The Gyallery; A sold out, over RSVP'd and jam-packed event was a smash success. It was born from a simple phone call with an upcoming R&B artist, entrepreneur, Tika Simone. A busy creative known for her music, outspoken opinions, and culturally diverse parties, recently released her single, “OHMYGOD” from her upcoming EP, “CARRY ON”. Her summer performance schedule includes opening for Majid Jordan, The Internet, and Jidenna, for the 11th Annual Manifesto Festival. As well as going on a Canadian tour with singer/songwriter Amaal Nuux. While she's a well-established ambassador of music, Tika is also a savvy business woman that looks to fill a void with her company, The Known Unknown.
The Known Unknown is a platform that showcases undiscovered local artists as well as its subsidiaries such as Gyalcast. Gyalcast is a raw weekly unfiltered podcast curated by women of color. It has a mission to create and showcase artists in the community that are usually forgotten, Tika introduced the Spacefy team to her crew to collaborate in this event.
The Gyallery is a photo exhibit which brings light to talented black female photographers. The theme for this exhibit explored the identity of Black women in the GTA through the camera lens of photographers Brianna Roye, Martika Jabari, and Setti Kidane.
"The beauty of Black womanhood has influenced nearly every aspect of culture, from music and pop culture to politics. In spite of this, they are rarely given proper recognition for these contributions and still they remain resilient. Black women are sisters, mothers, friends and so much more to each other and the world around them. Through The Gyallery, we will explore and showcase their undeniable power, beauty, strength and grace.”
The mission was clear, to support and showcase a young creative diverse community that is often muzzled by society. With the collaboration and direction of Gyalcast and VICE Canada, our chic modern listing Geary House was chosen to host The Gyallery. Geary House’s white walls, concrete floors, and sliver disco ball was the perfect space to effortlessly showcase photography in an intimate setting.
— VICE Canada (@vicecanada) April 10, 2017
The event, it’s theme, and mission is a rarity in the GTA. Sajae Elder sees it as a void, as co-founder and producer of Gyalcast it is one she is seeking to fill.
"I noticed a lot of stories about Black women and women of colour, but not always told by Black women or Black people...We wanted to put their work in the forefront and give them a space to show everyone how amazing they are,” says Sajae.
Collectively the event organizers knew The Gyallery would generate buzz, but didn’t expect the event to sell out in one day with a response of 449 patrons going and 895 interested on the Facebook’s event page alone.
On April 6, at 8 pm art lovers filled Geary House as sounds of afro-beats, courtesy of DJ Dre Ngozi filled the venue as tasteful discussions were exchanged. By 8:45 pm the space was at capacity as other patrons waited outside for their turn to view the photography exhibit. Each photographer displayed their creative perspective of what they perceived to be black womanhood - friendship, love and a celebration of skin and beauty – via their medium and carefully curated photos. By the end of the night, The Gyallery became a place of inception for new creative partnerships, future community collaborations, good vibes, and a refreshing view of black beauty.
We enjoyed playing a role in this event along with some great partners. See the links below for more information on VICE Canada, Gyalcast, Her Collective, Tika, Geary House, Hennessy, Henry's and Moog Audio.