Acclaimed contemporary artist, Mark Bradford,
to hold master class for marginalized youth

TORONTO, ON, November 6, 2014 – Youth-focused visual artist Mark Bradford, known for making elaborate collages out of “urban debris”, will visit Covenant House Toronto where he’ll lead a master class with marginalized, art-inclined young people.

The event will include a talk by the award-winning artist about his personal challenges growing up in South Central Los Angeles, and how those experiences shaped his work and identity. He will then work with an expected 25 youth from the homeless youth agency and those from other service organizations.

The participants are coming from agencies including the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Jewish Family & Child Service of Greater Toronto, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, PARC (Pape Adolescent Resource Centre), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto, and SKETCH (an art program for homeless youth).

The workshop will be held in Covenant House’s Arts and Minds program, a day program for youth with mental health issues that helps them gain greater self-confidence and social skills through arts, crafts and volunteerism.

Working with young people who face challenges is a passion for Bradford. He is the founder of Art + Practice, a non-profit foundation that supports and empowers youth aged 16 to 24 who are transitioning out of foster care. Art + Practice addresses youth-relevant social justice issues through “the engagement with and access to dynamic programming in the contemporary visual arts”.

“We are honoured to have an artist of Mark's stature here to share his journey and provide this amazing opportunity for these young people,” says Covenant House Executive Director Bruce Rivers. “Not only does Mark possess a singular artistic voice on the global stage, but he also has a dedication to healthy youth development that is quite inspiring. His visit is sure to leave a lasting impression on our young people.”

The event is a collaboration between Covenant House Toronto and the Children's Aid Foundation. Bradford’s visit was made possible by Lynn Factor, a Covenant House Board Member and Chair of the Children’s Aid Foundation.

“Both professionally and through my volunteer work, I have met many marginalized young people who are in great need of additional support from the community in order to move their lives in a positive direction,” says Lynn Factor, philanthropist, social worker and advocate for vulnerable children and youth. “My hope is that through their interaction with Mark, these young people can access a creative and meaningful outlet to express themselves, which can also serve to help them in overcoming many of the obstacles that they have faced.”

About Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford’s abstractions unite high art and popular culture as unorthodox tableaux of unequivocal beauty. Working in both paint and collage, Bradford incorporates elements from his daily life into his canvases: remnants of found posters and billboards, graffitied stencils and logos, and hairdresser’s permanent endpapers he’s collected from his other profession as a stylist.

Bradford has received many awards, including the Bucksbaum Award (2006); the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2003); and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2002). Most recently, he was a 2009 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship (also called the "MacArthur Genius Award"). He has been included in major exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2006); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2003); REDCAT, Los Angeles (2004); and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2001).

About Covenant House

Covenant House, the country's largest homeless youth agency, offers the widest range of services under one roof, including crisis shelter and longer-term housing, employment and educational assistance. Last year, Covenant House served almost 3,000 youth.

About the Children’s Aid Foundation

The mission of the Children’s Aid Foundation is to improve the lives of Canada’s abused and neglected children and young adults currently or formerly living in the child welfare system. With the support of generous donors, the Children’s Aid Foundation works with child welfare agencies across Canada to provide programs and services in the areas of prevention, education, enrichment, healing and recovery.

Erin Boudreau
Associate Manager, Communications
(416) 204-7094

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