Unyielding power to demand change will be the ultimate goal to create a new order and balance in the arts: An interview with Mira Silvers
Mira Silvers is a Montreal-based artist and curator committed to creating opportunity for women in the arts. Influenced by street art, illustration, graffiti, graphic design, urban life, pop culture, music, and tattoos, she is also part of an emerging creative studio who come together to challenge and revolutionize the upcoming generations of creative individuals.
When was Sugar 4 Brains founded and what is your main objective?
Around 2013. It was originally created so that I could give free street art tours. After experiencing my fair share of endless rows of closing doors. I eventually expanded the mandate to provide a creative space for a new generation of artists and creators. Essentially, it was to remove the “industry standard” requirements and biases.
What was the main inspiration behind Woman X Women?
By Guerrilla Girls, 1989
By Guerrilla Girls, 2012
What was the biggest challenge in curating an exhibition like Woman X Women?
Art by Sandra Chevrier
Do you believe that progress in redressing the underrepresentation of women in the artworld has been slow?
Art by Hannah Yata
What do you think needs to be done in order to have balance in the arts?
I am not sure I have an answer. But, for myself, I hope to continue to bring shows like this to cities around the world – that’s the dream. To continue to search for artists (not just established ones or popular ones) and help propel them forward the best that I can.
Sometimes it feels like I am one individual with little clout. But when I look hard enough, I can see that there many individual voices out there, all protesting in their own way. Uniting those voices to create an unyielding power to demand change will be the ultimate goal to create a new order and balance in the arts and other industries.
The powers that be really need to start hearing the upcoming generation of voices.
You’ve had the opportunity to work with SPECTRUM in New Zealand, the only Canadian Street art group invited to participate. What was that like?
In your opinion, what’s been the greatest positive change in urban arts due to the Internet?
I think it has been the ease at which artists, even anonymous ones, can be in direct contact to their patrons and audiences and vice versa. Collaborations between artists from different ends of the world is cool. We have so many technologies available to us to connect, talk, and collaborate on. Digitization has expanded the network to the entire world, not just our own backyard. Also, being able to see works from other artists or exhibitions online is pretty cool. Whether established or not, artists can start sharing their work immediately. The gatekeepers of dispersing art has lessened, and yet not everyone has the means to travel the world to see every show, but you can see it online!
You’ve worked with such a diverse group of artists. Are there any particular artists you’d like to work with in the future?
That’s a hard question to answer, there are so many people I have in my mind. This past Spring, I discovered French artist Guillaume Marmin. There are just so many people I want to work with. So, off the top of my head, people I have not yet worked with that I would like to are….Hueman, Lauren YS, Ron English, So Youn Lee, Hikari Shimoda, Björk, Yayoi Kusama, Corey Bulpitt, Hatecopy, Chloe Wise, Miss Van, Swoon, Faith47, Maya Hayuk, 123Klan, Cleon Peterson, Kaws, Demsky, Christina Angelina — oh I could go on forever.
I have been trying to get up the courage to contact two curators that I would love to work with. The first is Caro — the owner at Sweet Streets LA & editor at Hi-Fructose. The second is Yasha Young at Urban Nation in Berlin. If I could somehow work with these women that would be a dream come true.
Will there be another Woman X Women exhibition for 2016?
I am not sure yet, but definitely hoping for 2017. Finding collaborators, sponsors, and grants has been a challenge. I hope to be ready for 2017.
What projects are you working on now?
Recently, I helped a new group of artists get their first mural done in Montreal. There are some other projects in the pipeline, but I have to stay mum on them for the moment. As soon as things solidify, I will be able to share my excitement with everyone 😉