TTC celebrates Black History Month 2022 by showcasing local Black artists
The TTC is proud to celebrate Black History Month this year by shining a spotlight on the work of eight Black local artists.
The artists, selected from the City’s StreetARToronto (StART) Program, will have their work prominently featured across the system, on four wrapped buses, two wrapped streetcars, as print advertisements in vehicles and stations, as well as in social media posts.
The City of Toronto is currently celebrating ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022, which supports Toronto’s public art and the artists behind it. One of the objectives of ArtworxTO is to have all Toronto communities reflected in public art by supporting diversity, along with ensuring that everyone has the ability to access and interface with the art.
"Every year, the month of February provides us an opportunity to learn more about the role the Black community played in our history and the many contributions Black Torontonians and Canadians have made to this city and to this country. The new campaign from the TTC is a great way to support and amplify local artists in our city and to take part in the many celebrations taking place this month,” said Mayor John Tory. “I encourage people to learn more and to participate in the events and programs taking place this month. Supporting our residents and acknowledging their role in building up our city helps us create a more welcoming and inclusive city.”
“We’re proud to celebrate Black History Month and the diverse Black artists, communities and cultures in Toronto. Diversity, equity and inclusion are priorities for the TTC, and Black History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the past and present contributions of Black Canadians. As we continue working towards building a more equitable and inclusive transit system, Black History Month is an important opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the diversity of our city,” said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson.
“With the year of public art being celebrated in Toronto, we thought that it was fitting to focus on Black artists and celebrate the way that their art has enhanced the vibrancy of our city,” said TTC CEO Rick Leary. “At the TTC, we are committed to building an organization that reflects the diversity of the city we serve. By celebrating Black History Month, we aim to reinforce our commitment to racial equity and anti-Black racism at the TTC.”
The eight artists are Curtia Wright, Elicser Elliott, Leyland Adams, Phade, Adrian Hayles, Leone McComas, Jacquie Comrie and MEDIAH.
The wrapped vehicles will operate along a number of routes throughout the city including:
- 501 Queen
- 505 Dundas
- 32 Eglinton West
- 35 Jane
- 36 Finch West
- 54 Lawrence West
- 102 Markham Road
All of the art pieces can also be viewed by the public in communities across the city – including locations such as Lake Shore Blvd., the Beaches and Lansdowne Underpass. People are encouraged to take and share photos and videos of the vehicles on social media using #BHMxTTC.
Customers are encouraged to use the TTC’s digital Ride and Find Guide to find the locations of the artwork, and the closest TTC station, as well as to learn more about the artists. The guide is available at ttc.ca/BHM.
The TTC will also be observing Black History Month internally, by spotlighting the achievements and experiences of Black employees throughout the month, along with highlighting the work that is being done within the organization on diversity and inclusion. The campaign will run on all internal communication channels in every work location throughout the month of February.
“Representation is important, especially when it comes to Black artists and creatives. This campaign amplifies Black voices during a month where we celebrate the accomplishments of the Black diaspora and honour our ancestors. Through art and colour, my goal is to create much needed spaces that support wellness and mental health– especially for BIPOC people. Colour is power and healing.”
- Jacquie Comrie, artist
“This campaign is a great opportunity for us as artists to share our hard work with the greater public and also inspire other Black Artists to perhaps get into Mural making themselves! Our stories are rich and diverse and it would be amazing to provide opportunities for more Black Artists to share their own. I think it is important to amplify the work of Black Artists not only during Black History month but all year round.”
- Curtia Wright, artist
“Black creativity makes the world go round. Our world wouldn't function as it does today without some of the incredible & life-saving inventions of Black creators. Black History Month reminds us of how far Black people have come on this planet and how far we have to go. BHM is a time to reflect and celebrate all we are while striving to honour our ancestors and educate the world about us.”
- Phade, artist