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Canada/USA // Free  

The Drawing Room

A visual dialogue between five North American visual artists, whose work questions how art can be employed as a testament to love, resilience, resistance, and belonging.

Supported by
June 8 – 23, 2019

Using traditional and unexpected materials in their drawing and drawing based-practices, the artists of The Drawing Room explore issues of representation, community, and portraiture, while expanding the boundaries of medium and genre. Often depicting subjects whose narratives and histories are frequently overlooked, these large-scale renderings elevate both subject and theme, leading viewers to engage more deeply in the works before them. The exhibition’s title alludes to the artists’ approach to image making, the transformative effect of the displayed works on the exhibition space of the Artport Gallery, and the way in which drawing rooms have historically functioned as spaces in which individuals gathered to convene and converse.
 
PROPS, the tandem showcase of assemblage sculptures by Lesley Loksi Chan, addresses themes of self-representation and issues of privacy, while offering a different approach to the genre of portraiture. Together, the artworks in the separate installations create a visual conversation surrounding resilience, resistance, and belonging.
 
The Drawing Room is curated by Sally Frater.

On June 18, one of the many exceptional artists in this exhibition, Syrus Marcus Ware, will be leading a masterclass on large-scale portraiture and self-expression. This is an opportunity for visual artists to step away from the outside world and come together as an artistic community.

Visit the Luminato x Launchpad or the Artscape Daniels Launchpad event pages for information on this workshop.
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Audio Guide

Reviews

“[Ware's] art challenges systemic oppression.”
– CBC News
“Niro's work centres powerfully not only around brutal histories and colonial ills, but ways to transmute ingrained trauma from past horror to peaceful future.”
– Toronto Star

Artists

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Syrus Marcus Ware
Syrus Marcus Ware
Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, visual artist, activist, curator and educator who uses painting, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and black activist culture. His work has been shown widely, including in a solo show at Grunt Gallery and in group shows at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Art Gallery of York University, the Art Gallery of Windsor and as part of the curated content at Nuit Blanche 2017. His performance works have been part of festivals across Canada, including at Cripping The Stage (Harbourfront Centre, 2016), Complex Social Change (University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2015) and Decolonizing and Decriminalizing Trans Genres (University of Winnipeg, 2015). Part of the PDA (Performance Disability Art) Collective and a core-team member of Black Lives Matter- Toronto, Ware is currently a PhD candidate at York University in the Faculty of Environmental Studies..
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Robert Pruitt
Robert Pruitt
Robert Pruitt holds a BFA from Texas Southern University and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. He has shown his work in group and solo exhibitions at institutions such as The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, the California African American Museum, the Bakersfield Museum of Art, The Fabric Museum Workshop, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Site Santa Fe, PS1/MOMA, The Weatherspoon Art Museum, and Georgia Scherman Projects. The recipient of grants such as the Artadia Art Award, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, the William H. Johnson Prize, and a Creative Capital Foundation Grant his work is in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the American Embassy, Namibia.
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Shelley Niro
Shelley Niro
Shelley Niro is an alumna of the Ontario College of Art and holds an MFA the University of Western Ontario. A recipient of a 2017 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and the seventh winner of the Scotiabank Photography Award Niro has exhibited her work in numerous group and solo exhibitions at venues including the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Urban Shaman, The Woodland Cultural Centre, the National Gallery of Canada, the Venice Biennale, Taseralik-Sisimiut Cultural Centre; Greenland, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She has received numerous awards from Local Focus 3, the Santa Fe Film Festival, the Red Earth Film Festival, the Dreamspeakers Film Festival, the New York Historical Association, Eiteljorg Museum of Western Art, and the Ontario Arts Council. Her work is in the collections of Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario
Woodland Cultural Centre, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography Washington State University Library, and the
Art Gallery of Ontario.
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Nathaniel Donnett
Nathaniel Donnett
Nathaniel Donnett holds a BFA from Texas Southern University and has completed residencies at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Centraltrak and Redline Milwaukee in Wisconsin. He has shown his work in solo and group exhibitions in venues such as The Mennelo Museum of American Art, Mana Contemporary Arts Museum, The Museum of Modern Art in Trujillo, Peru, The Kemper Museum of Art, the Carnegie Centre for Art History, the Mattatuck Museum, Project Row Houses, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. A recipient of grants and awards from The Idea Fund/Andy Warhol Foundation, Artadia Grant Award, the Harpo Foundation and the Houston Arts Alliance, The founder of the webzine/blog Not That But This Donnett’s work can be found in the public collections of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Ulrich Museum of Art, the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation, and the Richard and Ellen Sandor Foundation.
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Lesley Loksi Chan
Lesley Loksi Chan
Lesley Loksi Chan holds a BA in Anthropology and Women’s Studies from McMaster University and a BFA and MFA in Film Production from York University. She has screened her work in national and international film festivals including the Reel Asian International Film Festival, the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, the Vancouver Film Festival, Die Beginen in Rostock, Germany, Open Cinema in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Monterrey Bay Film Festival and has participated in exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Centre[3] for Print and Media Art, the Rotunda Gallery and the Harbourfront Centre. She has received several awards from the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Toronto Arts Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, United Nations Summit on the Information Society, Canadian New Media Awards, the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, and the Images Festival.