Pull out your platform shoes and bell bottoms! This Thursday, December 6 we’re bringing the grooves with First Thursday: A SOUL Revolution. We’re teaming up with guest-curators AfroChic for a Soul Train-inspired party that celebrates our new exhibition Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires. Hosted by Stacey McKenzie, the night will feature fantastic art and music to get you moving on the dance floor by DJ Steph Honey, Domanique Grant, DJ Elle and DJ Dre Ngozi.
We’ve already given you a sneak peek at the performers. This week we’re spotlighting the event’s guest-curators, AfroChic – a non-profit organization and the creative force behind AfroChic Cultural Arts Festival, Toronto’s annual multidisciplinary community celebration of music, art, fashion and culture.
We caught up with AfroChic Executive Director Amoye Henry to find out more about what we can expect at this Thursday’s event:
AGO: Why did you choose Soul Train as inspiration?
Amoye: When we researched the story and works of Mickalene Thomas, it was clear that the Soul Train period was important during the first wave of the Black liberation movement. And Soul Train feels lively, interactive, communal and daring – all words that describe how Mickalene’s work makes us feel.
AGO: What about Mickalene Thomas’s art most resonated with you?
Amoye: Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires looks at the intersection of race, gender and history in a way that challenges us to look at Black female figures in a new way. By paying homage to iconic figures [of Black women] who’ve been marginalized or overlooked throughout history, we see them in a new light. Personally, it made me reflect on my race, gender and identity.
AGO: What attracted you to the four artists (Kofi Frempong, Melissa Falconer, Reynold Thomas and Cazhhmere) featured in this First Thursday?
Amoye: These are artists who produce urgent work that inspires us and reminds us of the modern day Black liberation movement. Their works are centred on the Black Canadian experience, breaking down stereotypes and forcing us to see Black women in more complex and powerful ways while also portraying Black men as both vulnerable and multifaceted.
We can’t wait for First Thursday! A special selection of artworks from Out of the Vaults will be on display in the galleries. And when you get hungry from all that art-exploring and dancing, check out the delicious food and drinks in the AGO’s Night Market.
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