Carole Conde and Karl Beveridge, Salt of the Earth, 2008

Portrait of Solidarity

Carole Conde and Karl Beveridge, Min Sook Lee, Kwentong Bayan

A Space Windows

March 28 – May 16, 2015

A Space Gallery and Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts are pleased to present Portrait of Solidarity. This exhibition in the A Space vitrines celebrates 30 years of Mayworks commitment to support labour values and movements in the arts and to showcase the cultures of working people and equity-seeking groups. The selected artists Carole Condé & Karl Beveridge, Min Sook Lee, Kwentong Bayan have been winners of the Mayworks Min Sook Lee Labour Arts Awards. The works chosen for the exhibition deal specifically with the issues of migrant workers and how these artists have engaged in different mediums to empower the voices of these communities. As the artists are at various stages of their careers, the exhibition celebrates the history and intergenerational voices of Mayworks artists.


Carole Conde and Karl Beveridge live and work in Toronto. They have collaborated with various trade union and community organizations in the production of their staged photographic work over the past 40 years. Their work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally. Recently their work has been included in exhibitions: Really Useful Knowledge, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Noorderlicht Photofestival, Groningen, Holland; Toronto: Tributes and Tributaries, Art Gallery of Ontario; Public Exposures, jointly held at A Space Gallery, Trinity Square Video, YYZ Artists Outlet, Prefix ICA, and Urban Space, Toronto; and Bienal do Mercusol, Porto Alegre, Brasil. Carole and Karl have been active in several labour arts initiatives including the founding of the Mayworks Festival in Toronto and the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamilton, Ontario. They received an Honourary Doctorate from OCAD University in 2010, and NSCAD University in 2015; the Cesar Chavez Black Eagle Cultural Award from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Canada, in 2011; and the Prix de mérite artistique from the Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM) in 2013.

Min Sook Lee is an award winning Canadian filmmaker with a diverse and prolific portfolio of multimedia work. Her doc filmography includes: the Gemini nominated El Contrato which looked at the lives of Mexican migrant workers in Ontario; Tiger Spirit, a personal reflection on reunification between North and South Korea, garnered the Donald Brittain Gemini for Best Social/Political Documentary; and Hogtown – a dissection of the politics of policing in Toronto’s city hall which was awarded the Best Canadian Documentary prize at the Hot Docs Festival. Min Sook is a recipient of the Cesar E. Chavez Black Eagle Award for El Contrato’s impact on the rights of migrant workers. Mayworks named the Min Sook Lee Labour Arts Award in her honour. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the arts and labour movement. Min Sook teaches documentary filmmaking at Ryerson University and is currently in production on a new feature documentary MIGRANT DREAMS, about the lives of migrant women workers in Canada.

Kwentong Bayan is a collective of two Toronto-based artists, Althea Balmes and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo. They are developing a comic book, Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love in collaboration with temporary migrant workers who work under Canada’s Caregiver or Live-in Caregiver Program. In the Filipino language, Kwentong Bayan is the literal translation of ‘community stories’. Althea and Jo are committed to working at the intersection of community-based art, labour, and education. They were Artists-in-Residence at Art City in St. James Town’s Children’s Program and facilitated workshops for LGBTQ2S* Spectrum youth for the FLAME: Fruit Loopz Art & Mentorship Project. They currently partner with Combat Science: Warrior Arts of Asia to organize Self-Defense Classes for Live-in Caregivers that promote safety in their workplaces and communities. In 2014, Kwentong Bayan received the Min Sook Lee Labour Arts Award for artists who have captured the values of labour and social justice in their artwork.

Jo SiMalaya Alcampo is an interdisciplinary artist who explores cultural/body memory and the healing of intergenerational soul wounds through community storytelling, installation-based art, and electroacoustic soundscapes. Currently the Playwright-in-Residence at Cahoots Theatre Company supported by Diaspora Dialogues, Jo will present a reading of Hilot Means Healer on June 19th.

Althea Balmes is a multidisciplinary visual storyteller interested in playful collaborative creative expressions through illustration and video and is an artist-educator rooted in community work. She uses her strong connection to her Filipino culture and her place as a woman of colour in the diaspora to inform her art practice and her work. Follow her on instagram: @altheaidea