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Call to artists for 2 upcoming Newmarket exhibits

The Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association and The Mindful Project are now accepting submissions for their respective juried art exhibitions

The Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA) invites Newmarket youth in grades 1 to 12 who self-identify as people of African descent to submit artwork in any medium responding to the theme Still I Rise: Celebrating stories of strength, courage, and innovation.

The call for submissions closes on Jan. 11 at 6 p.m.  

In recognition of Black History Month, this is an opportunity for Newmarket youth to share and express their individual stories for the community to see.

Students can interpret the theme in any way they see fit, however, a brief description of the artwork must be provided, along with an explanation of how it relates to the theme.

Ten artworks will be chosen by a panel of jurors consisting of NACCA members, the Town of Newmarket, and a local guest artist.

The selected artworks will be on display Feb. 1 to 23 in the Community Gallery at Old Town Hall, 460 Botsford St.

Three students will be chosen to win a Youth Art Award, which includes prizes.

NACCA chairperson Jerisha Grant-Hall said of this year’s theme: “Still I Rise is a proclamation that, despite the odds, African Canadians continue to contribute vibrantly to Canadian culture, heritage and identity.  

“From the condition of 18th-century enslavement, displacement and dispossession to the attempted economic, social and psychological disembodiment of African peoples, Blacks in the New World continue to rise. We have developed strategies of resistance and survival ranging from Negro spiritual songs to becoming conduits for freedom and change.  

"Still I Rise invokes the African as the subject of her destiny and dismantles 19th-century racist ideology that the African does not possess the mental faculties to make decisions about her own affairs. It is an invocation against the impact of entrenched racism and racialization on the lives of African peoples.”

"Today, we celebrate our stories — the small narratives that tell the truth about who we are, even as we stand on the shoulders of those who have paved the way for us. It is by enormous strength and courage that we have emerged in the 21st-century as entrepreneurs, innovators and change-makers even while facing the harsh realities of post-colonialism, post-imperialism and paternalism," she said.

“By celebrating our stories, we signal and root our presence in the space we occupy. We rise with strength, courage and determination to create something new of ourselves in the world we were so forcibly and unapologetically led to occupy."  

For more information, email Serpa Galleries coordinator Logan Bales at

For more information about how to enter, eligibility requirements, submission details and more, visit here.

Artists, makers: time to imagine your ‘roots or routes’

The Town of Newmarket has issued a call for artwork for The Mindful Project’s third annual exhibition, Roots|Routes, a juried art show that aims to end the stigma around mental health and promote progressive, positive conversations.

The exhibition, to be held at Newmarket’s Old Town Hall April 5 to May 25, also recognizes the Canadian Mental Health Association-backed Mental Health Week, which runs May 6 to 12, along with National Youth Week.

Artists and makers are invited to articulate their “roots or routes” in relation to mental health and wellness through the visual arts.

For example, artwork can illustrate a person’s roots, their past and self-identity. As well, one’s roots can lead a person to follow certain routes or charter new ones along a personal journey.

A person’s experiences along these routes are important because they can transform and affect mental well-being. 

Submissions will be juried and selected works will be exhibited to spark positive conversations and ignite change in social attitudes.

The deadline for entry is Thursday, Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m..

For a complete list of how to enter, eligibility requirements, and what to include in your submission, visit here.

For more information, email Serpa Galleries coordinator Logan Bales at

The Mindful Project was founded by Toronto artist Liz Caroline in 2016 to raise awareness about mental health. This project features an annual art exhibition organized in cooperation with the Town of Newmarket to encourage mindfulness, positive self-esteem, education and self-expression.

Click here to see last year's The Mindful Project.