Winter 2022 Visiting Artist Lecture Series

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.  

Pamila Matharu: From the Streets to the Classroom—The Importance of Academic Freedom 
Wednesday January 26th 12-1pm (on Zoom) 

Syrus Marcus Ware: Censorship & Exile—The Power of Artists & Ideas 
Wednesday February 9th 12-1pm (on Zoom) 

Register for the artist talks on


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