Canvas for Change: Black Youth Art Celebration

Making Change is excited to partner with MacLaren Art Centre, Shak’s World Community Centre and Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library to offer a special art program geared to creative youth across Simcoe County! In recognition of Black History Month, Black youth ages 13 to 18 are invited to participate in a series of workshops to create a unique work of art—under the guidance of an artist mentor, Toronto-based Ashante Blackwood.

The focus of the program aims to celebrate the artistic talents of creative Black youth who use art to amplify their voice. In a series of workshops scheduled in December and January, Ashante Blackwood will guide youth on how to conceptualize, communicate and visually represent ideas that will shine a light on their unique perspectives and stories, aimed to spark important conversations within community.

In February 2024, the artwork created by participating youth will be part of a traveling group exhibition, on display at the MacLaren Art Centre and Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library. An opening reception is planned at the MacLaren Art Centre. Stay tuned for details!

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Admission: FREE, materials provided by the MacLaren Art Centre
Max Capacity: 20 youth participants
Ages: 13 to 18 years old
Artist Mentor: Ashante Blackwood

Dates Details
Thursday, January 11 Time: 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Location: Virtual Workshop
Saturday, January 20 Time: 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Location: Shak’s World Community Centre
Saturday, January 27 Time: 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Location: MacLaren Art Centre, Rotary Education Centre

How to Apply

This program is geared for high school students from around Simcoe County who recognize themselves as Black, Caribbean, African, Black Canadian, African American or of mixed-race descent and identify as having a Black-lived experience.

  • Those interested must submit a short statement of interest ie: Why they would like to be selected to participate in this program.
  • Submit an image of an artwork recently completed (no more than 2 years old) at a max of 300 dpi.

Selection Process

In early December, a selected Black regional artist will work with staff from Making Change, the MacLaren Art Centre and Shak’s World to select up to 20 youth to participate in this program.
The Selection Criteria Will Include (in order of importance):

  1. Originality of vision and concept of artwork submitted.
  2. Dynamic composition
  3. Interesting use of materials
  4. Technical skill

The deadline for submission is Thursday, December 21 by 4 pm.

Ashante Blackwood

About the Artist-Mentor

Ashante Blackwood, (@_artisticlifestyle6) is a 27-year-old fine artist and model based in Toronto. She specializes in portraits and concept art; her work captures the beauty and struggles of her culture and the process of her growing up insecure about things that identify her as a black woman. Ashante is a full-time artist/business owner who has always had love for fashion and artv, she believes art has no limits so why should she? Just like her work she likes to be creative with her fashion looks and art. Being a plus size model and full-time artist is the dream and goal of hers. The bodies of works produced tell a story of her finding her purpose and finally learning to embrace as well love the features that make her the highest level of beauty from her ancestors. Her goal is to one day open her own gallery/space for art, fashion, music, and events to showcase Toronto’s greatest undermined talent.

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