Black Art Gastown is a summer art showcase curated by Black creatives, highlighting Black artists in Vancouver. We are excited to create a space for the community to voice our own narratives and add to the diverse spectrum of art in Vancouver. Artists from all walks are free to express their unique talents through installations in the Gastown storefront gallery at East Cordova and Carrall St. The showcase will run from May 2018 till the end of August in The Cheeky Proletariat (320 Carrall St.) and will include workshops, live music, and a community gathering. Join us as we celebrate Black art, raise attention to the importance of honoring both present and past Black communities. 

Chase Keetley

"Of Course" May 21-June21

Welcome a multi-disciplinary African Canadian artist whose work is based on the Black Canadian experience. As a Black artist, one of the many challenges is trying to insure the work produced is valid. Staying valid in terms of how he views his own experience as a Black person, and how  his perception changes the way other people view their own experience through his work.

Keetley is primarily investigating the mimicry of Blackness, i.e. cultural practices and iconography stemming from Pan-African ethnography, breaking down the identities, desires, and investments of non-Black people and how they live vicariously through Black Culture without actively dismantling the problems that affect its existence. Inspired by African American artist Glenn Ligon,  his art sheds light on the conditions in which Black people enter a public space in Vancouver BC, questioning do we enter when our "visible difference" is fact, if so who is my work for and what do different audiences demand of it?

A Vancouver resident for over 5 years, Keetley seeks to change the misguided notion that racism exists elsewhere. His work is not only about trying to find ways for the black community to represent ourselves positively, but also by confronting these negative representations put on us through white homogenization.

He currently holds a BFA in visual arts from Emily Carr University of Art & Design, and is now working as an emerging artist here in the city of Vancouver.

Gio Swaby

July 1- July 15

Gio Swaby is a visual artist, born in Nassau, Bahamas in 1991. She graduated with an Associate of Arts degree in Fine Art from The College of The Bahamas and with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film, Video and Integrated Media from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Swaby's practice encompasses installation, textile, collage, performance and video. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions including Die Textile in Germany, We All Know Each Other in Vancouver, BC, National Exhibition (7 and 8) in The Bahamas and Nassau Calling in Austria. She has also received several awards including the Popop Junior Residency Prize and the President's Media Award for Best Installation at Emily Carr University's Graduate Exhibition. Swaby is currently based in Vancouver, BC. 

Pearl Low

August 1-15

Pearl Low is an Afro-Asian Storyboard Artist currently working in Vancouver, BC. While primarily working in Animation, she has also released an art-book, “Fumi’s Sketchbook: Black Girls Vol.1”, and an autobiographical comic called "TENSION” that explores how to love and accept one's own curly hair, through the lens of an Afro-Asian woman. Currently, Pearl is Storyboarding for Mega Man Fully Charged (2018) set to premier this summer.

Using Format