An art image by Tammy Lam, a pair of hands printed on a transparency are clipped to an apparatus framing a fake palm tree on a beach.
Tammy Lam

In 2021, Gallery 44 partnered with BIPOC Photo Mentorship to initiate 15 mentorships with a high-calibre roster of mentors; as an opportunity to restructure traditional art career pathways, empowering our emerging talent through experience-based learning and community-forward practices. 

This program provides hands-on learning with a diverse variety of photographic technologies and production processes—in a one-on-one setting tailored to mentees' technical and professional needs. Successful applicants are paired with an experienced mentor and receive a production stipend, free access to Gallery 44's production facilities, rental equipment, educational workshops and community-building events.

During the program, Gallery 44 facilitates various orientations, peer-to-peer critiques, technical demonstrations and professional development workshops, providing a hands-on understanding of photographic technology such as digital and analog cameras, studio lighting, darkroom processes, alternative photographic practices, digital printing and installation techniques—ensuring all mentees have photography fundamentals under their belts.

Meet The Participants – 2023

Kahame Msiska

Kahame is an experienced shooter who came looking for serious constructive critique of his portfolio. Working with Luis Mora he has been deeply reviewing his approach to imagemaking, while getting hands on experience in commercial photography.

Antoine Quiet

Recently working in street photography, Antoine is being mentored by Pam Lau to refine this work and develop meaningful storytelling.

Jeyolyn Christi

As much of Jeyolyn's work had been shot in natural light she was keen to comprehensively learn studio lighting to use in future projects. She has been getting hands on experience with Felicia Byron and working toward applying her new skills to an upcoming portrait project.

Bernice Mwaura

Bernice is being mentored by Farihah Aliyah Shah as she prepares for a personal project about diasporic longing during an upcoming visit to Kenya.

Meet The Participants – Fall 2021

Portrait of the photographer.

Yunfei Ren

Yunfei's work critically investigates identity and the notion of belonging, creating images to confront prejudices, promote empathy and bring people closer. He is working with Steven Beckly to hone on their voice and style while currently developing a new body of work on the Asian American identity, linking the historical trauma to today’s prejudice and violence against Asian communities.

Portrait of the photographer.

Michelle Nunes

Michelle is an emerging photographer with a focus on creative fashion work. Ebti Nabag is working with them to develop finer control over lighting techniques and editing images into meaningful series.

Sooyeong Lee

Sooyeong explores grief and pain through photography, performance and sculpture to speak about human vulnerability and resilience. She is working with Alvin Luong 梁超洪 to perfect her lighting technique while creating a new series of still life work.

Portrait of the photographer.

Noor Gatih

Noor explores the relationship between ethnicity and identity, and how the two occasionally disconnect due to growing up in a Western society, experiencing diaspora and having to face generational gaps. They are working with Zinnia Naqvi to transform an artistic outlet into a sustainable career and build connections within the greater creative community.

Portrait of the photographer.

Destiny Pitters

Destiny is a Black, queer and disabled multidisciplinary artist, particularly passionate about self-publishing. Through this program, she hopes to incorporate photography basics in her zine work to continue telling the stories of communities closest to her heart. Janice Reid is supporting her learning in the foundations of portraiture.

Portrait of Grace Wang

Grace Wang

Grace is a Chinese-Canadian writer, photographer and filmmaker. With mentorship from Michelle Yee, she will expand her visual practice and develop new work that explores our connection to nature and time.

Justin Langan

Justin is a Métis portrait photographer and Indigenous storyteller from the community of Swan River, Manitoba. He is a multi-award winning youth advocate who has a passion for advancing reconciliation. Working with Rocio Graham, Justin will focus on professionalizing his practice and developing his personal brand.

Portrait of the photographer.

Glo Romy

Glo has a self-described passion for documenting culture & community, streetwear, and city/landscapes. Hao Nguyen is supporting them to develop lighting techniques and gain on-set experience.

Portrait of the photographer.

Jenny Aquino

As a queer, first-generation filipino, Jenny uses photography as a way to connect with, and learn more about their identity. With mentorship from May Truong, they are developing their storytelling through portrait photography adding onto a portrait series of QTBIPOC friends and folx.

Portrait of Joel Rodriguez

Joel Rodriguez

Joel is a documentary photographer with an interest in regenerative agriculture and food production. Joel aims to explore the intricacies of food production in Canada through a multimedia approach. He is working alongside Surendra Lawoti to further understand the technicalities behind the film development process and curation.

Meet The Participants – Summer 2021

A portrait of Bisma

Bisma J. Iqbal

Bisma is a queer and non-binary multi-media artist currently studying photography at OCADu in Toronto. With mentorship from Meera Margaret Singh they will be developing work that surrounds creating more positive representation of queer and trans South Asian folks.

A portrait of Sofia

Sofia Aldinio

Sofia is an Argentine-American documentary photographer and storyteller currently based between Mexico and the Southwest of the United States. Working with Brendan George Ko she will be expanding on a personal project about how climate change is uprooting inland and coastal communities in Baja California.

A portrait of Tavon.

Tavon Taylor

With work that focuses on translating and building their black and queer identity through photography, Tavon will be mentored by Erik Umphery to hone technical lighting skills and build professional practice.

A portrait of Janice

Janice Reid

Janice creates stories that explore diasporic identity, politics, and the black female subject through fashion and portraiture photography. With mentorship from Melissa Alcena, she will further investigate the relationship that black womxn have with their environments.

A portrait of Bessy

Tammy Lam

In their practice Tammy unpacks all the different ways we encounter and take photographs and how they can influence our experience of viewing. They will work with mentor Steven Beckly to conceptually further their work and reconnect with the Toronto photo community.

Thank You

Gallery 44 wishes to acknowledge the generous support:

2023 cohort:

2021 cohorts:

The G44 and BIPOC Photo Mentorship Logo

‍and the many individual donors who supported this program.

A image by Tavon Taylor of a man lying on a lawn, with no shirt as if ready to sleep.

Tavon Taylor, from The Clouds Whispered Your Name