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Canadian migrant-rights activist Pablo Muñoz wins WorldPride 2014 National Youth Solidarity art contest

June 26th, 2014

The Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the AGO and WorldPride Toronto 2014 are delighted to announce the winner of the 4th Wall Youth Solidarity Project online vote.

Selected as winner by more than a thousand Canadians of all ages from across the country, Vancouver-based artist and rights activist Pablo Muñoz receives $1,000 and will work with a seasoned public art practitioner to see his art mounted on the western wall of the AGO.

His work, No Walls Between Us, highlights the unique experiences of migrant and racialized LGBT youth. It was one of six pieces of art chosen by a jury to represent the theme of “Solidarity with Canada’s Two-Spirited and LGBTTIQQ Communities,” in an unprecedented exhibition celebrating WorldPride Toronto 2014.

On view at the AGO between June 22 and Nov. 15, 2014, the Youth Solidarity Exhibition will inspire Canadians to work together to promote safe, inclusive and healthy communities for Two-Spirited and LGBTTIQQ youth throughout the country. The other young artists featured in the exhibition are:

  • Mathilde Cinq-Mars, a multidisciplinary visual and animation artist from Trois-Rivière, Que. who has a BA from the University of Strasbourg;
  • Roxanne Martin, a digital artist from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and the great-niece of Cecil Youngfox, a trailblazing Anishinaabe painter and gay rights activist;
  • Bogdan Salii, a passionate visual artist from Toronto, Ont., who recently immigrated to Canada from Ukraine to pursue his dream of transforming his love for art into a lucrative business;
  • Leo Samilo, a nascent artist and recent high school graduate from Surrey, B.C’s Filipino community; and
  • Brianne Walker, a 17-year-old human rights activist from Windsor, Ont., and aspiring visual artist and filmmaker.

This project is actively supported by more than 55 human rights, faith-based, arts, newcomer, Aboriginal and health organizations across Canada. For a full list of project collaborators, click here.

About Pablo Muño
Colombian-born Pablo Muñoz arrived to Canada as a refugee in 2000. Today, he is an accomplished citizen whose artistic work extends from painting, design, performance art and writing, and his community work centers around immigrant and refugee youth issues, intersections of queer and racialized identities, and solidarity with indigenous communities. Over the past year, Pablo worked on the Make it Count campaign — a project that created community dialogues across the province addressing challenges faced by migrant youth. He is currently working as a story editor on a documentary telling the story of queer refugees coming into Canada. He also is a member of the Vancouver Foundation’s Education Granting Committee and the City of Vancouver’s Youth Advisory Committee.

The Youth Solidarity Project is funded in part by StreetARToronto, a program of the City of Toronto, as well as the K.M. Hunter Foundation.

About the 4th Wall program
In theatre, the “fourth wall” is an imaginary screen that creates a virtual separation between actor and spectator. There are many ways to cross the fourth wall and to make the invisible visible. The Michaëlle Jean Foundation chose to do so through the 4th Wall: Make the Invisible Visible program, in collaboration with several prestigious Canadian museums and art galleries. The goal is to invite young creators to break down the invisible walls that create solitudes between individuals and communities across Canada, by opening the doors of our major cultural institutions to emerging creators from marginalized backgrounds. The Foundation offers museum and art gallery space and bursaries to youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, often cut off from museums, so that they can produce original art that conveys their experiences, ideas and challenges. On display for the public to see, their work provokes debate and builds solutions. The first 4th Wall exhibition was launched on Feb. 5, 2014, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, to mark Black History Month in collaboration with FRO Foundation.

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