.the_archive / Tyler J Sloane

Tyler J Sloane – They/Them. As an Anishinaabe (Oji-cree), Chinese, French, Scottish, Irish,British mixed race Non-binary artist, my work emphasizes marginalized voices with an intrinsic intersectional lens and artistic framework. As a trans racial adoptee growing up in a predominantly white community, my desire to represent the beauty of experiencing racialization and queerness to translate it through stories and artistry is inherent.

Tyler is a multi-disciplinary artist with a focus in three discipline categories; Media Arts (Photography, Videography), Visual Arts (Mural Art, Mixed Media), and Performance (Performance Art, Burlesque ,and Drag).

Their photography has surfaced through boudoir and drag portraiture, creative portraiture, product photography, and event archival. They’ve previously had two solo photography exhibitions: Light Our Bodies (Queer Cabaret, 2-Spirit Cabaret – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre) – a series of Indigiqueer artists symbolically feeling the weight of whiteness in them while navigating the complexity of gender and sexuality. Fruit Basket (Invisible Footprints 0.3 – ‘Life to Art: Retracing Footprints Across Generations’), a photography and video series that highlights 2SLGBTQIA+ South East or East Asian mixed race artists. The project explores the complicated relationship mixed-race folks have with their racial identity as they navigate both Asian and Queer spaces. Tyler’s videography work has seen the creation of short films and music videos such as; Everland – a short-film exploring the sensation of the Art of Tease, and Club Kid Alley. They’ve had the privilege of supporting organizations such as; the AMY Project, SKETCH Working Arts, 2-Spirit of the First Nation, BoylesqueTO, as well as independent artists. Presently they’re building upon their media arts and arts professionalism practice through ArtworxTO’s ‘Skills for Creative Entrepreneurship’ program. Having previously studied photography at U for Change under Trevor Godinho.

As a Visual Artist their most notable work is their 2-D acrylic mural piece ‘But, When’ currently exhibited at Friend’s Of Ruby. Through their collective, Passion Fruit, they’re presently exhibiting the piece ‘Club Kid Alley’ in the ‘Transforming Grief: Loss and Togetherness in COVID-19’ exhibition on until January 2024. Prior to this they had their mixed media piece
‘Colin’s Influence – Self in Response to Influence (of Violence and Community)’, which was a photography, textile, acrylic sculpture, at ‘Relational rEvolutions’ in the Queer Arts Festival(2019) and “Self In Response” An Exhibition of Community Artists(2018).

Performance, has been their foundational art practice, with movement and sensation guiding through all their artistry. Their flirtation with sexuality, femininity, and intersectionality has manifested in their Playwriting, Directing, Acting, and Draglesque practices.

Select Theatre credits; My Sister’s Rage (Tarragon Theatre); Crystallize (Caminos Festival 2019 – Aluna Theatre); Switch the Village (the Switch Collective); Youth/Elder’s Project (Buddies in Bad Times); Sonder (Edmonton Fringe Festival 2014)

Select Film credits;  Supporting Our Selves (Inside Out Festival), Everland (Guelph Dance – Screen Dance Series)1 Queen 5 Queers – Season 2: Episode 7, Season 1: Episode 5 and Episode 8 (Crave); Exploring the Mental Health Journeys of Young Asian-Canadians – Episode 3: ‘Tyler J Sloane – Surviving to Thriving’ (VICE)

Presently, they’re developing two stories for the stage. Hummingbird a 7 character play exploring the question of; ‘Where does one find themselves in transient matriarchy within a colonial world demanding you be claimed and identified?’ While also developing their poetry piece ‘Melt’, a direct-stand alone sequel to Crystallize, at Soulpepper’s Queer Cabaret this summer 2023. ‘Melt’ is also set to live in a published anthology series titled ‘Queers in Your Ears’, set to release summer 2023. Previously they’ve studied directing at Paprika Festival (2018). As an actor they’ve trained at Playhouse North studios and are a participant in Factory Theatre’s ‘Training Enhancement Program Intensive’. Academically they’re a graduate of Red Deer Polytechnic’s ‘Theatre Performance and Creation’ program.

Queer Nightlife has been a home to Tyler’s Drag and Burlesque practice under their stage name Tygr Willy. They’ve performed in such festivals as; Buddies’ Queer Festival (2023), Pride Toronto (2018-2022), Fierté Montréal (2019), Buddies’ PUSH:PULL Online Series, and Fierce Queer! Festival (2018). While producing cabaret series; Under Where!? – a Gender Expansive Draglesque cabaret, Colour Me Now – a QTBIPOC Drag & Gender Performer Show (2018-2022), Nostalgia – A Digital Drag Brunch (2021), and Thirst Nation – a 2 Spirit & Indigiqueer Talk Show (2020-2021), and Pride Toronto’s Youth Stages Fruitloopz (2019-2021) and Bloom (2020-2021). Their late night produced events include; Passion Fruit – a by & for QTIPOC sex-positive art series (2018-Present), the Midthottumn Festival – a mid autumn festival party (2021-2022), Long Live the Kings  – Drag King party (2021), with a new series upcoming ‘K. POP! OFF’ presented by the K-POP Drag girl group Rice Queens centred on the celebration of the K-POP and POP girl genre.

They’re artistic leadership as lead them to guide rooms and art practices, as well as mentoring folks through their own art creation. In performance arts this has surfaced primarily through their queer-based performance-act program ‘It’s All Queer Pride’, which has held 33 participants with 25 guest facilitators within 4 cycles. Ty’s lead workshops in; Communal Mural Art Creation, Art’s Professionalism, and Somatic & Mask Performance. Through this leadership journey they’ve been mentored on the importance of queer and Indigenous history, which has risen in their DEI work where they’ve trained over 33 organizations on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace with a focus in Indigenous 2-Spirit artists, queer history, and Trans-affirmation.

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