Mosa McNeilly photo

Mosa McNeilly spins her livelihood as a visual artist, performer, and educator, editor, mentor, and Sacred leader, while holding it down as a single parent.

Working through interdisciplinary methodologies in her current performance art installation work, Sipping Freedom: A Middle Passage Rememory Tale, she riffs on Black radical imagination, Middle Passage memory, and the Sacred. Over a career spanning three decades, Mosa’s artwork has been shown in galleries such as A Space, Harbourfront Centre, Metro Convention Centre, Studio Visuals, and Crossroads in Toronto, Articule in Montreal, Grey Roots Museum & Archives in Owensound, Pier 21 in Halifax, and Marryshow House in Grenada, and has been featured in publications such as Canadian Women Studies, Revue Noire, American Psychologist, Parallelogramme, and Borderlines. As a member of the DAWA collective (Diaposirc African Womyn’s Art) in 1989, with artists Grace Channer, Buseje Bailey, Khadejha, Dzi..An, and Winsom, Mosa was part of the first exhibition of Black womxn artists in Canada, Black Wimmin: When & Where We Enter.

She has performed in venues such as the George Ignatieff Theatre, Music Gallery, Royal Ontario Museum, Roy Thompson Hall, the Skydome, and Ontario Place in Toronto, the River Run Centre in Guelph, Dalhousie University in Halifax, and Lloyd Best Institute in Trinidad. She was the manuscript editor on the OAAG award-winning AGO publication, Theaster Gates: How to Build a House Museum, and is currently editing a book for author Dr. Nikki Greene of Wellesley College due for publication with Duke University Press. She has made lecture presentations at institutions such as York University, University of Waterloo, University of Ottawa, OCADU, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Ontario Black History Society, and Axené07 Gallery.

Working independently and with arts organizations such as Inner City Angels, Coco Collective, Por Amor, and La Muse Art Studio, she has delivered hundreds of arts education programs reaching thousands of learners across southern Ontario.

Mosa has received numerous arts and academic grants, awards, and scholarships, and is a graduate of OCADU and the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre, with studies at the Parsons School of Design and the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has received teachings from African and Indigenous Elders from the Yoruba, Dagara, Shona, and Anishinaabe spiritual traditions, and is an initiated Sacred Leader of Sacred Women International. She holds an MES from York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies with a focus on socially-engaged art, performance, and ritual practices of the African diaspora.