2021 Creative Practice Artists

Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez

Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez (b. 1987, Bogotá) uses their art & facilitation to transform individual witness into collective action. Their work resists disposability, isolation, ways the state hijacks our individual & collective bodies to fulfill its own performances of power. Lundberg Torres Sánchez’s work has been shown in the U.S. at the Queens Museum, Museum of the Moving Image, The Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts, RISD Museum, and the Knockdown Center to name a few. Their work has been presented internationally in Montreal, Mexico City, Santiago de Querétaro, São Paulo, Lima, and La Paz. They are the founder of the performance and exhibition series, Se Aculilló?, co-editor of You Are Holding This: an abolitionist zine for and by adopted and fostered people, and were the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts 2017 and 2018 Merit Fellow in New Genres and Film & Video respectively.

“Collaboration that comes from socializing and building relationships over time is the center of my joy in creative practice. In art-making, education, and organizing I seek ways to transform what individuals can know and witness alone toward collective action together. As a queer person who was separated from my first family for 28 years through a private, transnational adoption process, I desire to co-create and hold spaces that encourage directly impacted people to express truth to power by standing together in shared knowing and practice. This has been a primary way of communicating to myself and others that we are whole and worthy. Holding this truth is what allows us to take action. Performance allows my body to be a site for public encounters that allow temporary communities to think, reflect, respond, and act together.” – BLTS

Sharada Eswar

Sharada Eswar is a South-Asian-Canadian curator, community arts, storyteller, arts educator, and theatre artist.

Sharada first trained in South Indian classical voice with Shri Krishnamurthy and veena (a string instrument) with Smt Subbalakshmi. She further developed her craft with other artists, including the Bombay Sisters, and the renowned Mallika Sarabhai at the prestigious Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in Ahmedabad, India. She represented India as part of the delegation sent to the India Abroad show in Paris and New York, and was one of the three chosen by the Centres Culturels des Lions Clubs de Paris to present Indian culture in Normandy, France.
Since immigrating to Canada, Sharada has garnered artistic credits as a curator, speaker, storyteller, author, playwright, translator, and arts educator with the Toronto Festival of Storytelling, the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto District School Board, Harcourt Canada, Theatre Direct, Tarragon Theatre, Soulpepper Theatre, National Arts Centre, Jumblies Theatre, Weeseegechak Festival, Community Arts Guild, and others. Sharada and the Laboratory for Artistic Intelligence’s Chief Artistic Officer, Helen Yung, collaborated in 2014 on a community storytelling project with newcomer women in Thorncliffe, and again in 2018 on a book of recipes by newcomers attending ESL classes.

Sharada has recently received significant support from the Trillium Foundation to continue her “Border Crossings” project in partnership with the Art Gallery of Mississauga.

Nava Waxman

Nava Waxman is a Canadian visual artist who lives and works in Toronto. In her artistic practice, Waxman combines a range of media, including performance, drawing, and photography.

With an emphasis on process, gestures, and documentation, Waxman explores a different kind of temporalities, various forms of body movement, sometimes camera movement, as well as the use of sequential imagery, or the effect of blurring and erasure. She uses various choreographic methods to generate, construct, and repeat movements in a desire to explore multiple modes of body inscription, themes of ritual, continuity, and change.

Investigating ideas of movement, transition, and temporality, with notions of identity from both personal and cultural context, Waxman introduces contemporary attitudes to mark-making and gestures as an integrated art form. The main focus of her artistic practice is on the interpretation of gesture through subtle variations that are repeated in time and space.

Waxman’s work has been exhibited nationally and abroad. She holds a BA in Social Science and communication, and currently an MFA Candidate at York University, Toronto. Waxman is a recipient of grants from the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and the SSHRC Joseph Armand Bombardier Graduate Scholarship.

Aisha Sasha John

Aisha Sasha John‘s medium is energy. A poet and choreographer, Aisha is the author of I have to live. (McClelland & Stewart), finalist for the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize, THOU (Book*hug), finalist for the 2015 Trillium Book Award, and TO STAND AT THE PRECIPICE ALONE AND REPEAT WHAT IS WHISPERED (UDP). Aisha was Writer-in-Residence at the University of Toronto (Scarborough) in 2018 and served as guest faculty for the 2019 Writing Studio residency program at The Banff Centre. Aisha is also the 2019-2022 Dancemakers’ Resident Artist—in 2021 she will commence research on an ensemble work DIANA ROSS DREAM. Her solo work the aisha of is premiered at the Whitney Museum in 2017.