The Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design is pleased to announce the opening of Up Home, an exhibit circulated by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Up Home, written by Shauntay Grant, journalist, spoken word performer, musician and Halifax’s third Poet Laureate, and illustrated by Susan Tooke, artist and illustrator of several books for children, evokes the poignant memories of a young girl growing up in North Preston.
This touching poem offers a child’s perspective on growing up in a tight-knit community. Short staccato lines, musicality and the use of real spoken language, and breathtaking illustrations using real models from the community combine in a sensory experience that is sure to wow readers of all ages. Grant’s memories of growing up reflect a magical place where landscape, food, history and, most of all, people come together in a community filled with love and beauty. It’s a powerful story with positive images of an important black community. Published in 2008 by Nimbus Publishing, Up Home received two Atlantic Book Awards for Best Atlantic Published Book and the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. Up Home is also shortlisted for the 2010 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Awards.
The Up Home exhibit offers the local community the opportunity to participate in the rich culture of one of the country’s largest and most important African Canadian communities during the annual celebration of African Heritage Month. The exhibition will consist of 17 illustrations, a video recording of Shauntay reciting Up Home and will incorporate an interactive component. This exhibition celebrates the story through Susan Tooke’s vibrant and beautifully rendered original images, in acrylic on watercolour paper, with characters based on models from the community.
Susan Tooke will present an artist’s talk at the Centre on Wednesday, February 3 at 7 p.m. Admission to the talk will be by donation.
Students of Harbourside Elementary in Whitney Pier who will be participating in ArtSmarts workshops will present their own Up Home interpretations through words and art work.
Her Honour, the Honourable Mayann E. Francis, ONS, DHumL, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia will open the exhibition.
Up Home is on view from February 4th to mid March 2010.