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‘Solidarity in My Community’: Enter The Black History Month Exhibition!

The Museum of Dufferin, in partnership with the Dufferin County Canadian Black Association, presents: 
'Solidarity in My Community': Enter The Black History Month Exhibition!
The Museum of Dufferin, in partnership with the Dufferin County Canadian Black Association, presents:

Whether you participated in a Black Lives Matter march, displayed signs in your windows, or witnessed the community coming together in other meaningful ways, there is still time to participate in this year’s Black History Month Exhibition.

The Museum of Dufferin, in partnership with the Dufferin County Canadian Black Association (DCCBA), is holding the second annual Black History Month Exhibition in February. If you are a photographer or artist, there is just over a week left to submit your piece. There are cash prizes that will be awarded by well-known jurors, accompanied by some other exciting aspects. This is not something to miss.

The theme for the 2021 Black History Month Exhibition is ‘Solidarity in My Community’. Alethia O’Hara-Stephenson, President of the DCCBA, told Dufferin News that the events over the past year, as a result of Covid19, the murder of George Floyd, and ‘the subsequent BLM Marches globally and most importantly right here in Shelburne and Orangeville’ are what led to this year’s theme being chosen.

As this is a juried competition, not all entries will be included in the exhibition. Submissions will be judged on criteria that includes quality, connection to the theme of the exhibition, and supporting written comments. Furthermore, photographs will also be assessed on composition and artistic pieces on the basis of techniques used.

Artists and photographers are able to submit two pieces each, in the form of either an image and video. A short description or ‘reflection’ is required with each composition. There is no entry fee and all artists and photographers from across Canada can enter. The deadline for submissions is February 1st at 5 pm and notices of acceptance will go out to participants on February 5th. More details on the entry requirements and criteria, in addition to the application form, can be found here.

There are awards for the following three categories: Student Award, Best in Show Award, and Juror’s Choice Award. Art and photography pieces will be judged separately and total monetary prizes amount to over $1000.

Dufferin News asked O’Hara-Stephenson and Sarah Robinson, curator of the Museum of Dufferin, why an art exhibition was chosen as a way to recognize Black History Month.

“Art is something that connects us all,” stated Sarah Robinson, Curator of the Museum of Dufferin. “It is a way for people to express their thoughts, feelings, emotions – whether it be a more traditional technique like acrylic on canvas or a digital photograph. It can also be a form of therapy, an outlet to process and reflect.”

“The art and photo exhibit is a great way to showcase the rich talent in our community and allow individuals to showcase the spirit of Solidarity. It is also a great way for individuals to express perhaps some of what they have felt or have experienced over the past year especially around the events that took place in the media surrounding the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent BLM marches,” said Alethia O’Hara-Stephenson.

The jury for the Black History Month Exhibition consists of leaders, artists and educators in the Dufferin County community. Sarah Robinson provided Dufferin News with backgrounds on the members of the jury. Some well-known names include DCCBA’s Alethia O’Hara-Stephenson and Shelburne’s Deputy Mayor Steve Anderson. Althea Alli, owner of ACCE Photography in Shelburne and a Director at Choices Youth Shelter, is among those judging as well.

Also jurying the Black History Month Exhibition is Mercedez Erazo, a student of the arts who is active in the Shelburne community. Erazo is involved in the Black Chapter group at Centre Dufferin District High School and last year she contributed one of her pieces to the Museum of Dufferin.

Korby Banner, a photographer of notable repute, is also on the exhibition’s jury. Banner has done photography internationally, executing commissioned portraits of famous folks such as Harrison Ford, Tyra Banks, Tony Bennett, Joan Collins, Iman, and Oscar de la Renta. His images can be seen on the covers of magazines, books, and CDs, in addition to billboards and other travel brochures. Banner has even captured photos of those attending the red carpet and other well-known media events.

The opening of the Black History Month Exhibition is on Friday, February 5th, with an associated panel discussion taking place on Saturday, February 20th, live, during the Black History Month Virtual Presentation on YouTube. The panel will bring together local leaders and advocates to discuss the topic of solidarity in our community, and how we can move forward together. The exhibition will run until March 31st, 2021. The hope is to return to an in-person format, similar to the Museum’s first Black History Month Exhibition, in 2022.

There’s more though. On January 23rd, Alethia O’Hara-Stephenson put up a post on Facebook that included the following.

“Stay tuned to hear about the ALL STAR celebrity lineup for the panel discussion on February 20th where the winners will be announced! Think movie stars, poets and more! You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity! Trust me!”

Make sure you follow the Dufferin County Canadian Black Association’s and Museum of Dufferin’s social media accounts to make sure you are informed with the latest!

“Please support the event,” O’Hara-Stephenson asks the people of Dufferin. “We have lots of great prizes to be awarded for the Art & Photography Exhibition, so we are encouraging as many entries as possible. These events are open to anyone to submit their artwork and to participate.”

Disclosure: Dufferin’s Spotlight is partnered with Dufferin County Canadian Black Association.

Museum of DufferinDufferin County Canadian Black Association

References – ‘Solidarity in My Community’: Enter The Black History Month Exhibition!

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