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Pressing the Issue, pt. 2: Critical Arts Publishing Canada

  • 180 Shaw Street Toronto, ON, M6J 2W5 Canada (map)

Small World Music Centre

Continuing the conversation on the state of independent critical arts publishing across Canada with Anthea Black and Jessica Lynn Whitbread from The HIV Howler, Adrienne Crossman from Off Centre, Lauren Lavery from Peripheral Review, and Niki Little from imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, moderated by Maxine Proctor.

There will be refreshments (it's a Friday!) and all are welcome. Location is Artscape Youngplace, on the first floor at Unit 101, Small World Music Centre. Building is wheelchair accessible.

This is a FREE event but please RSVP to as this helps us plan for enough space and refreshments.

This event follows Happy Hour with The HIV Howler, a presentation by Anthea Black and Jessica Whitbread in conversation with Danielle St. Amour (SBC galerie d'art contemporain - Gallery of Contemporary Art).

Pressing the Issue is held in conjunction with Publishing Against Grain, co-presented with iCI (Independent Curators International). Critical Distance would like to thank the Ontario Arts Council - Conseil des arts de l'Ontario for support in making this exhibition and related events possible.


Anthea Black is a Canadian artist, writer, and cultural worker based in San Francisco and Toronto. Her studio work addresses feminist and queer history, collaboration, materiality, and labour and has been exhibited in Canada, the US, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Norway. Black is co-editor of HANDBOOK: Supporting Queer and Trans Students in Art and Design Education with Shamina Chherawala and The New Politics of the Handmade: Craft, Art and Design with Nicole Burisch, and publisher of The HIV Howler: Transmitting Art and Activism with Jessica Whitbread. She is an Assistant Professor in Printmedia and Graduate Fine Arts at California College of the Arts.

Jessica Whitbread is a graduate of the York University Masters of Environmental Studies program, she has a degree in Building Communities to Ignite Social Change. She is a queer activist and artist that has been working in the HIV movement since shortly after her diagnosis in 2002. Her work includes LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN, Tea Time, No Pants No Problem and she is a co-curator of POSTERVirus. Jessica published Tea Time: Mapping Informal Networks of Women Living with HIV in 2015. She was the Wesley Mancini Artist in Residence at the McColl Center for Art and Innovation, and a recipient of the Premier’s Award from the Government of Ontario, and the Visual AIDS Vanguard Award. In 2016, she gave birth to twins and advocated to openly breastfeed them in a Canadian context.

Adrienne Crossman (she/they) is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and curator working in Hamilton, Ontario. They hold an MFA in Visual Art from the University of Windsor (2018), and a BFA in Integrated Media with a Minor in Digital and Media Studies from OCAD University (2012). Their practice investigates the liminality between the digital and the physical while highlighting queer sensibilities in the everyday. Crossman is interested in how the terms trans* and non-binary apply to media as well as gender, and she creates queer interventions through the manipulation of digital media and popular culture with a focus on the queer potentiality of the non-human. Adrienne is a co-founder and co-runs the online arts publication off centre with collaborator Luke Maddaford.

Lauren Lavery is a Toronto-based visual artist, writer and editor of the exhibition review magazine Peripheral Review. Her writing has been published by LUMA Quarterly, Public Parking, Peripheral Review, and has written texts for Y+ Contemporary and Xpace Cultural Centre in Toronto. She has exhibited in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Cambridge, ON. She holds a BFA with honours from Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts in Vancouver.

Niki Little | Wabiska Maengun is a mother, softball coach, artist/observer/community-curator and arts administrator. Little is a founding member of The Ephemerals art collective with Jaimie Isaac and Jenny Western who are long-listed for the 2019 Sobey Arts Award. She is of Anishininew / English descent from Kistiganwacheeng (Garden Hill, FN). Her interests lay in Indigenous community-based artistic and curatorial strategies that investigate cultural consumerism, Indigenous women, and Indigenous economies. Little recently started as Artistic Director at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Before imagineNATIVE, she was the Director for the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition.

Maxine Proctor demonstrates an ongoing commitment to creating meaningful connections between audiences and contemporary art through her curatorial projects, educational programs, and community outreach initiatives. A former resident of Saskatoon, Maxine completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan prior to pursuing a Master of Arts, Art History and Curatorial Studies at York University in Toronto. As director and co-founder of the Toronto Art Book Fair, and the managing editor of Black Flash Magazine, Maxine deeply values printed matter and understands the unique challenges and opportunities for print publishing.