New collective aims to create safe spaces for BIPOC artists in the Netherlands



The BIPOC Creators Collective of NL is for black, Indigenous, migrant and other racialized artists from across the province, not just the metropolitan area, said organizer Rachel Gilbert. This painting, by Gilbert, is titled I Am / Am Not Black. (Submitted by Rachel Gilbert)

A group of creators from Newfoundland and Labrador have come together to create a support network for BIPOC artists.

The BIPOC Creators Collective of Newfoundland and Labrador is a newly formed group that strives to share resources, funding and collaborative opportunities for black, Indigenous, migrant or racialized artists, organizer Rachel said. Gilbert.

The aim is to “bring people together and share their different practices and their work,” said Gilbert. “Create safe spaces and open platforms for all different creators. “

Gilbert said the idea for the group was sparked by a conversation between speakers at an anti-racism town hall at the Eastern Edge Gallery last year. Now the group has over 50 members, and Gilbert says they are looking to recruit more.

The group started in St. John’s, but Gilbert points out that the collective extends beyond the metro area.

Newfoundland and Labrador is known for its robust art scene, but the province’s small artist population is scattered over a large land mass, making it difficult for many to find support and engage with one another. with the others.

Gilbert said one of the group’s goals is to unite BIPOC’s small community of Black, Indigenous and Colored artists across Newfoundland and Labrador.

“I think it’s important, where it’s so small, to connect with people.”

In partnership with Eastern Edge Gallery, the collective organized “Creators Nights” on Zoom, featuring artists such as photographer Ritchie Perez and writer Xavier Campbell.

The collective is developing a repertoire of BIPOC artists in Newfoundland and Labrador and plans to host performances and exhibitions once COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Collective organizers felt that Newfoundland and Labrador lacked support for BIPOC artists who exist in other parts of Canada.

“It’s a newer thing here,” Gilbert said. “It’s just catching up. It’s necessary.”

A crossing of points of view

Gilbert, a painter and printmaker who is completing an internship at The Rooms, moved from Texas to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2014. Her work examines the definition of “home” through a multicultural lens.

Gilbert said she uses art to understand the intersection between her maternal family history in Newfoundland, her father’s background in Texas, and her ancestors, who were slaves.

Gilbert’s work focuses on the intersection between home and multicultural perspectives. This painting, an oil on canvas, is titled Conflict Within. (Submitted by Rachel Gilbert)

“[I’m] work to create work that will help me understand my past and my history, and how that relates to the history of Newfoundland and Newfoundland and the people who work with what they have, and come up to ‘here and live,’ Gilbert said.

Ana Luísa Ramos is a Brazilian singer, songwriter and vocal teacher based in St. John’s. Her first album was released in 2016, and her next one will be released in September.

LISTEN | Ana Luisa Ramos and Eric Taylor Escudero discusses making music together on first listen

Weekend morning20:43From Brazil to Newfoundland, making music along the way

When Ana and Eric came to St. John’s, they brought their music with them. We’ll hear their combination of folk, pop and bossa nova as Ana and Eric join us for First Listen. 20:43

Ramos joined the BIPOC Creators Collective because she thinks it is important that artists support each other.

“I really think that together we are stronger in every way,” said Ramos.

She is also one half of the Ana & Eric duo, with Eric Taylor Escudero.

Ana Luísa Ramos – Brazilian singer, songwriter and vocal teacher – says it’s important for artists to support each other through initiatives like the BIPOC Creators Collective of NL. (Submitted by the BIPOC Creators Collective of NL)

Ramos also explores multiculturalism through his work. Ana & Eric’s debut EP, released last year on Lewisporte’s label Citadel House, features songs in English and Portuguese, and a range of genres from folk to pop to bossa nova.

The duo’s next album, to be released in 2022, is in part inspired by their experience living in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“We have so much inspiration here,” Ramos said. “It’s a good place to make art.”

For more stories about the experiences of black Canadians – from anti-black racism to success stories within the black community – check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.


Read more about CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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