Annick Maugile Flavien and Meghan Gagliardi launched the ‘Montreal Black Artists- in-Community Residency’, welcoming submissions by Black-identified visual artists based in Montreal. This project was created in recognition and response to the lack of resourced spaces and opportunities f or Montreal Black communities to express their sense of identity and engage with formal institutions in the city. Annick and Meghan identified this need through community consultations they organized as part of their work as coordinator s of the C-FAR (Critical Feminist Activism and Research) project hosted out of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute.
The residency and programming was designed to offer emerging Black artists an opportunity to be supported in their creation of artwork and culminated in The Symbols of Resistance exhibition. The aim for these artistic collaborations to be catalysts to strengthen relationships within the Montreal Black communities and generate constructive dialogue with members of the Concordia community. In this spirit Annick and Meghan have created a stimulating alternative educational space with their exhibition where artists, students, community organizations and community members have been able to meet and explore the significance of Montreal Black identity, belonging and history. This has also fostered crucial institutional-community channels that aim to encourage artists and students of all ages to pursue arts education and history as a viable pathway.