PRIDE 2021 ART WALK.
To celebrate Pride safely, we’ve commissioned artists from 2SLGBTQ+, BIPOC and ally communities to create an art walk at Central Memorial Park in Calgary to help make our world brighter together for everyone.
By Ash Adams (they/them) & Vanessa Toews (she/her)
Mural is located at the NE corner of Central Memorial Park in Calgary at 2nd Street & 12th Ave SW.
Artists' statement: Liberation is a message that is both social cause and demographic agnostic, including all variety of intersections of queer living. Just as race, disability, mental illness and class struggle intersect with queerness, our mural will sit at an intersection all its own for the Calgarians to take in.
Ash Adams is a trans non-binary Mi’kmaq artist, PDD support worker and educator in the field of employment and mental health, and graduated from AUArts in 2018. Ash has a mastery of ceramic processes and a knack for illustration. Mad identified, Ash works with bipolar and C-PTSD diagnosis, creating empathetic and connective artworks and pedagogies, providing support through organizations like the National accessArts Centre, and Prospect Human Services. In 2020, they co-founded Superbloom Collective with Vanessa Toews as a means of creating community-centered public art and workshops.
Vanessa Toews is an artist and educator, with a focus on creating inclusive and diverse educational opportunities. Vanessa obtained a BFA from AUArts in 2012, and a BEd from the University of Calgary in 2014, and has since worked in both fields. Vanessa identifies as neurodiverse, which has led to a focus on advocating for equitable art spaces for all people. Her advocacy work was fostered while working at the National accessArts Centre, and is continued through her participation as a board member at the Rehabilitation Society of Calgary, as well as her current focus on accessible community art programming. In 2020, she and Ash Adams co-founded Superbloom Collective, to create community-centered public art and workshops.
@ashadamscreates, @superbloomcollective, superbloomcollective.ca
PRIDE IN SOLIDARITY
By Wilmer Aburto (he/him), Colin Menzies (he/they) & Chishimba Matthew Kangombe (he/him)
Mural is located at the NW corner of Central Memorial Park in Calgary at 4th Street & 13th Ave SW.
Artists' statement: At a time of so much misinformation, it is more important than ever to come together into action to speak truth to power, to ourselves and to our communities. 2020/2021 reflected a shared worldwide pandemic, yet we found ourselves in some ways more divided than ever. As folks explored their right to make their own choices, politics continued to reinforce this division around the world.
During this world crisis, we were exposed to messaging of “we’re in this together” and ”we’ll get through this together.” Now, when it appears that we are emerging on the other side of a global pandemic, where do we stand?
Wilmer Aburto is a Calgary-based photographer, born in Nicaragua. Wilmer is passionate about social advocacy and inclusivity through artistic projects. He has developed and led collaborations with youth, seniors, Canadian newcomers, veterans, individuals with mixed abilities or mental health barriers, and racialized and gender-diverse communities.
Colin Menzies is an interdisciplinary queer artist who produces multimedia projects under the alias Subliminal Rabbit. Colin’s projects typically start with a drawing in which there is a hidden rabbit.
They recently produced a video installation for the production of Orlando at the Vienna Opera House, which was featured in the New York Times.
Chishimba Matthew Kangombe, known as Chish, was born in Zambia. After living in various countries, he now calls Calgary home and is inspired by his roots and ancestry, particularly by his grandfather—a cattle farmer in Zambia. Chish includes symbols from African culture in his art, and is an up-and-coming mural artist.
@wilmerphotography, @thesubliminalrabbit, @artofchish
YOU ARE QUEER ENOUGH
By Mackenzie Bedford (she/her)
Mural is located at the SE corner of Central Memorial Park in Calgary at 2nd Street & 13th Ave SW.
Artist's statement: A tear in space is calling out the voices in our head that doubt if you 'count.' This mural is a signal to everyone entering the park that no matter how they express their identity, a little or a lot, they are enough. It’s written in the stars.
Mackenzie Bedford is a telescope for queer space. Exhausted by perspectives that lack the imagination and diversity it demands, Mackenzie is revealing the queerness of the cosmos with visual narrative.
Growing up in the closet in a small mountain town, Mackenzie’s work revolves around queer femme exploration, dreams, and the surrealities that exist within. She's also an introverted sci-fi fan with a love for karaoke.
@mackenziebedford, @mackenzie.bedford, mackenziebedford.com
By Nicole Wolf (she/her) & Mike Hooves (they/them)
Mural is located at the SW corner of Central Memorial Park in Calgary at 4th Street & 12th Ave SW.
Artist's statement: Within everyday foliage lies something magical, colorful and fluid. Our image is of a garter snake, coiled amongst flowers. Both the snake and flowers are native to Treaty 7. Snakes are a pan-cultural symbol of self-knowledge and knowing, which are key aspects of queer identity. Additionally, the snake is representative of the transformative nature of queerness—symbolized through the skin of the snake, which sheds many times in its lifetime to allow for growth and change. The colors on the snake reflect a pride flag that contains queer colors, BIPOC colors and trans colors.
This mural is about transformation. There's always an opportunity to morph and change into a truer form, especially after difficult experiences. To be alive is to be in a constant state of transformation, and we have the power to choose who we will be.
Nicole Wolf is an Alberta-based muralist and illustrator. She studied Fine Art at MacEwan University and holds an undergraduate degree in Design from the Alberta University for the Arts. Nicole has created murals in Europe, Asia and North America. Her work explores human behaviour, untold narratives and veiled realities.
Mike Hooves is a prairie queer working in illustration, animation and film, in Calgary, Alberta. They received their Bachelor of Design from AUArts in 2016. Mike uses simple shapes, saturated colours, and gestural linework to create playful and engaging imagery that acknowledges queer aesthetics and signifiers.