5 Artists 1 Love started in 2006 as an artistic showcase of Edmonton’s African-Canadian communities and, after 15 years of celebrating those communities through art, dance, music, poetry, it’s time to look back.
Black Every Day is an ongoing exhibition by 5 Artists 1 Love, in partnership with the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA). The exhibition features 15 Black visual artists whose work has been handpicked by 5 Artists 1 Love to be showcased inside of the AGA, although the gallery currently remains closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“The ideal will be to have the public actually attend the exhibit and experience it as it was meant to be experienced,” Darren Jordan, founder and curator of 5 Artists 1 Love, says. “This of course only occurs if the numbers of COVID decline and the restrictions are lifted. Barring that, options for a digital offering are being explored at this time.”
In response, the AGA has extended the exhibition until September, but you can still celebrate 5 Artists 1 Love’s 15th anniversary with the “Artists in Discussion” virtual conversation this weekend. The conversation will include Jordan, as well as muralist AJA Louden and painter Judy BL Robinson — both of whom are featured in the exhibition. The trio will discuss the upcoming exhibition and their backgrounds and experiences in the arts.
Although 5 Artists 1 Love is usually held during Black History Month, Jordan mentioned the significance of hosting the exhibition outside of February.
“I’ve often joked about how Black History Month is nestled in the shortest and coldest month of the year,” Jordan says. “Celebrating and acknowledging the achievements from within our community should not be relegated to one month of the year.”
The Black Every Day exhibition and virtual conversation are also looking to recognize the changes that we have witnessed in the last year by speaking directly to issues of racial justice and anti-Black racism.
“Even though there is a popular global movement of anti-Black racism and its impacts, we were Black and dealing with it before it was a trend and [we] will be after,” Jordan says. “We’re Black every day.”
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5 Artists 1 Love’s virtual conversation will be available for free on April 24 through the AGA website. If you are interested in learning more about 5 Artists 1 Love and how the showcase got its start, you can check out the Retrospective Webisode Series on its website.