Building Portraits: Solana Cain, Wynne Neilly and Tal-Or Ben-Choreen

headshots of artists Solana Cain and Wynne Neilly

Solana Cain photo by Jorian Charlton. Wynne Neilly photo courtesy the artist

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Building Portraits: Solana Cain, Wynne Neilly and Tal-Or Ben-Choreen

Wednesday, December 6
Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario

This event has been cancelled. 


Join photojournalist and photo editor Solana Cain and visual artist Wynne Neilly in a conversation about portraiture and photography moderated by exhibition co-curator Tal-Or Ben-Choreen. 

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Building Icons: Arnold Newman’s Magazine World, 19382000. 

Solana Cain is a photographic professional based in Toronto. Cain's professional and artistic practice spans photography, photo editing, and curation. Conceptually her practice centers diversity and inclusion and she aims to provide a platform and recognition for creative people from marginalized communities. She is currently a photo editor at The Globe and Mail newspaper and has contributed to the visual teams at Getty Images, Maclean's and HELLO! Canada, amongst others. Cain is one of the founders of Room Up Front, a BIPOC photojournalism mentorship program that won the inaugural Special Recognition Citation at the National Newspaper Awards this year. She also sits on the advisory board of X in Residence, a creative residency in Toronto which prioritizes arts practitioners from marginalized communities and aims to remove accessibility boundaries and foster cross-generational dialogues. Cain's more recent curatorial project was a solo exhibition of photos by Jorian Charlton presented at Cooper Cole, Toronto. 

Wynne Neilly is a Canadian, queer and trans identified, visual artist and award winning photographer currently based in Toronto. He is most known for his work in portraiture and his monumental cover of TIME Magazine shot in 2021 featuring Elliot Page. More recently, Wynne received recognition for winning Scotia Bank's New Generation Photography Award in 2023.

His artistic practice, most often, is an investigation into engaging with the queer and trans identity, both on an individual level and relationally within the community. Wynne’s work aims to open up a conversation around how we read and interpret intimacy between queer and trans bodies, both in the subject matter itself and from his gaze as the image maker. The content of his work seeks to reveal and support the notion of individuality and non-normative presentations of gender identity as political liberation and personal healing.

Tal-Or Ben-Choreen is a photography scholar and independent curator. Her areas of specialty include American and Canadian photography between 1960 and 1990 which she explores with particular emphasis placed on social networks, and institutional and educational contexts. She holds a PhD in Art History from Concordia University. Ben-Choreen’s writings have been published by the Contemporary Review of the Middle East, Canadian Jewish Studies, and Afterimage Online. She worked on Optica un centre d’art contemporian’s 2019 publication Archi-féministes! Contemporary Art, Feminist Theory and co-edited an upcoming issue of the History of Photography journal dedicated to the illustrated slide. Ben-Choreen’s fellowships and awards include the Howard Tanenbaum Fellowship (The Image Centre), Fulbright Fellowship, and Joseph-Armand Bombardier SSHRC.


For requests for Verbal Description, American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and/or live captioning for online and onsite programming, please provide three weeks notice in advance of the event date. The AGO will make every effort to provide accommodation for requests made with less than three weeks notice. Please note that automated captioning is available for all online programs. For onsite visits, the AGO offers these supports for an accessible visit. Please contact us to make a request for these or other accessibility accommodations. Learn more about accessibility at the AGO.


Saturday, December 9, 2 pm
Saturday, January 13, 2024, 2 pm
Wednesday, March 6, 7 pm
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