The Genius Loves Company art project

28 Nov 2006

An interactive web artistic experience exploring the theme of art inspired by art

"For myself, it is the uniqueness and the scope of this project why I am taking part. I believe art should be part of the living environment and that it should be part of the community and accessible, not just hidden away in a gallery or museum where it may be out of reach to most people.
I like to think of my work as an integral part of what makes up a lively environment in any social setting and what better way to do that than to involve the public as co-creators for one of the pieces for the Genius Loves Company project."

- Michelle Montague, SIX AH WI artists

Over the last few months, AfroToronto.com has been hard at work with the SIX AH WI artist collective and Ellington''s Café to bring to life an exciting new art project called: "Genius Loves Company."

Echoing artist Michelle Montague''s sentiments of excitement quoted above, fellow SIX AH WI artist Georgia Fullerton-Morgan says: "I think it is revolutionary only because we involve the internet, which could almost serve as another art medium. This idea lends itself to unity within the arts and community, always an attraction for those who want to live a creative life. This means a lot to me because it is my opportunity to begin my journey of living and working as a visual artist."

So how can you get involved? Simply, visit the exhibition''s site at http://www.geniuslovecompany.ca
You will be able to read in detail about who are the members of the SIX AH WI collective of artists, their previous work, and their personal bio. You will browse through their profiles and see how Ato Seitu, Georgia Fullerton-Morgan, Michelle Montague, Sonia Farquharson, Abye Kifle, and Tafewa Turner all are all inspired by the works of musicians, writers, poets, and filmmakers. For instance, Sonia Farquharson has chosen the theme of the movie Titanic. But of course, the movie has become inseparable from the soundtrack, My heart will go on. This allows Sonia to also delve into her love for music, along with some of her other pieces for the exhibition. As she explains: "Since I have a great love for music, this is a great opportunity for me to express myself on canvas, the words of a song that has inspired me in some way or another."

Your role in the run towards the exhibition is to e-mail the artists with your ideas and vision on how the alternate art-forms should be rendered in a painting. The public has the month of April to interact with the artists. One member of the public will be chosen, per artist, to part-take in the collaborative exhibition. The physical exhibition will take place in the trendy Distillery district''s Arta Gallery (suite 102, building 9, 55 Mill Street, Toronto) from October 14th to 28th 2006. The chosen members of the public will attend the exhibition''s opening and accompany the artists in the unveiling of the public pieces. Following the Exhibition''s two-week run at Arta Gallery, it will be moved to Ellington''s Café (located at 805 St Clair W.)

In putting forth the Genius Loves Company project, the SIX AH WI collective of artists seek to reassert the primal importance and agency of the community in the artistic process. "The arts have always been a medium to pull communities together to celebrate life through song, dance, exhibitions, music and storytelling, real or imagined. The arts are not only a means of providing income for artists and related industries; it also fosters the social, political, spiritual and economic development of a community, society and nation. ... Finally, the development of the arts and human culture did not start in museums, the entertainment industry or similar institutions, instead, in the community by expressing the everyday lives of ordinary people" as the collective expresses.

To learn more about the exhibition, visit: www.geniuslovescompany.ca

Also see the SIX AH WI principles:

(Six Ah Wi is Jamaican for Six of Us)

Six Ah Wi was formed in 1993.


In the sharing of our experience and accumulation of individual resources, we are able to work towards a collective development and empowerment on our artistic expression


The artist progresses towards an ability to explore and reflect his/her creativity through enrichment of their cultural surroundings


The highest aspiration for any who seeks fulfillment within their creative endeavors


The motivational tool of the artist, which is art itself, resides as the primary role model of the artist, leading to creative sustenance


One?s individual commitment to the profession of the arts over time, is established through reaching potentialities in a consistent manner


An extension of oneself
A common bond
A common goal

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