intern (1 position)
2) Studio Manager /Artist Assistant Intern (2 positions)
3) General Volunteers (3 positions)
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To Apply:
1. Research past events such as Afrotropolis Wonderland, MasqueradeTO, Palattes of Africa and The (Re)Generator Project to get a feel for the tone and scope of the projects that we produce.
2. Send an email to Lucy@supafrik.com with your resume and cover letter outlining what you bring to the table and what you hope to gain from the experience. Be sure to indicate with position or positions you are applying for.
3. Feel free to put some thought/creativity into your application but hurry! Deadline is December 23! Good luck!
 
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Position: Communications Intern
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Key Responsibilities:
Act as social media liaison. This will involve but is not limited to:
* Documenting the work in progress of the artists working on the projects
* Generating original content around the various projects

* Sending out personalized email PR blasts to blogs

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Recap: SUPAFRIK Shhhhhhhh Secret BBQ Party

Moments captured by Taiwo Bah
Words by Chinedu Ukabam

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“Yesterday was the hottest day of the Toronto summer so far. Humidity so thick, the city issued a heat warning that sent people scampering to the nearest air conditioned enclosure. It was the type of heat that would make someone want to throw a trash can through the front window of a pizza parlor. Continue reading