Visiting Artist Lecture Series 2021-2022

In light of the censure that was placed on the University of Toronto on April 22, 2021, the Studio Art Program is inviting esteemed artists Pamila Matharu and Syrus Marcus Ware for a two-part speaker series that takes a deeper look into the importance of academic and artistic freedoms. The series will explore the history and importance of academic freedom, while also hearing examples of how this affects their art practice respectively.  


Guest Speakers 

Pamila Matharu: From the Streets to the Classroom—The Importance of Academic Freedom 

Moderated by Sanaz Mazinani 
Wednesday January 26th 12-1pm (on Zoom) 

Pamila Matharu (1973-) is a settler of Panjabi descent from north-west India, born in Birmingham, England, based in Tkarón:to (Toronto), Treaty 13 territory - the lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat. She holds a BA in Visual Arts, and a Fine Arts BEd from York University. Approaching contemporary art from the position of critical pedagogy and using an interdisciplinary and intersectional feminist lens, her work culminates in a broad range of forms including: installation art, social practice, and experimental media art. Recently she was awarded the CONTACT Festival’s 2020 Burtynsky Photobook Award, the 2019 Images Festival Homebrew Award, and the 2019 Ontario Association of Art Galleries’ Exhibition of the Year award for her critically acclaimed debut solo exhibit One of These Things is Not Like the Other at A Space Gallery, Toronto (2019). Currently in research and production is Where Were You in ‘92? commissioned by Archive I Counter-Archive, Or Gallery (Vancouver), One Archives (University of Southern California), Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Queen’s University, Kingston, ON), Optica (Montreal), Peel Art Museum & Archives (Brampton, Ontario), and The Rooms (St. John’s, Newfoundland) unfolding throughout 2022-2023.


Syrus Marcus Ware: Censorship & Exile—The Power of Artists & Ideas 


Moderated by Hiba Abdallah  
Wednesday February 9th 12-1pm (on Zoom) 

Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier scholar, visual artist, activist, curator, and educator. Syrus uses painting, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and black activist culture. He has shown in galleries and festivals across Canada. He is part of the Performance Disability Art Collective and a core-team member of Black Lives Matter – Toronto. He has won several recognitions including the TD Diversity Award 2017, the Steinert and Ferreiro Award 2012, and “Best Queer Activist” NOW Magazine 2005. Syrus is the co-editor of Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada (URP, 2020). Syrus earned his PhD at York University in the Faculty of Environmental Studies and is Assistant Professor at the School of the Arts at McMaster University 




Guest speaker:
soJin Chun 

soJin Chun: In-Between Spaces—Collaborative Practice in the Americas 

Event date, time & location:
May 25, 2022. 1-2pm. BV340. 

For UofT members: sign up here
For non-UofT members: sign up here

soJin Chun is a Toronto-based educator/curator/artist that explores the alternative dialogues that emerge in-between cultures and disciplines. Her work explores artists, identities, and narratives that exist outside of dominant representations. soJin's diverse art practice has been informed by her personal experience living in the Korean diaspora in Bolivia and Canada while recognizing her colonized subjectivity as an English, Spanish and Portuguese speaker. She aims to create spaces to present contemporary art that is socially engaged and relevant to everyday communities.  Collaboration is an essential part of her process as she has worked extensively with BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ communities in Canada and South America. 

Through International artist residencies, soJin has developed a collaborative art practice working with local communities to resist gentrification and displacement. Chun has participated in international film festivals such as the Oberhausen International Film Festival (2020). She has exhibited Internationally in DIY art spaces, galleries and museums. In 2021, she participated in a group exhibition titled, Bop, Art & Labour at Alternative Artspace Ipo in Seoul, Korea. soJin’s video works are represented by GIV (Montreal), CFMDC (Toronto) and V-Tape (Toronto). Chun has a B.A. in Applied Arts from Ryerson University and a Masters in Communications and Culture from Ryerson/York Universities.


Guest speaker:
Chun Hua Catherine Dong 

Chun Hua Catherine Dong: Now You See Me

Event date & time: 
June 8, 2022. 1-2pm. Zoom.

For UofT members: signup here.
For non-UofT members: signup here.

Chun Hua Catherine Dong is a Chinese-born Montreal-based artist working with performance, photography, video, and AR and VR. Dong received an MFA from Concordia University and BFA from Emily Carr University Art & Design. Dong’s work has been exhibited in many national and international venues, such as Quebec City Biennial, MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image, MAC VAL in France, Museo de la Cancillería in Mexico City, Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris and so on. Dong was the recipient of the Franklin Furnace Award for performance art in New York in 2014 and listed the “10 Artists Who Are Reinventing History” by Canadian Art in 2017. Dong was awarded with Cultural Diversity in Visual Arts by the Conseil des arts de Montréal in 2021, and a finalist for Prix en art actuel du MNBAQ 2020.