Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Toronto, Tanya Turton is a Black Femme Artist, Healer, Entrepreneur and Educator. Tanya has committed her practice to exploring the institution of beauty and its systemic impacts on everyday people. Using client services, arts and education, Tanya works to empower Black , People of Colour & LGBTQ communities with self-love wellness rituals for mind, body and soul renewal.
Tanya is a licensed hair stylist and has worked in the beauty industry since 2007. While working in salons, she has had the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the industry including: client services, fashion shows, hair shows, and television. Wellness and mental health became close to her heart when her older sister, who she describes as a beauty pageant socialite, committed suicide. This event forever changed her life and her investment in community healing. In 2012, she graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelors of Social Work degree. She later went on to complete the George Brown Entrepreneurship program in 2014. With a background in facilitation and workshop development stemming as far back to 2008, Tanya has had an opportunity to use art to share skills and explore the systemic impacts of the institution of beauty, within multiple communities and organizations in Toronto, such as Arts Starts, BrAids For Aids, Sketch: working arts, Jessie Centre, Public Health, and many more.
Her work has provided her the opportunity to expand the conversation across North America. In her own arts practice Tanya built an interest in the relationship between adornment, storytelling and healing. She has used make-up artistry, hair artistry and photography to witness and affirm Black women and their stories. Tanya works at using her social enterprise NiaZamar: Redefining Beauty to create safer spaces for holistic wellness and healing. Clients are everyone from activist, artist, students, professors, executive directors, marketing associates and managerial consultants. Each seeking a space for spiritual renewal and reprieve. Tanya painted the faces and laid the edges of Black Lives Matter Toronto for their historic Pride Parade shut down, photoshoots and numerous media appearances. Her vision is to build collective care spaces that remind people there is no need to simply survive, we can thrive, we can heal together. We deserve to be witnessed. We are all beautiful.