Unveiling Heroes of the Block

Inspiration

At the end of August 2020, the Afrodiasporic community lost Chadwick Boseman. Not only did Boseman play the Marvel superhero Black Panther, he also led a life filled with feats of heroic determination—particularly when it came to contributing nuggets of compassion to uplift his community.

As speculative artists who regularly engage with the cultural movement and philosophy of Afrofuturism, we believe that envisioning our leaders and freedom fighters as real-world superheroes can facilitate discussions that will empower and liberate the imagination.

Play Video

Unveiling Heroes of the Block is a visual narrative and archiving project that is part of ArtworxTO: City of Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022. It seeks to uncover the buried and lesser-known stories of prominent African Canadian figures that contributed to the foundational fabric of the Toronto we know and experience today. Unveiling Heroes is inspired by Camille Turner’s “Black Grange” project and Dan Bergeron’s “Faces of Regent Park”. 

This project is a collaboration between BSAM Canada artists and Dan Bergeron.

What to Expect!

Unveiling Heroes will spur the installation of four (4) public art pieces in various locations across Toronto. The goal is to establish community pride through accessible visual representation that publicly shares and celebrates leaders from the Black community who have left notable, yet sometimes untold, imprints on many lives.

With the support of Heritage Toronto, Unveiling Heroes also includes a virtual map tour that will feature three (3) additional heroes! 

Heroes & Locations

Judge Stanley G. Grizzle

The Mighty Conductor

Stanley G. Grizzle Park

320 Main Street, Toronto, ON

Dr. Rita Cox

The Enchanting Griot

Rita Cox Park

14 Machells Ave, Toronto, ON

Kay Blair

The Generous Beacon

Highfield Park

68 Stevenson Rd, Etobicoke, ON

Lucie & Thornton Blackburn

The Crafty Navigators

David Crombie Park

155 The Esplanade, Toronto, ON

Hon. Dr. Jean Augustine

The Honourable Visionary

Jean Augustine Park

2115 Lake Shore Blvd W Toronto, ON

William P. Hubbard

The Dynamic Orator

Family Home

660 Broadview Ave, Toronto, ON

Kay Livingstone

The Cosmic Broadcaster

Bedford Parkette

443 Bedford Park Ave, North York, ON

Ekua Walcott

The Compassionate Blossom

Harriet Tubman Comm. Org

1761 Sheppard Ave E, North York, Toronto, ON

Artists

Adeyemi Adegbesan

popularly known as Yung Yemi, is a Toronto based photographic artist whose practice aims to examine the intersectionality of black identity.

Gerda Boateng

is a Ghanaian Canadian illustrator. She is a self-taught artist with the black women as her subject of choice.

Meighan Morson

is an artist/animator whose work explores concepts of identity, polarity, fantasy/fiction, human consciousness and mental health.

Quentin VerCetty

is a multi-award-winning multidisciplinary storyteller, educator, and Afrofuturist. And winner of the 2020 Joshua Glover Memorial competition.

Danilo Deluxo

is an award-winning Toronto Multidisciplinary Artist, Graphic Designer,Muralist and Cultural Curator.

Autumn Beals

is an oral historian and visual artist. Her interests include writing, researching, and creating around topics that deal with race, sexuality and gender.

Objectives

  • Create more visual installations & tributes that depict notable African Canadian figures.
  • Highlight local heroes so residents and youth can take pride and feel empowered through learning and seeing how they are connected to a Canadian legacy narrative.
  • Blend archiving initiatives with innovative art practices to tell legacy narratives in an alternate way.
  • Work to bring public art out of the downtown core and into more areas that are usually neglected or bypassed.

Preview of Kay Blair “The Generous Beacon” by Meighan Morson.

Heritage Toronto

Unveiling Heroes Virtual Tour

Get to know the life stories and the community work of the amazing heroes that are part of the Unveiling Heroes of the Block project. Heritage Toronto has created a virtual tour that lets you explore where parks and plaques are located, and how each hero brought something uniquely monumental to Ontario.
Unveiling Heroes of the Block Release

Its Here!

Visit the following parks to view the Unveiling Heroes of the Block installations and keep checking this page to learn more about each hero throughout the next coming weeks.

Creative Team

Nico Taylor

Project Coordinator

Queen Kukoyi

Project Coordinator

Quentin VerCetty

Visual Coordinator/Imagineer

Dan Bergeron

Fabrication Coordinator/Mentor

Ellen Ahn

Videographer

Supported By

In association with the Black Speculative Arts Movement International presented by 12022958 CANADA INSTITUTE currently operating as BSAM Canada