3MW Collective

Mission: Using visual art as a vehicle to deconstruct mixed-race identity.  

Our Story: We are three Canadian women portrait artists living and practising art in Toronto Ontario.

We come from families of mixed Caribbean-European heritage.

Strangers often approach us with questions such as “What are you?”, “Where are you from?”, or “What is your ethnic background?”

Due to our “ambiguous” phenotypes, we have experienced the constant interrogation of our “race” and, as a result, have experienced racism in varying forms throughout our lives.

Along this vein, strangers will often go to great lengths in order to have us identify the places our features come from, and the reasons why our skin is so “dark” or  “light”.

These experiences have informed our identities as women artists with a commitment to social justice and progressive art making. We all independently began making art that explored these very personal issues of race and human classification.

In the fall of 2012 a mutual friend of Rema and Ilene’s suggested they meet when she realized that they were making art about the same theme.

They met for coffee and talked enthusiastically for two hours about all their common experiences and the inspiration behind their art.

In the summer of 2011, Rema interviewed Jordan on Mixed in Canada regarding her upcoming show “Something In-Between”, which deals with mixed-race identity.

Interestingly, in a classic case of serendipity, Jordan & Rema met up again the same week Ilene and Rema met.

Rema quickly set up an introductory meeting and there was an instant “artist chemistry” as we compared artist statements that were almost identical in their purpose and ideas.

We immediately began discussing how we could collaborate and the 3MW Collective was formed.

We believe in the power of art to provoke change, to create new thoughts, and to initiate action.

In that spirit, we invite you to look at our work and engage in a discussion about mixed-race identity, race as a construct in and of itself, and a future where outdated notions of human classification could be relic of the past.