Featured in the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Black Every Day exhibit highlights artistic diversity within Edmonton’s Black community.
The art exhibit Black Every Day is curated by Darren W. Jordan, the founder of 5 Artists, 1 Love. It is open for public viewing until September 12. Traditionally the exhibit is showcased in the community space in the Art Gallery of Alberta and features the works of five artists.
Due to this year being the 15 year anniversary of the Black Every Day exhibit, it is being displayed in the main gallery of the Art Gallery of Alberta and features the diverse work of 15 artists. The exhibit was initially supposed to open in March and remain open until June. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Art Gallery of Alberta delayed the exhibit’s start to June.
According to Jordan, one of 5 Artists, 1 Love’s priorities when organizing the Black Every Day exhibit was ensuring it serves as a clear representation of diversity within the Black community. The exhibit features Black artists from a diverse range of nationalities, religions, and genders.
“I intentionally bring in people that may have shared experience and a similar melanin count, but very different narratives,” Jordan said. “So a person might be from the U.K., Uganda, the United States, [or be a] third and fourth generation Albertan, but there’s a real cross-section of people from different religions and backgrounds.”
According to the exhibit’s curator, 5 Artists, 1 Love began the Black Every Day exhibit to increase Black representation within art galleries outside of Black History Month.
“[The Black community] was not holding space [within art galleries] in any purposeful manner, and it really just used to get under my skin, because it seemed exacerbated during Black History Month,” Jordan said. “The idea [behind the Black Every Day exhibit] was to ensure that Black artists had an opportunity to hold space and share their work and narratives as they saw fit.”
Jordan mentioned the value of having Black representation within artistic spaces for Edmonton’s Black community.
“I want to be able to have people in my community come and see us do the work that we do, and take joy in that,” Jordan said. “I want a little kid that is thinking about doing sculpture or painting to see himself in works on the wall — I want him to feel inspired. I want the young Black person or the older Black person that wasn’t aware we had this type of diversity in the community to connect with the artwork.”
When looking to the future, 5 Artists, 1 Love’s main goal is expanding their presence within the community outside of Black History Month. According to Jordan, this goal is what inspired the exhibit’s name Black Every Day.
“I would like to expand and go beyond [Black History Month], hence the term we’re Black Every Day, in spite of the fact that we have a designated month,” Jordan explained. “It doesn’t matter — we’re still Black people every single day.”