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Welcome to

Issue No.9

of smART



It would be an understatement to say so much has changed since our previous issue in February. Like many of you, I’ve been slack-jawed at the rapid global realignments since the Russian invasion. smART Magazine joins Lighthouse Immersive to stand in firm support of the people — and artists — of Ukraine. You’ll find the expression of this support in Lighthouse Immersive’s instantaneous development of the Immersive Shevchenko exhibit, 100% of the profits from which were donated to various humanitarian initiatives in Ukraine. Read more about the incredible effort to erect this exhibit, spearheaded by one of the company’s producers, in Soul of Ukraine (see page 43). Inspired by the resilience of the Ukrainian people, and of arts communities across the world uniting in defiance, Issue 9 pays homage to the artist as an activist. 


In our conversation with Denver’s Street Wise Arts (see page 18), Executive Director Leah Brenner Clack introduced us to a word that has since come to define this issue: ARTIVISM. Artivism acknowledges that in a cultural moment and milieu fraught with the ugliness of conflicts large and small, the artist must be called upon to weaponize beauty. In that defiant spirit, this issue is a global search for the beautiful and the resilient. Thank you for joining us on this journey. 


In Berlin, we asked a racialized dancer a simple question: Is Ballet Racist? — find his answer on page 125. Here in Toronto, filmmaker Rebeca Ortiz showed us what was missing in the way Latinx actors are represented on stage (see page 113). Hong Kong’s Norris Yim gives us a new perspective on how his paintings reveal the concealed identities of his city's political dissidents (see page 8). In Accra, Ghana, we speak to a rising visual artist about the opportunities that lie in disseminating an African aesthetic to a Western audience (see page 21). In Kyiv, just days before the invasion, we reached out to painter and fashion designer Victoria Kagalovska, to discuss how her fellow artists were bracing for the inevitable. 


Keeping up with the changing tides, smART Magazine too has continued to evolve in order to deliver a bold perspective on the visual, immersive, and performing artists. We’ve expanded our print dimensions to give you more of the visual calories that our illustrators and designers have artfully prepared. Likewise, our exclusive profiles on your favourite artists deliver more in-depth conversations unmatched in Canadian publishing. And yes, we are a proudly Canadian publication, with a mission to champion our local artists alongside creatives on the global stage. On behalf of the smART Magazine team, I hope this issue inspires you the way these artists inspire us. 

I’ll leave you with a few words, borrowed from The Writer’s Almanac: be well, do good work, and stay in touch. Most importantly, stay in touch by following us on Facebook and Instagram (@smartbylighthouse), subscribing to smART Magazine, and signing up for our Weekly Newsletter.

From my desk to yours,

Michael Zarathus-Cook

Toronto, Canada

April 2022

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