Department of Fine Arts
Tel 519 888-4567 x36923
Join Aaron T. Francis, founder and curator of Vintage Black Canada in conversation with Ivan Jurakic, Director/Curator of the University of Waterloo Art Gallery (UWAG) discussing Francis’ recent installation Tamarack Drive.
This is a free online event with registration through Eventbrite.
Tamarack Drive is a series of images taken in 1969 by Aaron Francis’ grandfather; Jamaican-born, Waterloo based photographer Roy Francis. Originally captured on Kodak Ektachrome 35mm transparency film, the series offers a candid glimpse of early Caribbean-Canadian life in Waterloo Region. Curated by Aaron Francis, the series includes images of his grandmother, mother, and uncles outside the family home, and on family trips to Niagara Falls and the Canadian National Exhibition.
Installed as a series of window graphics on the street-facing side of East Campus Hall, 263 Phillip Street is a 25-minute walk from the Tamarack Drive neighbourhood where many of the images where taken. The window takeover establishes a positive public presence for these archival images while providing a new context for the work Aaron presents on Instagram under the Vintage Black Canada hashtag. In curating his family’s archive of photography and slides he presents a proud Caribbean-Canadian community that has traditionally been underrepresented in Waterloo, while connecting with the broader African diaspora across Canada.
Aaron T. Francis is a doctoral student at the University of Waterloo, a multidisciplinary artist, and curator. He is the former chair of the City of Kitchener’s Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, and has exhibited works from his Vintage Black Canada initiative at the BAND Gallery Toronto, the Gladstone Hotel, the Contact Photography Festival, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) as well as with Ryerson University’s Fashion and Race Database.
The University of Waterloo Art Gallery acknowledges the generous support of the Region of Waterloo Art Fund.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Office of Indigenous Relations.