The Black Lives Matter Social Justice Art Project aims to bring our Fraser Valley community together in support for and solidarity with the Black community through visual art. By exhibiting the canvas paintings of four participating BIPOC Fraser Valley artists, we hope to increase awareness of the systemic racism faced by Black people and inspire concrete action to tackle its existence globally and locally.
The BLM Social Justice Art Project arose from a CityStudio Abbotsford program called Hubbub. This semiannual project gives UFV students the opportunity to develop solutions to civic issues and share them with city staff, peers and engaged community members. When students from Cherie Enns and Miranda Ting’s Geography 464 class conceived the idea of creating a series of murals throughout Abbotsford in support of the global Black Lives Matter movement, CityStudio got on board and the project was born.
Over the course of multiple semesters spanning twelve months, UFV faculty and students worked with CityStudio to develop this collaborative and powerful exhibit and organize its live and virtual launch. An advisory board for the project put out a call for artists from BIPOC communities, a call graciously answered by Michelle Msami, Dona Park, Rain Neeposh and Faria Firoz. The artists were mentored in their work by Black Vancouver-based music artist Desirée Dawson and UFV Visual Arts professor Shelley Stefan.
The project organizers would like to thank the numerous community partners and donors from businesses, local NGOs and within UFV, whose generous support has made this project possible.