Shantel Miller, How Long Does It Take To Heal, Oil on Canvas, 2017
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The Feast is a performative dining exchange seating 100 Black women artists and arts workers around an exaggerated table down the centre of the Art Gallery of Ontario. It is a communal action positioning Black women creatives, knowledge holders and cultural producers at the centre of one of Canada’s largest arts institutions. The group has gathered in part to mark the 30th anniversary of Black Wimmin: When and Where We Enter, the first Canadian exhibition to exclusively feature the work of Black women artists organized by Diasporic African Wimmin Art Collective DAWA. The intellectual and artistic labour of Black women are largely absent from the Canadian art history canon, ushering the continuous urgency to name, visualize and celebrate their contributions. This historical gathering represents a continuation in that tradition. Organized by the virtual community, Black Wimmin Artist, The Feast is their first in-person meeting since the collective developed in 2016.
Founded in 2016 by artist/curator, Anique Jordan, Black Wimmin Artist, is a network of over 100 Canada-based Black women and gender non-binary artists and arts workers. The group includes a wide range of creatives, from working artists to critics, collectors, academics and arts administrators. Black Wimmin Artist is a responsive community of Black women connected through art. The collective operates in a virtual space, where members build and nurture the ecosystems surrounding Black women artists, while jointly deepening familiarity and visual literacy around the work of Black artists globally. Members reciprocally support each other economically; sharing employment opportunities, socially, creatively, politically and emotionally. These collective actions affirm the incredibly large and widespread presence of Black women creativity across Ontario and Canada.