Novella’s May Art Guide

Beginning during the tail end of April, Scotiabank’s CONTACT Photography Festival will take over the city until June, spanning across venues and neighbourhoods. While there are still so many non-photography exhibitions happening in the city during this time, we thought we would shine a spotlight on photography to coincide with the festival. This is to say, we’ve sifted through a lot of the Canada-150-promotional-hoohah to bring you some truly excellent photography exhibitions that you should absolutely see. You know, if you have the time. We won’t make you.

EARS, EYES, VOICE: BLACK CANADIAN PHOTOJOURNALISTS 1970s-1990s (APRIL 27TH—MAY 27TH)

At Band Gallery’s exhibition, notable, award-winning photojournalists Jules Elder, Eddie Grant, Diane Liverpool, and Al Peabody show some of their most memorable work. These journalists documented the joy, changes, and tension found in the Black Canadian community in the 1970s and ’80s. Their photographs feature politicians, activists, protestors, musicians, and athletes. This exhibition is a powerful reflection on images of the past of the Black community and will bear new discussion through the lens of today’s society.

Find out more information here.

PACIFIER: PETRA COLLINS (APRIL 29TH—JUNE 24TH)

Toronto-born photographer Petra Collins, now based in New York, has made a name for herself through her beautiful work straddling the line between art and fashion. A regular at i-D Magazine, Collins has her own unique style of capturing light and the people it touches. This exhibition at the Contact Gallery is a homecoming for Collins, as it is her first solo Canadian exhibition.

Find out more information here.

SPACE WITHIN (APRIL 29TH—JUNE 3RD)

This group show at Walnut Contemporary features work by artists Ella Morton, Gonzalo Bénard, Hyla Levy, Maia, Katie Bruce, Nava Waxman, Heidi McKenzie and Teresa Ascenção. Curator Ibérina Raquel Vilehna created the show under the concept “space.” Each artist’s work interprets the concept in their particular way, through images of physical spaces to metaphorical spatial awareness and seclusion.

Find out more information here.

THE SUM OF ALL PARTS: JALANI MORGAN (APRIL 30TH—MAY 31ST)

Toronto-based photographer Jalani Morgan has made a name for himself through his national and international work exploring visual representations of Black life both in Canada and around the world. He has shot for Black Lives Matter Toronto, Nike, and The National Film Board, to name a few. His work is honest and stunning, and this exhibit at the Metro Hall should not be missed.

Find out more information here.

DE/GENERATIVE: OSCAR WOLFMAN (MAY 2ND—MAY 26TH)

Queen Gallery with be showing a retrospective on the late Oscar Wolfman’s incredible work. Wolfman, who was based on Toronto for his photography, is noted for queering Jewish religion and culture, representing his won experience growing up and living as a gay Jewish man. His work includes reimagining of biblical scenes and combining Jewish rituals with homoerotic subtext. Provocative, stunning and utterly unique.

Find out more information here.

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