BELOVED Inspires Hope for Family Day and Black History Month
Toronto Artist Mark Stoddart Combines Spoken Word, Art, Jazz & Family Love
February 1st, 2021 (Toronto, ON) - Critically acclaimed Artist and Graphic Designer Mark Stoddart unveils his latest project Beloved on Monday February 15th, celebrating both Black History Month and Family Day by sharing the importance of loved ones through art, poetry, music, and positive images of Black families. Each family was asked to include a framed photo of a beloved one who could not be with them for the video shoot.
“While the last year has included unprecedented loss and suffering, Beloved aims to use this as a catalyst for change and to encourage our society to reflect on our interconnectedness,” explains Stoddart. “We aim to create awareness in hopes it reminds everyone of what is truly important, our beloved ones.”
Stoddart worked alongside several prominent Toronto-based artists and musicians to create an audio/visual experience that includes poet Nigel Birch, Juno-nominated DJ Mercilless, Wu-Tang Clan trumpet player Rudy Ray and gifted jazz pianist Thompson Egbo-Egbo.
Central to Beloved is the Adinkra symbol – Nya Gyidie – its literal meaning is “faith is the anchor that holds together true bond or love between people.” The symbol is popular amongst the Akan people, who live in the southern regions of Ghana and Ivory Coast in West Africa. It is used as a constant reminder that you can still make it through the most turbulent times in your life provided you hold onto hope and not lose sight of what is important.
A few of the familiar faces and families who are featured in Beloved are:
- Former MP and author Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Dr. Vidal Chavannes and their family
- Community stalwarts Itah Sadhu and Miguel San Vicente, the couple owns the independent Black bookstore, A Different Booklist
- Choreographer Esie Mensah, who has danced for Rihanna, Drake and Arcade Fire
- Poet, singer and Regent Park community programmer Trevlyn Kennedy
- Coach, Speaker and Author Danny Stone and Health and Wellness Cityline Expert Trudy E. Stone
- Community champion, youth advocate and founder of the Zero Gun Violence Movement Louis March
Beloved also serves as a tribute to Toni Morrison (author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book of the same title and the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in 1993) whose birthday is on February 18th.
Mark Stoddart was recently featured on CP24 Breakfast and Breakfast Television for his art design commissioned by the Toronto Raptors for a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. His work is in the personal collections of Raptor’s President Masai Ujiri, NBA player Tracy McGrady and Director Spike Lee. Mark’s collection of work and his clothing line Live It, Wear It (LIWI68) - which is worn by NFL star Colin Kaepernick, as well as Canadian hip-hop artists Maestro Fresh Wes and Kardinal Offishall can be found Here.
Mark, along with the contributing Beloved artists, are available for television, print, and radio interviews or performance via Skype and Zoom.
Listen to Beloved Audio Here
Video Preview Upon Request
Contact: Spencer Sweeney | FKB Media Solutions | Spencer@FKBMedia.com