BARRIE, ON (January 4, 2019) – Starting off 2019 with a tribute to diversity and inclusion, Barrie resident, Michèle Newton presents her Our Mosaic Lives – Celebrating Black Women and Girls exhibit in partnership with The City of Barrie/Creative Barrie. Newton began her “Back to Black” journey during Black History Month 2018, interviewing local black Canadian women and exploring diversity, inclusion and belonging through their shared views and lived experiences.

The resulting photography, poetry, and motivational graphic elements are currently on display for the month of January in the Barrie City Hall Rotunda, located at 70 Collier Street. There will be a reception on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, starting at 5 p.m., with official remarks and a welcome from Mayor Jeff Lehman at 5:30 p.m.

“It’s important to feel included in your community and connected with other like-minded people. Meeting other black women through this project has given me the opportunity to reflect on my life and to understand myself better,” says Michèle Newton, creator of Our Mosaic Lives. “My personal project has become a platform to share our views on Black History Month, success, and community togetherness. I hope my project encourages our community to become more inclusive of its increasingly diverse population.”

The Our Mosaic Lives exhibit will also feature several portraits of black girls made possible through a collaborative partnership with artist Ellie Arscott of Girls Stand Tall.

About Our Mosaic Lives: Michèle Newton

Choosing to celebrate and validate her life experiences by taking a personal journey, Michèle’s Our Mosaic Lives project explores her relationship to black history, black women and girls from a personal growth perspective she calls “Back to Black”. Seeking out and interviewing black Canadian women from varied backgrounds and experiences, Michèle connected over coffee and emails, and learned about their life experiences, perspectives and views. 
These amazing and inspirational women had different ideas and opinions about what black history means to them and its importance. They shared heartfelt advice for young girls and women looking to the future. Their moving reflections on growing up black in Canada and of role models who influenced them, resonated deeply with Michèle, who captured their photos and their essence and blogged about it through Our Mosaic Lives. In 2019, Our Mosaic Lives will expand to include black Canadian girls.

About Girls Stand Tall and Ellie Arscott

Creating spaces to celebrate girls, their dreams, their voices and themselves is what Girls Stand Tall is all about. Art is one way Elli Arscott is helping start positive conversations for girls and about girls by girls.

You will see the art on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the handle @GirlsStandTall as each piece is created. Follow along to meet the incredible participants, be inspired by their dreams and realize how amazing girls are, that Girls Stand Tall!

 Ellie Arscott is an illustrator raising two beautiful girls in Toronto. Girls Stand Tall is her latest project to help girls maintain their self-esteem. Girls Stand Tall provides a medium for girls to believe in their future dreams and has moved beyond the art to become more about the exchange of support and love being facilitated between the participants and those who come in contact with the project.

Media contact:

Michèle Newton

Our Mosaic Lives 705.220.2469