Q And A With Magenta’s Incubator Flash Challenge #1 Winner

posted December 4, 2015 in Flash Forward 2016, Incubator

Photo 3
#FFIPChallenge1 by Dexter B-G. of Etobicoke School of the Arts (ESA)

Happy December and Season’s Greetings!

In a departure from our usual format, this month you’re in for a fun and illuminating profile of the student who won our Flash Challenge. Dexter B-G. is a Toronto high school student who recently clinched Incubator Flash Challenge #1 with his entry above (you can read about the challenge here). Flash Forward Incubator is Magenta’s arts education program dedicated to supporting emerging artists in the high school setting. Do follow its dedicated Instagram account, and come add a word (or emoji) of support: instagram.com/flashfwdincubator.

Congrats to this emerging artist! And a thank you to our presenting sponsor, TD Bank Group, who helps support this program for the arts. Here is what Dexter has to say about his school, artistic inspiration, the Incubator program and more.

Q: What’s it like being a student at Etobicoke School of the Arts (ESA)?
A: ESA has a great community of like-minded people who are passionate about their art. I can only speak for the Visual Arts and Photography programs, but one of the greatest aspects of ESA is the responsibility and trust the teachers put in the students. In Visual Arts you are encouraged to evolve your ideas and skills as an individual artist rather than sit through technique classes that only benefit a portion of the students.

Q: Who is the subject in the photo?
A: The subject of the photo is my four-year-old cousin, who was very easy to work with, on the condition that we listen to the Star Wars soundtrack during the shoot.

Q: Explain how you achieved the overhead photo. How much planning went into your set up?
A: I was standing on a separate table with a tripod, looking over the subject with a wide-angle lens. I had wanted to do this project for around a month but the actual setting up and finding of subjects took about two weeks.

Q: What inspires you the most about using photography?
A: I am interested in the apparent objectivity that comes with photography. Even though most people are aware that images are not always truthful, the medium is often used to manipulate the subject to serve an agenda. I enjoy manipulating and playing with that authority.

Q: What are your plans after high school?
A: I am still very flexible with my post-secondary plans, but I know I want to go to university for either visual arts or science. Though, those are very broad paths in seemingly opposite directions I have found that art and science are similar fields that require creative and curious people.

Q: Even though it is early in the Incubator program, what is it like being a participant? What excites you most about the program?
A: The Incubator Program has a nice flexible structure that gives you freedom, with light prompts and deadlines to keep you on track. I’m excited about critiquing and being critiqued by students from outside of ESA, as I feel that opinions and ideas can become bias and stale when they are not challenged.

Q: What influences your artistic ideas? Where do you look for inspiration?
A: During the summer I travelled through South-East Asia, which affected everything in my life including my art. Though, on a day-to-day basis I often gravitate towards philosophy books, Art 21, and the vitamin books by Phaidon, which is a great series of contemporary art books. I also draw huge inspiration from making music, film and poetry, where I explore similar themes as my visual art.

Thank you Dexter! And to all of our Magenta Friends, wishing you a happy and safe festive season.

Call For Submissions: Flash Forward 2016 Photography Competition

posted October 27, 2015 in Flash Forward 2016

The Fabric of Space and Time, 2014 by Kevin Van Aelst (US)

Above: It’s the Flash Forward 2016 Call for Entries, starting now and going on until December 29, 2015!

Are you an emerging photographer? Do you know an emerging photographer you think should be recognized for their work? Then we invite you to submit your work or tell your eligible friends to submit theirs in our Flash Forward 2016 competition for emerging photographers. This is Year 12 of this renowned competition that is open to photographers working in Canada, the US and the UK who are 34 years of age or younger by the end of 2015. Head over to our website to get all the details about how to submit and our competition guidelines: magentafoundation.org/flash-forward.

There is a 1st place cash prize of $8,000 that will be awarded to the 2016 Bright Spark, an emerging photographer whose submitted body of work is identified by the jury as being extraordinarily accomplished.

The 2nd place winner will receive a $2,000 cash prize.

Air Canada enRoute Magazine will commission one of the Flash Forward winners for their magazine. Not only will their work get featured in the magazine, additional images will be exhibited as a solo exhibition during the Flash Forward Festival in Boston. This is NOT limited to 1st or 2nd place. This award is for any of the winners that are selected from the 2016 year in CAD, UK or US.

As we mentioned, Flash Forward is in its 12th year. Year 11 was Flash Forward 2015 which we recently celebrated with a book launch and exhibition at Division Gallery in Toronto. Come and have a look at our album of party photos and get your own copy of the publication here in our shop.  Right here we would like to say thanks to TD Bank Group, the Flash Forward Presenting Sponsor who helps to make this all possible.

Flash Forward 2015

Maybe we’ll see your work in our Flash Forward pages next year, but of course, not if you don’t submit! Don’t delay, the end of December will arrive sooner than you suspect.

Happy Halloween!

Humanae/ I AM AUGUST And Flash Forward 2015 News

posted September 11, 2015 in Announcements, Pittsburgh, Popups

From the series Humanae by Angelica Dass

Above: From the series Humanae by Angélica Dass

HEY EVERYONE! It’s September! This month in Pittsburgh we present Humanae/ I AM AUGUST on September 25th in conjunction with Kelly Strayhorn Theater. Humanae/ I AM AUGUST is a portrait-based installation featuring the faces of Pittsburghers and the rest world, in two parts:

Part 1: The Liberty Avenue side of the August Wilson Center will feature more than 200 portraits of Humanae/I AM AUGUST participants. The unveiling will take place as part of the Cultural Trust Gallery Crawl. This installation will continue until August 2016.

Part 2: An additional 88 portraits will be shown in the gallery at 937 Liberty Street. This up-close look at the work will allow everyone to be part of the celebration. This exhibition runs through October 2015.

We hope you come out! Give us a heads-up on our Facebook event page, and see a few sneak peeks in this space too:  https://www.facebook.com/events/906418152765745/


Flash Forward 2015

Above: Flash Forward 2015

So now it’s September, that means October is around the corner (though it’s hard to believe) and that means we’re launching the Flash Forward 2015 book on October 8th and the exhibition (October 1 – 13) both at Division Gallery in Toronto. Full details here and Facebook evite here.

There was an exceptional amount of talent this year, and we are proud to support these future art stars. Thanks as always to our presenting sponsor, TD Bank Group, for helping to make the inimitable Flash Forward happen. Here are a few previews of this gorgeous book.


Flash Forward 2015

Flash Forward 2015

Flash Forward 2015

Flash Forward 2015


Like what you see? Want to pre-order a copy? Head on over here: magentafoundation.org/publications/flash-forward-2015/

Hope to see you out at these great Magenta events!

Sneak a peek inside The Watchers and Self & Others

posted August 12, 2015 in Announcements

The Watchers by Haley Morris-Cafiero

Happy August everyone! Hope you are all enjoying the best that summer has to offer. We know we are! We did, however, want to interrupt the late-summer festivities with this update about the amazing publications we have coming out THIS FALL that we’re so excited about.

First off is Haley Morris-Cafiero’s The Watchers, available for pre-purchase now. We launched a Kickstarter campaign with Haley, who is a fantastically inspiring woman, and basically, media around the world picked up on her powerful story of gaze-reversal. Just this past week, The Independent featured The Watchers,  in “Photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero’s revealing project looks at passers-by, looking at her.” Here’s a sneak peek inside this gorgeously designed book:

The Watchers by Haley Morris-Cafiero

The Watchers by Haley Morris-Cafiero

And then of course we have the inimitable Aline Smithson and Self & Others: Portrait as Autobiography. This is Aline’s first monograph, available for pre-purchase here. Here’s a look the special edition cover. What do you think? We think it’s stunning, if we do say so ourselves.

Self & Others by Aline Smithson

Aline is really beloved and supported in the photography arts community, as she is a longtime mentor and sponsor of many. We saw this truth leap to life during her Kickstarter campaign with us that unleashed a torrent of support. Here are a few sneak peeks of her upcoming book published by us, including the regular edition cover:

Self & Others by Aline Smithson

Self & Others by Aline Smithson

Self & Others by Aline Smithson

We hope you think these previews are intriguing and inspiring! Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we’ll be back in the space with more news in September.

July News: Magenta POP Pittsburgh And Flash Forward Incubator Toronto

posted July 1, 2015 in Announcements, Incubator, Pittsburgh, Popups

christian and mallory 001

Above: Christian and Mallory by Jake Reinhart at Magenta POP: Pittsburgh

It’s JULY! Summer has arrived and with it brings two important Magenta events, POP: Pittsburgh and our Incubator Exhibition and Silent Auction. We hope to see you out and about at these events, and please do share these events with any art-lovers you think would enjoy! You can find the Facebook invitation for Magenta POP: Pittsburgh here. RSVPs aren’t necessary, but it helps organizers keep track of how many are coming, and it also a handy way to get reminders via Facebook. For this iteration of POP: Pittsburgh, we’re hosting a special two-part event.

Location #1: 937 Liberty Avenue opening July 10th (6pm to 10pm)

Why People Photograph

The Magenta Foundation invited Carnegie Mellon University and Pittsburgh Filmmakers photography faculty to assemble an exhibition representative of the work coming out of both institutions.

This group show represents students who are passionate about the medium and work in a non-traditional manner. Personal narratives, social documents, constructed still-lifes, abstractions, landscape, fashion and portraiture are all explored here, along with photographic books and gelatin/silver images.

We hope this work engages your curiosity and encourages you to seek out more from these talented new artists.


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Above: Self Portraiture Magenta POP installation at Triangle Park

Location #2: Triangle Park

Self Portraiture
POP ART Presented by the Students of Pittsburgh CAPA

The Magenta Foundation is pleased to bring its third public outdoor art exhibition to Triangle Park. Here, the burgeoning talent of the latest art stars from Pittsburgh CAPA present their unique one-off pop art self-portraits.

The goal of this installation is to celebrate high school students and give them a platform for their creativity in a larger public venue, while inspiring all of us to celebrate artists at all stages of life.



Above: Nature Vs. Nurture by Piper of Etobicoke School of Arts at Flash Forward Incubator

The other event we’re so excited about is the silent auction following the exhibition for Flash Forward Incubator at TWIST Gallery. Talented high school students at three Toronto schools, including Etobicoke School of Arts, Rosedale Heights Secondary School and Newtonbrook Secondary School are presenting their compelling art in conjuction with Magenta Foundation’s Incubator program, and with the support of our program sponsor TD Canada.

While presenting a new, and innovative model for arts funding in Canada, and as a true extension of high school arts programming, the Flash Forward Incubator Program prepares students for a successful transition out of high school, into post-secondary institutions and a for a career in the arts.

The program is distinct in that it bridges work completed within the high school setting with the professional world. It encourages students in the development of their artistic practice through a series of carefully crafted activities based on the experiences emerging artists would have as participants in the Flash Forward Photography Competition and the Ontario Secondary School Arts Curriculum. Students leave with the necessary documents required for a career in the arts, a signature piece for their portfolio, a professional gallery show and a publication to add to their resume.

This year, students worked with the theme of inside/outside within the framework of architectural photography. This more complex theme allowed students to begin their conceptual thinking with the constraints of the project, and then expand their ideas and research towards their own personal connections, curiosities and responses to the theme. Throughout the program students engaged in both directed and personal research and used a wide range of materials, techniques and resources. Through our newly developed online community, students were also able to share resources and engage in feedback with students from all schools involved.

It’s happening at TWIST Gallery, from July 6 until July 30 — when the Opening Party and Silent Auction will take place. and you can preview the work at Twist Gallery as of July 6th. Please do join us! All proceeds of the silent auction go back to funding this groundbreaking program for high school students. You can RSVP on our Facebook event page too.

Happy summer, and hope to see you at our fantastic Magenta events!

Self and Others: Aline’s Book Cover

posted May 29, 2015 in Announcements, Boston 2015, Pittsburgh, Popups


The trade edition cover of Aline Smithson’s Self & Others: Portrait as Autobiography. It’s exquisite, we suspect you’ll agree.

We’ve been enjoying a whirlwind of activity here at The Magenta Foundation. We held the hugely successful Flash Forward Festival Boston presented by TD Canada earlier in May, the Magenta: POP Pittsburgh exhibition, and if that weren’t enough, we’ve launched a Facebook page for Magenta Magazine which you should definitely follow. Our fearless MagMag editors including Bill Clarke are posting sneak peeks, insights, and news. We’re already at nearly 200 Likes and growing quickly.

With so much exciting stuff going on, we wanted to be sure to stop and show you this highly anticipated book cover above for Aline Smithson‘s Self & Others, which will be published by Magenta this fall. Her portfolios are online on her site, so you can preview them to get a glimpse of the gorgeous and inspiring portraits her book will hold, which you can pre-purchase for $60 right here.  If you’ve watched this space or our social media, you might recall how Aline’s Kickstarter campaign was an immediate success. We had a good deal of eager anticipation (you could even call it nerves) before the campaign, but we shouldn’t have! Aline, of Lenscratch fame, has a huge contingent of supporters and the contributions rolled in quickly.

One thing we saw over and over again on Twitter and Facebook was people eager to announce they had contributed and urging others to support Aline’s book because she has supported, taught, mentored and helped so many in the photography and visual arts community for so long. And so, we are terribly proud to show you this cover and humbled by the enormous positive response thus far. Enjoy, and thank you for your continued support!