Saturday, March 6, 2021

‘Celebrating Black Lives’ art project launched in Chatham-Kent

The Thames Art Gallery and ARTspace have announced their plans to observe Black History Month this February by inviting the CK community to contribute to a participatory artwork.

Now widely celebrated, Black History Month has a history all its own.

The Honourable Jean Augustine, who migrated to Canada from Grenada in 1960 became the first Black Canadian woman elected to the House of Commons in 1993.

She was appointed to a Cabinet post in 2002.

In her position, Jean introduced a motion to declare February as Black History Month, which ultimately passed to become part of our national consciousness.

For centuries, people of African descent have confronted and continue to confront prejudice and inequity.

Systemic barriers still prevent full and equal participation in society, Thames Art Gallery officials say.

“Almost nine months after George Floyd’s death, the rise of Black Lives Matter, and CK’s own peaceful march down King Street, we want to keep carrying it forward,” said Phil Vanderwall, gallery curator, in a media release.

“Creativity can help us to confront and overcome our challenges. Art can help us create the world we want to live in and what better way to focus our energies than to join together as a community and participate in a positive vision for 2021?”

‘Celebrating Black Lives’ is the theme of this digitally based installation.

For those who wish to participate, the gallery asks that you complete a work of art on the theme in any media.

Feel free to paint, draw, design, or write.

Once complete, please carefully photograph your work, and send it to

Gallery staff will print and assemble the works into a community art ‘quilt’, and the installation will be on public display in the ARTspace window for the month of February, organizers say.

A donation will be made for each participating artist involved to support the distribution of the film ‘The North Star: Finding Black Mecca.’

For more information, visit or and follow @TAGCK and @ARTspaceCK for updates.

The Thames Art Gallery is located at the Chatham Cultural Centre, 75 William St. N. Chatham.

ARTspace is located at 165 ½ King St. Chatham.

Check for hours as pandemic closures are currently in effect.

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