Talks

Art in the Spotlight: This Mountain Loves You

Image of This Mountain Loves You

This Mountain Loves You, Ani Castillo in collaboration with AGO Youth Council, 2018, installation view. Image by the AGO.

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Talks

Art in the Spotlight: This Mountain Loves You

Tuesday July 21, 4 pm

Join artist Ani Castillo for a conversation with the AGO's Madelyne Beckles and Sarah Febbraro and AGO Youth Council alum isi-bhakomen about This Mountain Loves You, the 2018 work created by the AGO Youth Council in collaboration with Castillo.

This Mountain Loves You is a tribute to and recreation of Leonard Knight's “Salvation Mountain”, a large scale folk art environment located in the desert of Southern California. Over a seven-week period youth hand painted messages on brightly coloured fabrics and then stitched them together to create a large scale quilt, covering the surface of the mountain, countering and resisting the climate of Trump-era politics.

isi-bhakomen is an Afro-Latinx multi-disciplinary artist with Peruvian and Nigerian heritage. This year they are entering their final year of acting at The National Theatre School of Canada. Their most recent credits include Black Girl in Search of God, a short film that they wrote, directed and starred in which premiered at the 2019 TIFF Next Wave/Insomniac Film Festival's Battle of the Scores. Additionally, they are currently a member of Shakespeare in the Ruff's Young Ruffians Apprenticeship Program where they are writing a full-length play. Through film, photography, and writing they strive to amplify the black femme voice. 

Madelyne Beckles is a multidisciplinary artist and the Curatorial Assistant of Youth and Engagement at the AGO. She holds a BFA in Art History and Women’s Studies and now puts her critical faculties to work as a co-host of the podcast High T. Her artwork explores themes of femininity and the body with abject aesthetics and camp humour, which has been shown at MoMA, the AGO, and Miami Art Basel.

Sarah Febbraro is Assistant Curator, Youth & Engagement at the AGO and an artist. Socializing with collaborators, participants and community partners is integral to her programming and art practice.  She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Performance Art and recently completed a documentary titled Girl Guides that mapped the Bloor/Dufferin neighbourhood in Toronto with 5 teenage girls.

Ani Castillo was drawing all day from age 3. So, by age 4 she already had a bit of an advantage over her contemporaries, when it came to art. As a teenager, she was terribly shy, so she threw herself into her art as a way to keep on loving even if she wasn’t hanging with her fellow humans. At 20, she started writing a blog which became notorious in her city, Guadalajara. Because of this blog, she got invited to work on TV and as a newspaper cartoonist. Her cartoon, Pupa & Lavinia ran for 10 years. A couple of years after that, a Canadian gentleman fell in love with her through the internet and invited her to move to his country. They married and had 2 children. Ani started creating an art project called ‘imaginary friend’ which consisted of her catching her thoughts and turning them into cartoons. This project became a multi-year project that opened the doors to collaborating with institutions like Doctors Without Borders, CAMH and Mental Health America. She got invited to become a cartoonist for Metro Canada and The Toronto Star. In 2019 she published her first book Ping in New York, which was acquired in a 3 book deal. Ping has been translated to 6 different languages, has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, in CTV’s show your morning and was selected as one of the best books of 2019 by the CBC. Ani Castillo has collaborated with the AGO in projects involving a massive installation called This Mountain Loves You which was created and erected in Walker Court by the AGO's Youth Council and herself. She has also worked as a cartooning teacher for the AGO. Ani’s passion for teaching stems from the passion she feels to nurture and empower the student’s imagination and intuition. She works from the premise that each one of us contains lots of original energy, wisdom and creativity. All we need is already deep inside ourselves, and we need to listen to our own inner voice.

 

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Art in the Spotlight: This Mountain Loves You

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