Behind the Art (BTA) is a Toronto-based collective of artists who are committed to establishing creative experiences within East Toronto and Scarborough communities through highlighting the work of BIPOC artists. BTA’s mission is to collaborate with community and arts organizations and create accessibility to art resources, programming and art presentations. We are rooted in the upliftment of the BIPOC community, mental health awareness, BIPOC artist’s representation, and creating opportunities within high-risk communities.
BTA was formed in February of 2021 and consists of two BIPOC Scarbrough-based artists, Destinie (Suzan) Adelakun and Lowel Alomar. As emerging artists, they have had first-hand experiences with how challenging it is to showcase work and find a platform to share stories. With the global anti-racism act that took over the news headlines and watching Toronto art galleries on social media stand in solidarity with BIPOC communities, who in overall statistics had 2% of Black, 0.4% of Indigenous and 9% of other POC artists that were represented in their roster of artists (published on Canadianart.ca). We became determined to create a space that is for BIPOC artists and communities.
BTA is more than an action against socio and economic injustice in the art world. It tells the stories of what undergoes behind the art and artists. We intend to do this through the means of documentaries, artist talks, mentorship programs, artist residencies, and creative mental-health wellness workshops. Furthermore, we want to share these accomplishments on larger platforms such as festivals and exhibitions that involve communities and create paid opportunities within high-risk neighbourhoods.