The “Ghosts of Todmorden Mills” will see a lead artist train and mentor 10 youth artists living on the margins in Toronto. This is a paid training opportunity for Toronto youth to learn employment-ready skills, photography and photoshop techniques, historical research techniques, sewing and costume design and creative writing. They will learn, discuss, explore, create, and practice collaboration and creative thinking with professional artists. The lead artist will be a photographer with expertise in photoshop and a passion for the macabre. Secondary artists will include a costume designer and a poetry/creative writing artist. All of the artists Art Starts hires have experience working with marginalized populations and mentoring youth.
Ebti NabagLead Artist
A graduate of Ryerson University’s MFA program Documentary Media in Film and Photography, Ebti is a visual artist who works with photography, video, and installation. She is a digital and analogue photography instructor. She teams up with galleries and community centers to develop art programs that provide opportunities for creative self-expression and aid in the development of identity. Her documentations focus on telling stories of the everyday person who we often neglect. She also uses her work to connect with her home country, Sudanese, and the people and culture of Sudan.
Her previous exhibits include Movement in Tradition: Tobe (2016), Vitiligo at the AGO (2015) and, Intersections (2014) featured in the Contact Photography Festival. Her work is motivated by stories from the average human, and hopes her documentations serve as bridges between people and communities.
Ayodele HolasLead Costume Designer
A graduate of George Brown College, Ayodele has over 20 years of experience in Toronto's fashion industry. Her personal line has been showcased at the ONEOFAKIND Show, SKYE SSUTU Boutique and Snapped. Ayodele is the lead designer and Stylist for artist Lisa Banton. Ayodele is the owner of Zipette Fashion, and an advocate for accessible community arts and ethical and sustainable clothing. She is the Lead Instructor for Scadding Court's Sewing Repair Hub, where she teaches basic sewing and alterations for marginalized women in the Alexandra Park community.
Patrick WaltersLead Spoken Word Artist
Patrick Walters is a spoken word artist/public speaker and arts educator who has spent over four years professionally using poetry to place emphasis on mental wellness and overall well being - a simple message, but one of paramount importance in today's society. Through the execution of workshops and showcases, this message is passed on to the hearts and minds of the communities he operates within. Last October, he released his debut poetry album, The OffShore Account, a haunting and beautiful body of work which discusses the intersection between community and migration. Looking to the future, Patrick plans to continue to work towards spreading insight and creating a community of positivity for future generations to come.
Timothy Yanick HunterPhoto Exhibition Curator
Timothy Yanick Hunter (b. 1990, Toronto, Canada) is a multidisciplinary artist and curator. After graduating from the University of Toronto in 2015 with a degree in Art History and English, his practice explores varying concepts surrounding digital security, identity – both digital and lived, narratives of hierarchical power-structures and how these ideas intersect with notions of Blackness and the greater African Diaspora. His approach alternates between exploratory and didactic. At times Hunter defines his process as experiments in visual language, where the mediums represent a range of languages and individual works express different stories. His work ranges from painting, sculpture, video, performance and installation.
Claudia AranaCurator Facilitator
Claudia Arana is an Independent Curator, Art Administrator and Cultural Connector who has installed her practice in the construction of artistic platforms that promote inclusion and diversity from different cultural perspectives. In Canada, she has established a career aimed at promoting a socially and politically viable artistic spectrum, where artists from different cultures are adequately represented and supported by both governmental institutions and non-profit organizations.
Julian CarvajalProject Manager
Julian is a colourful Colombo-Canadian Media Artist, Arts Manager, Producer and Arts & Culture Promoter. He has over 18 years of experience in managing and delivering large scale arts festivals, coordinating personnel, producing shows, marketing, budgeting, managing staff, and building community and media relations. He has co-produced and co-directed the experimental short film “Sunrise in Juarez” and the documentary film “My Parent's Closet”. In 2014 he produced his first solo documentary, "Uniterra Peru". Julian has a bachelor's degree in Social Communication. He also holds a degree in Event and Media Production. He was a co-producer for a Latino alternative media network. In 2016, he produced the first LGBTQ radio show for the Spanish Speaking Community at a Latinx Radio Station, Julian is an Art(ivist) and he currently works at Art Starts as Special Projects Manager also the Pan American Food and Music Festival as Event Producer and he is also working on an international visual arts project called Muralis 13-6 between Canada and the Government of Medellín, Colombia.
My name is Ameera Siddiqui and I am an 19-year-old artist. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always had a very keen interest about art and creative things. Art is so meaningful to my life because it allows me to express my inner thoughts through inspirational stories , without the use of any words, that make me feel, think, and see the world from a different perspective. These past few months have been a little rocky for me because I was unsure of what I wanted to go to school for. I’ve always talked about being a child and youth worker because of my love for children, completely ignoring my passion for art because I didn’t believe a career could come from it. However I recently had a breakthrough and decided on pursuing Art Therapy because I would get to do what I love most in the world, help people-especially children. This is primarily the reason why this project interests me so much. Art Starts is about youth uniting together in a safe environment, expressing thoughts and feelings through the beauty of art. To just be apart of something like this gives me both the experience and knowledge necessary to exceed in this field. Whether it’s drawing, poetry, photography or creative writing, there’s no limit to the skills I have attained.
I am a high school student in grade 12. In September I’ll be going to Humber College to study for business/ entrepreneurship. I also love to travel to different places that I’ve never been to also I like to draw, paint and put things together. I also love to interact with others.
Candace Kumar is a Toronto based dance artist. She started training at the age of 7 in tap, jazz, ballet and folk and has recently has opened up to new mediums of expression such as photography. She is currently working on her undergrad at the University of Toronto specializing in International Development Studies where she hopes to combine her passion for the arts with community development.
Emily Schimp@emilyschimp | @emilyspoems
Emily Schimp is a painter and poet living and working in Toronto, Ontario. She is an Alumni of the OCAD University Drawing and Painting program; currently living and working in Toronto, Canada. Her work seeks to reveal uncanny spaces by juxtaposing familiarity with the unknown. Her practice is a journey of coping and healing. Emily explores the paradoxical relationship between comfort and contemplation, by dissecting the effects of anxiety and depression and transforming them into more than darkness. She aims to redefine the stigma of suffering by creating spaces that perceive to be comfortable amidst isolation.
My name is Jessica and I was born in Toronto, Canada. My ethnicity is Asian because my parents were born in Shanghai, China. I’m in my last year of high school and I'm truly passionate about arts, whether that's filmmaking, photography, visual arts or graphic design. I'm currently in CyberArts, an integrated art and tech program at Don Mills Collegiate and either plan to go into architecture or filmmaking as a post-secondary choice. Other than the arts, I love to travel and experience different cultures as I believe traveling helps open your mind and develop a wider world view. My dream vacation would be either visiting the Serengeti Plains in Africa or staying at an overwater bungalow at Bora Bora.
I'm a 16 year old Colombian. I'm currently running some clubs at school and I'm the cook of my home.
In my free time, I listen to music and write. I have been taking pictures since I was 8 and have been writing poems and stories since I was 11
Mya Mitchell is an amazing artist who works with Art Starts to help connect communities through the influence of arts. These art forms include dance, music, visual arts, photography, and spoken word. Mya believes art is an all-embracing notion that plays the most important role in the development of mankind. To her — just like language is a natural behavior of expressing oneself, so is art. It is the base of what brings everyone together, regardless of how different you think you may be. Mya has won gold at nationals in instrumental music, worked at various art showcases, been part of an exhibition in the Gardiner Museum, and performed spoken word at TPL’s Poetry Saved Our Lives. Mya is an honest and hardworking individual who has many certificates and awards under her belt and is currently attending Humber College to complete her degree in Business Management.
Hi, I’m a 17 year old student who has a passion for photography. Since I’m an outdoor person I love taking shots of landscapes that catch the attention of my eyesight and as well of portraits of my friends. I am a foodie so I like trying out new places to eat each time I go out and explore many attractions and events around Ontario. Since grade 9, I had a big interest in makeup and would always try out new looks and strategize new techniques while I’m at it, which made me become better at it till this day and I’m very proud of it. My family is very supportive in my life and always encourage me for the decisions I take in life. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am right now. There’s a quote that I always think about when something is stopping me from being able to take a chance in order to do something, which is “go for it now. The future is promised to no one.” - Wayne Dyer
Tiara Jade is an emerging artist born and raised in Toronto. She enjoys experimenting with different mediums including traditional sketching, painting, clay work and photography. In 2017 she launched her online shop Craft Dealer Chick where she sells handmade clay jewelry and one of a kind hand painted denim. She hopes to expand her resume in the coming years by doing public art and gallery shows.