Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Welcome Shaunga, Alvis, Kike, and Raz!

We're delighted and honoured to welcome Shaunga Tagore, Alvis Choi (aka Alvis Parsley), Kike Olajumoke/Kiki Mako-Joules, and Raz Rotem. 

Kike, Alvis, Raz, and Shaunga are joining Red Dress Productions' artistic team as interning emerging community artists working on Promise in the Park: The Winchester Park Public Art Project.

Raz Rotem is an interdisciplinary artist and educator living in Toronto. Raz is a graduate of OCADU Sculpture and Installation department, a member of the Toronto Guild of Spinners and Weavers, and a recent graduate of Humber College Child and Youth Care program. As an artist Raz is interested in storytelling, myth, and legends as expressions of human longing for meaning, belonging and transcendence. Raz's involvement in community arts initiatives stems from a belief in the power of the arts to foster personal and social wellness. He is a Lead Artist for Weave (We Are a Part of the Fabric), a fibre based community-art project, which is a collaboration between the FibreWebs Collective, Supporting Our Youth (SOY, housed at the Sherbourne Health Centre) and SKETCH working arts. 

Kike Olajumoke/Kiki Mako-Joules is an artist-in-‘self’ training, currently attending at the Ontario College of Art & Design. Kike’s work consists mainly of self-portraits and more recently, artivist portraits of the world she see around her. She has often found a paintbrush to be dissociative from her desire to be as physically connected to the work she make as possible, and so her primary medium of expression has been through charcoals, pastels and oil sticks, replacing the paintbrush with her fingers whenever possible. Her pieces are infused with sculpture, photography, wood, textiles, found objects, and whatever it takes to come together in a symphony of creation and telling. Kike calls herself an artist-in-‘self’ training because: “ I am still trying everyday to find myself and my story through the magic of art and it is through this journey that I continue to find ways to connect this self to all the stories and issues that are inextricably linked to me in this world.” 

Alvis Choi (aka Alvis Parsley) is an artist, performer, writer, and researcher based in Toronto. Alvis’ work was presented at the SummerWorks Festival, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Rhubarb Festival, Jane’s Walk, Radical Queer Semaine (Montreal), Meow Mix (Montreal), Pervers/Cité (Montreal), and Qouleur (Montreal) among others. Alvis serves on the Programming Committee of Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and the Working Collective of Whippersnapper Gallery. They were selected as a finalist of Toronto Arts Foundation's Newcomer Artist Award and have received grants and mentorship from Diaspora Dialogues, Neighbourhood Arts Network, Vtape, Jumblies Theatre, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) and the British Council. Alvis' curatorial work was presented at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff), Seoul International New Media Festival, Estonian Academy of Arts, Arad Art Museum, National Centre for Contemporary Arts (Saint Petersburg), the Australasian Cooperative Research Centre for Interaction Design (Brisbane), Osage Gallery (Hong Kong), and Videotage (Hong Kong) where they served as Assistant Manager from 2009 to 2011.In 2014, Alvis is doing a residency at lemonTree Creations. They also have projects and performances at the Art of the Danforth, Mayworks Festival, the Heels on Wheels Roadshow, and Encuentro 2014.

Shaunga Tagore / Scorpio Rising: performance artist, community organizer, and intuitive counsellor through astrology and tarot. superqueero cis-femme of colour storyteller and healer. currently working on a collection of poetry and interlinked solo show: The Erasable Woman: A One Woman (Burlesque) Show. as an interdisciplinary artist she uses dance, theatre, burlesque, poetry/spoken word, music, and film to craft and share her stories. she trains and collaborates with ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company and co-organizes the community driven workshop and showcase series Unapologetic Burlesque: Queer. Anti-Racist. Consensual. Not Your Average Burlesque. 

Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Arts Council for funding support, and to our many community partners for Promise in the Park: The Winchester Park Public Art Project.