About the February 2018 Art & Musical Production

5 Artists 1 Love is our 11th annual Black History Month event that provides Edmonton residents the opportunity to celebrate the cultural mosaic within the Black Community. It explores the rich history of the African diaspora through art, music, dance, and poetry.

Would you like to be a participant in the show and have your work hung in the show at the AGA? 


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The Concert

This exclusive one-night engagement explores the evolution of Black Music as it left Africa and landed on the shores of North America. From soul to R&B, jazz, gospel, reggae and contemporary sounds, it’s all here. Even other genres such as country, folk and classical music have received unique soulful interpretations in the show. This along with a few surprises and you will be treated to a truly immersive musical journey.

The Art Showcase

5 Artists 1 Love is a stunning, annual African History Month celebration of the artistic vibrancy and range of Edmonton’s African-Canadian communities, from Angola to Zanzibar, Togo to Tobago, or Brazil to Barbados! The phenomenal art exhibition showcases the dynamic beauty of the planetary African diaspora through art, design, music, dance, and poetry. It promotes emerging and established artists, develop global African arts and cultures, and celebrate African-Canadian brilliance.

5 Artists 1 Love has featured artists from Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom, the United States, Jamaica, and across Canada. Now celebrating its twelfth year, the exhibition again engages five African-Canadian artists for their unique style and vision arising from their global and Edmontonian experience.

Throughout February, explore this soulful exhibit at the Art Gallery of Alberta in the heart of downtown Edmonton.

The Wall

#Take A Knee

Every year, this portion of 5 Artists 1 Love exhibit is dedicated to a unified theme. Anyone from the general public at large is welcome to submit a piece on a 12 x 12 (2 inch wide) gallery ready canvas which represents images and themes that evoke sentiments, ideas or conversation surrounding this chosen topic. Themes in the past have included: “There goes the Neighbourhood”; “The Civil Rights Movement” as well as “Black Lives Matter…!?” This inclusive part of the showcase has garnered outstanding feedback and growing interest yearly. This year all submissions, from paintings, photography to print will be hung with the rest of the show at the Art Gallery of Alberta, AGA.

#Take a Knee, a current and growing movement speaks to the peaceful protest against ongoing racial inequities, police brutality and the overall mistreatment of Black peoples in America. Starting with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick sitting and continuing to kneel since the national anthem of a pre-season game in 2016, this movement has grown to include other NFL players as well as other athletes, in both little and major leagues. Kaepernick continues to protest as he cannot  “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of colour.” Critics would argue that sports should not mix with politics. However, athletes like Kaepernick have demonstrated ways that sports can act as a platform to voice concerns of inequity as well as advocate for systematic change. To Kaepernick and those taking this stance against racial oppression, it is bigger than a football game or the American flag: it has become a movement that is continuing to draw awareness to issues related to race as well as accountability on the part of individual citizens, who hope to see a better America.

This however, is not the first peaceful protest within sports or non-political spheres.  We either recall or are aware of the renowned and striking image of previous African-American athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos also participating in peaceful protest in 1968. With their heads bowed and fists raised high during the national anthem, those before Colin Kaepernick have addressed these continuing realities.

As our theme for 2018, we hope to see to the various demonstrations of  peaceful protest or simply, standing for what you believe in through artistic display. In the words of Malcolm X,  “if you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for anything.”