In Honour of Black History Month
We've teamed up with Toronto-Based artist Kaya Joan to bring you the Nurture Crew Neck.
About The Initiative
This February, 100% of the sales from our Nurture Crew Neck initiative will be donated to Afri-Can FoodBasket in support of Food Justice and Food Sovereignty for Toronto’s African, Caribbean, Black (ACB) community.
"Food security is essential to our collective well-being-everyone should have access to the food they need." - Kaya Joan
Meet Kaya Joan
Based in Toronto, Kaya is a multidisciplinary Afro-Indigenous artist. Focusing on healing, transcending notions of time, Black and Indigenous futurities, their art can be recognized by out-of-this-world/mystical characters and vibrant colors.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
A: I am an artist, born and raised in Toronto, currently living in Prince Edward County. My practice is multi-disciplinary, most recently I have been strengthening my skills as a muralist, and working with community to co-create murals.
Q: What is the meaning behind the design you created for the Nurture Crew Neck?
A: I wanted the design to be uplifting and empowering to those who wear it and see it. The phrases "Nurture your Growth" and "Honour your Power" will mean different things to everyone, as we are each on our own journeys. The illustrations are about expansiveness and joy.
Q: Why Nurture?
A: To nurture is to take care and create time and space to learn where growth is possible. Where do our roots lay and stretch? Where have we planted seeds? Where are the soils we feel most comfortable? When we tend to ourselves, with love, kindness and generosity, we are more equipped to show up for those around us who are a part of our growth
Q: What was the process of creating the art behind our collaboration? What are the current themes and causes you are focused on in your upcoming work?
A: To create this design, I went through my sketches to find one I felt drawn to, and that would be able to translate into a screen printed image. My work often includes spirit beings who inhabit their own world. I find a lot of joy in creating these worlds, and sharing them with others. Currently I am exploring themes of transition, transformation and change, as I have just moved.
Q: Why is food security important to you? Why did you choose Afri-Can FoodBasket for our Nurture Crew Neck collaboration?
A: Food security is essential to our collective well-being. Everyone should have access to the food they need. Afri-Can Foodbasket is doing such important food justice work through providing community programming and resources, to holistically address food-insecurity affecting Toronto's African, Caribbean and Black population. This collaboration felt like a great opportunity to introduce more people to the work they are doing, and encourage folks to become involved in similar programs within their community.
Q: There are two affirmations within your design for the Nurture Crew Neck. What values do affirmations hold in your life, and what made you decide to make it a feature in this design?
A: I use affirmations to help ground myself, and to counter the voice of anxiety. They serve as reminders of what is important to me, like honouring my own power, which can be applied to different areas of my life. I wanted to feature affirmations in this design to offer these words to other folks they may resonate with as well.
Afri-Can FoodBasket is a Canadian non-profit organization that aims to advance food justice, health and social enterprise in the African-Canadian community by providing tools and resources to improve food security. They believe marginalized communities should have access to healthy organic food.