The exhibit will live in Union Station from February 6 – May 31, 2023

TORONTO, (February 6, 2023) ⎼⎼ Union Station is partnering with Toronto-based arts organization MakeRoom Inc., and artist Gloria Swain to present this year’s art exhibition, I Am Still Here: Black Joy is Resistance, sponsored by TD, to kick off Black History Month.

This exhibit theme of “Black Joy is Resistance” came to life during many honest conversations between Union, Gloria Swain and MakeRoom Inc. MakeRoom Inc. was looking to create space for joy during Black History Month. In discussing how joy can relate to resistance, Gloria Swain explained “Black Joy is Resistance” when she spoke about the racism she has experienced and how she chose joy and love as an act of resistance. This led to an open call to investigate this question and subsequently six artists were selected.

In addition to Swain, other artists featured include Jibola Fagbamiye, Elicser Elliott, Rae Clair, Danyal Barton, Adetona Omokanye and Frantz Brent-Harris.These works incorporate a mix of mediums ranging from photography, digital artwork, AI, and traditional painting. The exhibit spans recollections of black traditions and histories, testaments of black presence and inspired imaginations of black futures.

The exhibition aims to explore what joy as an act of resistance means, while subverting the common associations of Black History and identity with sadness and mourning. Black Joy is Resistance celebrates the Black voices that too often have been forced to fit into boxes to appease the gazes of others.

“Union is committed to providing a platform for local art and culture and strives to be a role model in community investment. Our partnership with MakeRoom Inc. was born out of a shared mission to create spaces for local artists that are inclusive and diverse,” says Syma Shah, Executive Director of Programming at Osmington. “It’s important for us to not only do this during calendar moments but throughout the year.”

The exhibit will open to the public from February 6 – May 31, 2023. Swain’s work will be presented in the Oak Room and MakeRoom Inc.’s Collection will live in the West Wing of Union Station until late Spring.

Union is committed to reflecting the diversity of Canadians through our multidisciplinary programming vision.  This vision encourages and celebrates creativity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility through our free year-round arts and cultural events that showcase Toronto’s cultural scene. Our goal is to strengthen the connection between public art and civic engagement, ultimately striving to create connectedness amongst our communities.

About Union: In 2009, Osmington (Union Station) Inc., a subsidiary of Osmington Inc., entered into an agreement with the City of Toronto to become the retail developer of Union Station pursuant to a 75-year head lease. With 300,000 daily visitors, Union Station is Canada’s busiest transit hub. Through its curation of retail and culinary tenants, cultural programming and partnership activations, Union strives to be one of the world’s most engaging civic experiences. | Follow us on social @torontounion

About TD: AT TD, we're on a journey to help build an inclusive future for everyone. With diversity and inclusion at the heart of our values, we’re committed to amplifying diverse voices and perspectives. Learn more on how TD is celebrating and supporting Black Communities at //

About MakeRoom Inc.: MakeRoom Inc. is a curatorial agency and arts organization. We work with clients to create, curate, facilitate, and manage meaningful art displays and experiences. Our work is at the intersection of art and community. We source contemporary art locally, directly from artists. In addition to working with clients, we also run guerilla public art initiatives. Our goal is to create opportunities for artists while addressing gatekeeping and nepotism in the arts. We do this by using and promoting processes that are transparent and traceable. | Find us at and follow us @makeroominc 

About Gloria C. Swain: Gloria is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses her art as an opportunity to create spaces for artists of all ages and supports initiatives and programs that unite, inspire, and support youth, Black women, and elders.

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