Northbound 2024

Northbound 2024

Northbound 2024 bridges boundaries cultural convergence

Bridges, Boundaries, and Cultural Convergence

Northbound was created in 2019 to uplift local professional artists and bring high quality art exhibitions to the North York community and has since presented 14 exhibitions with one exhibition at the North York Centre Mall in 2019. 

Visit our new exhibit at North York Centre, 5150 Yonge Street, in the main atrium!

This year, Northbound has been curated by Jasmine Vanstone, a Black Jamaican-Canadian artist living in North York. In partnership with GWL Realty Advisors and North York Arts, this exhibit amplifies the voices of Angela Walcott, Jassira De Almeida, and Jasmine Vanstone, to take up physical space in a high traffic location in Willowdale. Jasmine’s curatorial vision is rooted in the amplification of Black voices in conversation with Black Futures and highlights the importance of celebrating Black voices all year round. 

The Black Futures exhibition explores Bridges, Boundaries, and Cultural Convergence. Bridges are often symbols of relationships built between two entities and can be a metaphor for exchange. Boundaries are imagined or felt borders and walls that can limit the vulnerability or openness to exchange. Cultural convergence is a theory which recognizes changing relationships and experiences informed through open dialogue and appreciating the value of exchange while acknowledging and celebrating diverse cultures. 

Northbound Exhibit, Jassira, Jasmine, and Angela in the middle of their exhibited artworks.
Six artworks on big boxes in the atrium of the North Centre lobby. Photo by Maria Vega
Jennifer - Angela Walcott

Angela Walcott, 2024
11 x 17

Decorative Tape and graphite on watercolor paper

Artist Statement

Angela uses found objects in her art as a means of reducing waste. With landfills overflowing, she sees the simple act of recycling as a feasible way to amplify visual stories. Jennifer is an homage to the self and celebration of vibrancy of African-Canadian/Caribbean culture through bold pattern and color.

Journey - Angela Walcott

Angela Walcott, 2024
12 x 14

Mixed Media – Acrylic Paint and found objects on stretch canvas

Artist Statement

Journey moves us from various planes, traversing segments and boundaries texturally. As a metaphor for life’s journey, the audience is invited to participate in this aquatic-inspired journey where land meets water meets dreamer meets fashion.

Sing It Loud - Angela Walcott

Sing It Loud
Angela Walcott, 2024
10 x 12

Found Objects, tape and graphite mounted on glass

Artist Statement

The use of decorative tape along with found paper for Sing It Loud allows the audience to experience the composition in a different way. Tape is moulded to the contours of graphic typography in a playful way, This multi-dimensional approach gives the audience a sense of movement as words and images converge on the page.

Angela Walcott

Angela Walcott Headshot

Artist Bio

As a multidisciplinary Angela Walcott uses found objects as a bridge between past and present identities. Her visual narrative emerges from Caribbean, African and Latin American traditions. Various techniques are used to highlight sustainability and waste reduction in her practice through the use of living and lived natural inks and botanicals. By incorporating traditional and non-traditional methods Angela stretches the conversation with mixed media and elements of drawing, painting, ceramics, photography and typography as guides that inform her practice.

Instagram: @artistwritermaker

Self Portrait - Jassira De Almeida

Self Portrait
Jassira De Almeida, 2022
24 x 30

Oil on canvas

Artist Statement

This piece is about the things I like (purple, flowers, photography) and things I have trouble liking (my appearance) and bringing that together in this painting. When preparing for this painting I did not know what colours I would choose. I knew in the back of my mind that I would at least use purple, which is my favourite colour. Purple was once connected to royalty because it was rare and the only people who had access to it were wealthy. I have always gravitated towards the colour, knowing it is special. The three portraits represent the past, present, and future. The flowers are referenced from my nature photography which is one of the reasons why I started painting when I was young. I intended to show growth and change in this portrait, major themes I explore in most of my work.

Mom in Jamaica - Jassira De Almeida

Mom in Jamaica
Jassira De Almeida, 2022
16 x 20

Acrylic paint on canvas

Artist Statement

My mother is my role model and someone I love to capture to remember core memories because the expressions on her face are usually from excitement or happiness as my mom always sees the best in situations. This painting was done with no complete plan except the idea that I wanted to include depictions of my photography of my mom. I played with the hues of my mother’s face and just continued to layer as the months went by. Months became years and I finished the painting that represented a moment in my life that I still remember fondly.

self portrait experiment - Jassira De Almeida

Self-Portrait Experiment
Jassira De Almeida, 2022
1728 x 1988 pixels

Digital illustration

Artist Statement

This piece was practice for me as someone more comfortable with digital painting than I am now. I used my favourite colour again for my hair which is a large part of my identity and appearance. I wanted a contrast in my work and to use my hair to stand out rather than blend in as I have become more comfortable wearing my hair out and utilizing it to express myself. Although I don’t think I will ever dye my hair because of maintenance and all the time I have taken to grow, it is nice to create a version of myself that exists in my head. The work is an experiment since I was testing out my drawing skills and created a semi-realistic portrayal of myself for fun.

Jassira De Almeida

Jassira De Almeida

Artist Bio

Jassira De Almeida is an Angolan-Canadian visual artist who creates work digitally and traditionally. She is an undergrad animation student at OCAD U. When traditionally working, graphite, acrylic, watercolour, and oil are the mediums she uses for drawings, illustrations, and paintings. She combines analog and digital techniques when making stop-motion and 2D animation. She also experiments with photography and digital portraiture. She has recently been creating representations of herself and what inspires her (people in her life, nature, music, animation). She is focused on making fun and thoughtful stories with time-based and traditional media.

Oreo - Jasmine Vanstone

Jasmine Vanstone, 2022
18 x 24”


Artist Statement

Living within two contrasting cultural experiences, I am constantly navigating the liminal space existing between Jamaican and Canadian identity. My adaptation of Persephone’s story in Oreo speaks to the social pressure of forming my identity as a mixed-race person. Migration, relocation, microaggressions have led me to adapt code-switching strategies for social survival. Being compelled to express familiarity to one of my “halves” is a conditioned reaction to avoid being subjected to perceived horizontal hostility. Growing pains associated with learning who I am is enough and that I do not have to be defined by others’ ideas of race. My panganat moment is a visual celebration of natural and cultural elements that resonate with me and the idea of belonging somewhere “in-between.”

Intersectional Empathy - Jasmine Vanstone

Intersectional Empathy
Jasmine Vanstone, 2022
20 x 30”

Digital Collage & Illustration

Artist Statement

How can we focus on bridging connections between cultures and identities, while keeping in mind the space between us (privilege and power) as a potential site for sharing access to opportunity? That is a loaded question of which many marginalized people are tired of trying to unpack for gatekeepers while protecting their wellness. This digital collage work is a vision beyond the arch of a doorway of the vibrant future where intersectional empathy overpowers.

Out of Many, One People - Jasmine Vanstone

Out of Many, One People
Jasmine Vanstone, 2023
8” x 10”

Analog Collage

Artist Statement

As a Jamaican-Canadian mixed-race person navigating identity, I wanted to create a symbol of my embodied experience via a collage celebrating Caribbean culture in a Canadian context. Caribana, an iconic Toronto festival, celebrates the Caribbean community in Toronto and a swarm of people within the silhouette of a Black person symbolizes the significant contributions that Caribbean & Black communities have made to build and evolve in Canada. 

Jasmine Vanstone

Angela Walcott Headshot

Artist Bio

Jasmine Vanstone is a Jamaican-Canadian multidisciplinary artist, arts facilitator, arts administrator, and curator based in North York. She experiments primarily in collage, poetry, murals, and paper crafts to share visual reflections of cultural identity, wellness, and environmental justice. Through vibrant colours and lyrical abstraction, she conveys the complexity of identity by visual overlapping of layers and interdisciplinary creations. Natural elements such as botanicals, animals, and produce become symbols of cultural environments, behaviours, and blessings through their creative manipulation. Each creation documents lived experiences and reflections to ultimately serve as a catalyst for exploration and introspection, inviting viewers to engage with the complexities of identity and the profound beauty of the world around us. With passion and the power of mentorship, Jasmine’s work has been featured at Meridian Arts Centre, Finch TTC station, Nuit Blanche, Gallery 44, DesignTO, Pearson Airport, KUUMBA, StreetARToronto, JAYU, VIBE Arts, and more.

Instagram: @articulately_jasmine


In partnership with

With Love, North York

With Love, North York

With Love, North York

Empty heading

Six Community Centres. Six Artists. Lots of Love.


With Love, North York is a community art project produced by North York Arts.

Throughout Winter 2022 and Spring 2023, six new visual arts pieces were created across six community centres in North York, by local North York-based artists.

Artists engaged with their respective community centres to create an artwork that channels the values, members, and essence of each community. This project was designed to acknowledge the land we are privileged to live, work, and create on, as well as to celebrate 100 years of the incorporation of the Township of North York. North York Arts is lucky to serve and honour this community through public art.

We acknowledge the millenia-long history of these lands, its peoples and its history. We are honoured to foster arts and culture on the traditional lands of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, Haudenosaunee, and the Mississaugas of the Credit River, or what is known today by many as North York.

Community Builders
Bryan Taguba
Acrylic Paint on Stretch Canvas

Roding Community Centre
600 Roding St – M3M 2A5
York Centre, Ward 6

About Community Builders

The piece aims to portray the interconnectedness of our cultures, our past, and our current realities through the usage of communication lines borrowed from the Woodland Style of Native Canadian Art. As part of a diverse and multicultural community largely being made up of working class families and people, we have a collective role in creating and sustaining a culture of care, inclusivity, decolonization and empowerment. ‘Community Builders’ is inspired by everyday working people who serve our communities, the promise of the future generation and the idea that together we can shape a future that is truly equitable and cognizant of our wants and needs.
– Bryan Taguba

Windows of Opportunity
Marg Cresswell – Murals by Marg
Acrylic Paint on Bending Plywood

North Toronto Memorial Community Centre
200 Eglinton Ave West – M4R 1A7
Eglinton Lawrence, Ward 8

About Windows of Opportunity

The illusion of trompe l’oeil offers the chance of discovery, to perceive all the details inside and escaping the illusion in my murals. I aim not to deceive, but to reveal the illusion. This meeting place, between the real thing and the painted thing, brings the viewer to the edge of illusionism, only to assert that the reality is the paint.

Although the deception may appear only momentarily, it is an instant of being deceived. And once the illusion has dissolved, what remains will be the painting all on its own and draw in the viewer to spend time exploring all the details and visual delights each mural has to offer.
– Marg Cresswell

Community Love
Yasaman Mehrsa
Digital Artwork printed on Vinyl Banner

Jenner Jean-Marie Community Centre
48 Thorncliffe Park Drive – M4H1J7
Don Valley West, Ward 15

About Community Love

Inspired by the theme of community, this vibrant mural showcases love, support, and a sense of belonging between the community members, the neighbourhood, and the Jenner Jean-Marie Community Centre. People of all gender, ages, and backgrounds come together, share their interests, and interact with others. This mural is a representation of the people of a community that live, work, study, play, and grow together.
-Yasaman Mehrsa

Melisa Sofi
Digital Artwork printed on Vinyl Banner

Dennis R Timbrell Resource and Community Centre
29 St Dennis Dr – M3C 3J3
Don Valley East, Ward 16

About Dreamers

This portraits series showcases a group of kids with diverse interests and styles.They all carry birds with them that can be interpreted as companions, symbolic of those who have found a home among the generosity of others.
– Melisa Sofi

Window into Oriole
Serene Chan – Serene Illustrations
Digital Artwork printed on Vinyl Banner

Oriole Community Centre
2975 Don Mills Road – M2J 3B7
Don Valley North, Ward 17

About Window into Oriole

This painting depicts a brick wall with 4 arches acting as windows looking into some of the community’s favorite activities. Each image showcases a different scenery that slightly reaches outside of the arch frame, portraying the activity almost coming to life. All four windows are connected with a white banner written with words that the community members used to describe the Oriole community centre: Diversity, Creativity, Teamwork, Community, Passion, and Family. This image ties together the heart of what Oriole represents: a community that prioritizes physical and creative activities in a family friendly environment.

– Serene Chan

Community Vibe
Laura Yang
Digital Artwork printed on Vinyl Banner

Edithvale Community Centre
131 Finch Ave W – M2N 2H8
Willowdale, Ward 18

About Community Vibe

This mural design is a colorful and lively representation of the diverse cultures and ages that make up our community. It celebrates the different ethnic groups and the wide range of activities that take place within the center, including pottery, music, basketball, snooker, etc. This design conveys the passion and vibrancy of the community, showcasing the many ways people come together to create a home for everyone. Overall, the mural will be a testament to the power of community and how it can help people flourish and thrive.
-Laura Yang

Meet the Artists

Bryan Taguba

York Centre - Roding Community Centre

Meet Bryan

Bryan Taguba is a painter, photographer, community organizer and activist with the Magkaisa Centre. He was born in the Philippines and came to Canada at age 9. His mother worked as a caregiver in Toronto. He works as an artist facilitator and teacher in various programs for “at-risk” youth in Toronto. He has worked on several city funded mural projects across Ontario and has led facilitation and advising for Magkaisa Centre’s “Maleta Stories” Arts and Culture Project, exhibited in 2010, 2012 and 2015. Inspired by the pedagogical framework outlined by Paolo Freire that centres the perspectives of everyday working people, Bryan strives to use the visual arts as a tool for consciousness building, community building, and social transformation.

Laura Yang

Willowdale - Edithvale Community Centre

Meet Laura

Laura is a Chinese-Canadian illustrator and designer who loves to use colorful aesthetics and compelling storytelling to convey messages and ideas. Her work explores human emotions, feminist values, and cultural diversity, with the hope of establishing personal connections with audiences and fostering community building. As a multidisciplinary artist, she is passionate about using dynamic figures and creative forms to cherish all the meaningful things and moments in her life.

Margaret Cresswell

Eglinton Lawrence - North Toronto Memorial Community Centre

Meet Margaret

Marg is an award-winning muralist who spent her final year of study in Florence, Italy and graduated from the Ontario College of Art, in 1994. Over 20 years ago she began working as a muralist and, after requests for commissions, she opened her own studio, Murals By Marg, in 2001. In 2007, Marg was invited to exhibit her large-scale paintings at the Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contempranea in Florence, Italy. Since 2015, she has painted over three dozen public art murals in the City of Toronto. In 2017, she was awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the House of Commons for her mural in Richmond Hill as part of Canada’s 150th Anniversary. Marg continues to exhibit her paintings and has works in private and public collections in Canada, the USA and France.

Melisa Sofi

Don Valley East - Dennis R Timbrell Resource and Community Centre

Meet Melisa

Melisa Sofi is an Albanian-Canadian cross disciplinary artist based in North York. She is a recent Illustration graduate from OCAD University. Inspired by themes of identity, interpersonal relationships and the creative process, her work often blurs the line between narrative and documentary.

Yasaman Mehrsa

Don Valley West - Jenner Jean-Marie Community Centre

Meet Yasaman

Yasaman Mehrsa is a Toronto-based visual artist. Born and raised in Tehran/Iran, she got exposed to art from a young age. She completed her studies with a Bachelor of Visual Communication in Iran and later achieved Bachelor with honours in Visual Arts from Brock University in St. Catharines/Canada. Yasaman uses both digital and traditional mediums.

Yasaman’s work is often representative of awareness of the human-nature relationship. She believes that nature is both all around us and deep within us. Inspiring by nature, she creates storytelling arts and expresses different emotions in each of them to inspire her audiences to discover their imagination, feeling, and interaction with the natural environment.

Serene Chan

Don Valley North - Oriole Community Centre

Meet Serene

I am a Chinese-Canadian creative and an expert daydreamer, who utilizes my passion in storytelling to produce digital and traditional imagery that provokes child-like wonder and captures nostalgia. My work draws on my interest in mental health, East Asian history and mythology, and all things fantasy. I strive to create awareness in the beauty of Asian cultures and otherwise marginalized communities. Alongside my art, my versatile background includes my academic education in business and years of entrepreneurial experience exemplified in three of my start-up businesses. When I’m not painting, you can find me working with my hands- sewing, making resin crafts, and thrift flipping.

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About Us

North York Arts (NYA)  collaborates with artists, arts organizations, and partners to develop, strengthen, and promote cultural programming and initiatives for North York communities

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North York Arts
5040 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON, M2N 6R8


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