Community leaders select Calgary-based artists Kat Simmers and Ryan Danny Owen; Sarah Slaughter and Nicole Wolf; Chey Suwâtâgâ Mû; and Johnathan Tieh to create murals celebrating Pride
CALGARY, Alberta, July 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Shaw Communications Inc. today announced four Calgary-based artists and artist teams will create murals that celebrate Pride at the four corners of Central Memorial Park for the Shaw Pride Marches On art walk initiative kicking off Friday, August 12.
The art walk will feature mural concepts chosen by a group of leaders from Calgary’s arts community based on their creativity and the artists’ interpretation of what Pride means to them.
The selected artists and artist teams, as well as their mural concepts are as follows:
- Kat Simmers (She/Them) and Ryan Danny Owen (They/Them) – Pride in Protest
“As 2SLGBTQIA+ people living today, our ability to exist authentically is thanks to generations of individuals fighting for our voices to be heard and our lives respected.
“ ‘The first pride was a protest’, a phrase often repeated but rarely examined.
“Drawing upon a history of resistance and advocacy, Pride in Protest uses references to archival photography of gay rights protests of the 1960s and examines the complex history of queer liberation across time.
“Inspired by ACT UP AIDS activism, stonewall riots, and the continued battles for the rights of trans youth, racial equality, 2SLGBTQIA+ liberation, and pro-choice movements evoke the spirit of resistance in which Pride celebrations are rooted.”
- Sarah Slaughter (She/Her) and Nicole Wolf (She/Her) – Spectation
” ‘Spectation’ is a blend of the work of Sarah Slaughter and Nicole Wolf. The figures pay homage to the paintings of historically marginalized artists, and the plants draw from local herbs that symbolize healing and protection. The flora acts as a metaphorical shield, hiding the figures from societal expectations and judgement, and thus creating a space to rest.
“This work invites passers-by to consider their acceptance of other people’s bodies, and their relationship to their own.”
- Chey Suwâtâgâ Mû (They/She) – Dancing to My True Colours
“Inspired by the stories of two-spirit dancers, my mural shows people with a variety of features (masculine, feminine and non-binary) in a variety of traditional regalia, dancing with their whole hearts. I would like to dedicate the mural to those that had been restricted from dancing and today, I want this mural to scream for them to be on the powwow grounds. Wear their colors and dance their true beat!
“As an emerging artist who has painted several murals and was mentored by Bruno Canadien, Jared Tailfeathers and Dawn Saunder-Dahl, I see how important it is for other Indigenous people to be able to see themselves in the visual culture of our community. This is even more important for queer Indigenous people, who are left out of representations without critical thought. We matter, and the ways we look, dress, dance, and carry ourselves matter too.”
- Jonathan Tieh (He/Him) – Feelin’ Free Being Me
“As a first-generation Asian-born Canadian growing up queer in a Christian conservative household, I felt that I could not relate to anyone growing up and did not know many 2SLGBTQIA+ community members to relate to. I wanted to hide from myself and blend in, I wanted to be ‘normal’. But truth be told we are all different in many ways.
“We are all individuals who have similar goals, and life challenges, that being said, we also have our differences and struggles, that at times can feel disparaging. I want this design to represent our overlapping similarities and differences and show that we can be one in this community, whilst remaining ourselves, free, happy, and unique.”
“Through Shaw Pride Marches On, Calgarians and all visitors to Central Memorial Park are given the opportunity to experience first-hand the important role that art plays in telling powerful stories of shared histories that help foster togetherness and understanding in our community,” said Chethan Lakshman, Vice President, External Affairs, Shaw Communications. “This year’s submissions were especially remarkable, and while our selection committee had the difficult task of choosing our finalists, the murals selected all share powerful and poignant stories of diversity, community and celebration.”
The final artists were chosen by a group of community leaders following a call for 2SLGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and ally artist submissions.
Committee members are:
- Madina Kanayeva, Manager, Membership & Development, Calgary Pride (She/Her)
- Brit Nickerson, Manager, Communications, Calgary Pride (She/They)
- Brandy Dahrouge, Director, Public, Calgary Arts Development (She/Her)
- Courtney Walcott, Councillor Ward 8, City of Calgary (He/Him)
- Nicholas Bell, President & CEO, Glenbow Museum (He/Him)
In its third year, Shaw Pride Marches On provides a platform to tell 2SLGBTQIA+ stories, celebrate the community, and underscores the importance of human connection and resilience. The murals will be installed at the four corners of Central Memorial Park in Calgary’s Beltline, with finished works on display until Monday, September 26.
More information about Shaw Pride Marches On can be found at shaw.ca/pride.
About Shaw Communications Inc.
Shaw is a leading Canadian connectivity company. The Wireline division consists of Consumer and Business services. Consumer serves residential customers with broadband Internet, Shaw Go WiFi, video and digital phone. Business provides business customers with Internet, data, WiFi, digital phone, and video services. The Wireless division provides wireless voice and LTE data services.
Shaw is traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges and is included in the S&P/TSX 60 Index (Symbol: TSX – SJR.B, NYSE – SJR, and TSXV – SJR.A). For more information, please visit www.shaw.ca
For media inquiries, please contact:
Shaw Communications Inc.
Chethan Lakshman, VP, External Affairs
Source: Digital Journal