Something went wrong.

We've been notified of this error.

Need help? Check out our Help Centre.

In Living Colour (2020) by Marlon Barrington, oil on panel. Image courtesy of the artist.

2021 Black History Month Digital Exhibition Curator Career Launcher



We're excited to announce leaf jerlefia as the recipient of the Black History Month Digital Exhibition Curator Career Launcher!

leaf's curatorial project for Yonge and Dundas Square, titled between starshine & clay, will premiere at Yonge and Dundas Square in February 2022 with artists and poets: Bidemi Oloyede, Chauncey Downer-Hincks, Ehiko Odeh, Marlon Barrington and Zawadi Bunzigiye.

between starshine & clay

In 2020, a year of uncertainty and civil unrest, we developed new coping mechanisms to survive global hardship. Indoors—and glued to our screens—images of police brutality, grief and death bombarded our communities, inspiring many to delete apps, sign-off and turn-off their devices. Where did we go? What healing spaces did we find for recovery? And what did they teach us? 

between starshine & clay (2022) creates a dreamspace for healing, weaving a meditation for the Black community to rest and recover. Across 5 angled screens, the exhibition references the ancestors, abolitionists and activists who through mysticism looked to the sky for guidance.   

Spanning from photography to portraiture to poetry, the works featured are reflective, present and Afro-futuristic, spiralic and multi-directional, embodying the tenderness of our kinfolk who thought of us as we think of them.

This presentation of betweenstarshine & clay has been co-presented by OCAD University's RBC Centrefor Emerging Artists & Designers and Yonge-Dundas Square.



Yonge-Dundas Square
1 Dundas St E
Toronto, ON M5B 2R8


Leaf Jerlefia

Leaf Jerlefia is a Jamaican-Canadian curator, poet and cultural critic, whose work explores poetics, diaspora and feminism. Her multiples, entitled Doctor’s Notes Against Intolerance (2016), were featured in This ArtWorks!, a web-series for CBC Arts in collaboration with Madeleine Co. In 2017, jerlefia participated in a 6-month long nomadic residency with British filmmaker, Isaac Julien, CBE, as part of OCADU’s Global Experience Project.  She has curated 7 exhibitions, including It’s (Still) Privileged Art (2016) and Soul: Thrifted (2017). jerlefia holds a BFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practice from OCAD University and lives in Toronto, ON.


Bidemi Oloyede

Bidemi Oloyede is an emerging street and portrait photographer capturing the energy and emotion of social landscapes using predominantly black and white film. His impulse documentary style is a reflection of the interaction or inner dialogue between the photographer and the subject. He is invested in the physicality of film — the historical legacy of image making and its chemical context — and the laborious process of traditional darkroom techniques to expose the realities of the everyday. Bidemi Oloyede is originally from Port Harcourt, Nigeria now based in Toronto, ON, Canada. He holds a BFA in Photography from OCAD University.

Chauncey Downer-Hincks

Chauncey Downer-Hincks is a first-year creative writing major at OCAD University with a certificate in English Literature and Popular Culture from Ryerson. Focusing predominantly on poetry, with intentions to expand into other mediums, she explores language as a form of expulsion, intertwining visions of the mind to manifest a cathartic experience of thoughts, visualizations, and individuality.

Ehiko Odeh 

Ehiko is a multidisciplinary artist born in Lagos, Nigeria and living in Toronto, Ontario. The principal subject matter explored in her work is Decolonization, Health and Wellness, Unravelling Spirituality linked to traditional Afrakan masks, Sexual Violence, and the Representation of Melanated Hair. An OCAD University graduate, whose shown work in Lagos and Toronto, Ehiko experiments on and manipulates raw canvas due to its flexibility. Her artistic style is characterized through an expressive pallet. Through the use of a variety of textiles she emulates the traditional Nigerian practice of craftsmanship through large scale multi-medium paintings, performances, drawings, and installations. She has a private collection of purchased work that is available upon request. 

Marlon Alexander Barrington

Marlon is a British born artist of Guyanese heritage. Currently based on the outskirts of  Toronto, he is known for his expressive portraiture. Through his art Marlon embraces the significance of his culture and the beauty of people in general. Colour is a tool he uses to  discuss representation, how we recognize and define each other. In this series Colourisms, Marlon questions assumptions linked to melanin, the indifference to prejudices. Marlon is a OCADU graduate, an emerging artist dedicated to help us see the beauty in each other and ourselves.

Zawadi Bunzigiye

Zawadi Bunzigiye (she/they) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in so-called "Canada". In her art, she likes to focus on home, the body, and the journey towards freedom. Her work has allowed her to be featured in art exhibitions and be published in multiple youth magazines. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing at OCAD University. 


Yonge-Dundas Square and the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers are excited to announce the Black History Month Digital Exhibition Curator Career Launcher providing a curatorial exhibition opportunity for one (1) curatorial proposal from a current student or recent OCAD U grad. Curators are invited to program a selection of artists and artworks across five (5) digital screens for the duration of Black History Month: two horizontal (960 x 480 pixels) and three vertical (448 x 608 pixels) on the Square, from February 1 to 28, 2022. 

This opportunity is for curators who self-identify as Black. The successful applicant will receive a curatorial fee ($1500) provided by the CEAD. Artists shown will be paid in accordance with CARFAC schedules by the CEAD.

Applicants can virtually tour the square here

Location of 5 screens in Square can be viewed here. 


  • Based on the curator’s proposal, work closely with Yonge and Dundas Square, the CEAD and artists to ensure the exhibition is appropriate for the Square’s digital screens 


  • $1,500 curatorial fee
  • Artists shown will be paid in accordance with CARFAC schedules by the CEAD.


  • Full contact information (Name, phone, and email) and current creative CVs of curator and proposed artists
  • Website and/or Social Media handle of curator and proposed artists
  • A brief statement/bio that contextualizes your overall curatorial practice (150 words max)
  • A curatorial proposal that communicates your interest in this specific opportunity (400 words max)
  • 5 - 10 sample support images or video links of artists’ artwork in a single PDF (The sample of work must be formatted into versions considering both dimensions: 448 x 608 pixels, and 960 x 480 pixels)
  • A corresponding list for the support images including: artist name, title, year, medium, size duration (for time-based work). 
  • Priority will be given to applicants who have not previously received a Career Launcher opportunity


The OCAD U RBC CEAD is committed to promoting substantive equality for equity-seeking groups that are under-represented in the creative sector. We encourage applications from first-time applicants to the program and graduates of equity-seeking communities including racialized and Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities / expressions. Applicants are welcome to advise the CEAD of any accommodations needed to ensure you have access to a fair and equitable process. 

Applicants who need assistance with their submissions are invited to connect with the RBC CEAD for Advising supportClick here to learn more about how to book an advising appointment.


Yonge-Dundas Square
1 Dundas St E
Toronto, ON M5B 2R8



  • Current OCAD U students (graduating in 2022-23) and recent grads (who graduated in 2020 or 2021).

Artists Proposed / Proposal

  • Proposal must be a group show exhibiting three (3) artists to five (5) artists. Proposals for multi-channel presentation are highly encouraged.
  • Artists proposed must be OCAD U students or recent grads who graduated in 2020 or 2021). The applying curator cannot be an exhibiting artist
  • Selected artists must have a screen-based practice including but not limited to static, moving images, and multi-channel
  • Artists must be confirmed by curator prior to submission
  • Proposal must comply with YDS Display Policy available here
  • Proposal must comply with City of Toronto’s Municipal Code Chapter 694 - 18, E, (4) and (5) regulations available here


Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 11:59pm (midnight)

Image courtesy of Yonge and Dundas square.


Shellie Zhang
Special Projects Coordinator

Using Format