Barak adé Soleil

A black and white photograph of a black man in side profile. His hand is holding the side of his face, and his eyes are looking downwards. The man is wearing a dark sweater and a newsboy cap. He appears to be in deep thought.

Photo Credit: Nikki Bruce

Tangled Art + Disability announces the hiring of their new Artistic Director, Barak adé Soleil.

Tangled Artistic Director is “looking forward to cultivating networks that extend beyond the boundaries of conventional forms and authentically address disability art, access and accessibility.”

For more than two decades Barak adé Soleil has charted an expansive career as artist, independent curator and consultant, cultivating contemporary art within community. Internationally noted and award-winning, his work draws on traditions of the African diaspora, queerness, postmodernism and disability aesthetics. He has engaged professionally with distinct artists, communities and institutions throughout the US, Canada, Europe, West Africa and South America since 1991. Mr. adé Soleil is invested in exchanges that illuminate our lived experiences and looks forward to furthering the conversation surrounding “what is disability arts?” through his role as the new Artistic Director of Tangled Art + Disability.

“We are wildly excited to welcome Barak adé Soleil to Toronto and to Tangled. We feel strongly that Barak has the ideal mix of curatorial, artistic and lived experience to guide Tangled’s creative vision at this crucial moment in our organization’s history. Barak’s intersectional approach to Deaf, Mad and disability arts will guide Tangled’s artistic programming as we build towards a more innovative, dynamic and inclusive arts and culture sector in this country.” – Melanie Panitch, Chair of the Tangled Art + Disability Board of Directors.

Tangled will be hosting a public event on Tuesday June 6, 2017 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, to introduce Barak Adé Soleil to Tangled communities, artists and supporters. We will also be announcing our curator in residence and unveiling the programming for our 2017-18 season. The first hour will include a more formalized introduction to Mr. adé Soleil as well as a question and answer period and will be followed by casual snacks and mingling.

ASL interpretation and attendant care will be provided for the event, which will take place at Urbanspace Gallery and Tangled Art Gallery at 401 Richmond St. West. Both galleries are wheelchair accessible. We ask for everyone to support a scent-free environment. Service animals are welcome. This session will be live streamed via Youtube, it will also be recorded and made available to those who are unable to attend.

In response to his new appointment, Barak adé Soleil states:

“I feel it is quite timely to be at Tangled. From the first moment of interacting with Canada’s cultural communities, I have experienced vibrant exchanges that compelled me to think more deeply about the role of arts in activating transformative social change. Centering the lived experience of disability identified, Mad and Deaf folk, I welcome opportunities that stimulate the evolution of contemporary culture and aesthetics. Opportunities informed by communities that embrace intersectionality: ways of articulating and understanding our profound humanity.

“As the new artistic director, I look forward to cultivating networks that extend beyond the boundaries of conventional forms and authentically address disability art, access and accessibility. Respectful of Tangled’s flexibility as an organization, this role will allow me to continue to engage in vital discussions and partnerships across this country and internationally. What is disability arts? And who gets to define it? Boldly, Tangled has ventured into exploring these questions most recently progressed by the leadership of previous Artistic Director Eliza Chandler, interim Artistic Director Cara Eastcott and Executive Director Katie McMillan, exhibited through an expressive range of exemplary artists, and supported by a wonderfully committed board, staff and group of volunteers. With this position as artistic director and the new Tangled Art Gallery space, I hope to shape a sustainable platform for artists and artistry reflecting the ever-fluid and expanding disability, Mad and Deaf culture.