Art Activates Panelists

October 15, 2019Events

Members and guests are invited to the public forum Art Activates: HOME is TORONTO on Nov. 6.


Emelie Chhangur

Interim Director/Curator, Art Gallery of York University (AGYU)

Chhangur is an award-winning curator, writer, and artist based in Toronto, where she works as Interim Director/Curator of the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU). Over the past 15 years, she has developed an experimental curatorial practice in close collaboration with artists. Chhangur is known for her process-based, participatory curatorial practice, the commissioning of complex works across all media, and the creation of long-term collaborative projects performatively staged within and outside the gallery context.

Distinguishing herself as a cultural worker dedicated to questioning the social and civic role of the contemporary art gallery, Chhangur has developed a curatorially-engaged approach to working across cultural, aesthetic, and social differences through a practice she calls “in- reach”— a concept that has since transformed engaged institutional practice in the arts acrossCanada. She has an MVS from the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto.

Marc Mayer

Strategic Advisor to MOCA Toronto

Former Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada from 2009 to 2019, Marc Mayer is a writer, curator, and public speaker who specializes in modern and contemporary art. His most recent book, Art in Canada, is a personal perspective on the Canadian scene, both ancient and modern; it appeared on the occasion of Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017. A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Marc has organized over 30 exhibitions, notably the 2014 Jack Bush retrospective, with Dr. Sarah Stanners, the 2005 Jean-Michel Basquiat retrospective, and Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party in 2002, both for the Brooklyn Museum where he served as Deputy Director for Art from 2001 to 2004. After launching his curatorial career at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY, in 1994, he was named Director of the Power Plant in Toronto in 1998. Marc is currently serving as a Strategic Advisor to MOCA Toronto. He lives and works in Toronto and in Delaware County, NY.

Mazyar Mortazavi

President and CEO, TAS Design and Build

Mazyar received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and his Masters in Architecture from the University of Waterloo. Mazyar is a dedicated and tireless city builder. His passion for cities has charted TAS’s four pillars of sustainability and the company’s continued pursuit in empowering communities through the projects and initiatives that TAS undertakes. Mazyar’s passion for community-based initiatives and his understanding of the socio-cultural underpinnings of design and development have played a guiding role in his work. He is actively involved with a variety of different not-for-profit and community groups.

Charles Stankievich

Director of Visual Studies, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto

Stankievech is a Canadian artist whose research has explored issues such as the notion of “fieldwork” in the embedded landscape, the military industrial complex, and the history of technology. His diverse body of work has been shown internationally at the Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; MassMoca, Massachussetts; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Canadian Centre for Architecture; and the Venice Architecture and SITE Santa Fe Biennales. His lectures for Documenta 13 and the 8th Berlin Biennale were as much performance as pedagogy while his writing has been published in academic journals by MIT and Princeton Architectural Press. His idiosyncratic and obsessively researched curatorial projects include Magnetic Norths at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery, Concordia University and CounterIntelligence at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto. From 2010-2011 (and again from 2014-15) he was hired as a private contractor for the Department of National Defence where he conducted independent research in intelligence operations under the rubric of the CFAP.  He was a founding faculty member of the Yukon School of Visual Arts in Dawson City, Canada and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto.  Since 2011, he has been co-director of the art and theory press K. Verlag in Berlin.

Naty Tremblay

Multimedia Artist and Educator

Tremblay believes deeply in the radical and transformative power of the arts leveraged for community rooted education, dialogue, organizing, healing and political activism. Tremblay experiences as an identical twin, a poor francophone farmer from an assimilating Metis community, a rambler, and a gender-queer feminist in Hogtown has shaped their creative social change practice. Tremblay has developed a broad body of interactive multi-media performance, workshops and community engaged art works exploring identity, power, regenerative reciprocity, justice and decoloniality amidst the backdrop of global predatory capitalism. Tremblay co-founded The People Project, an arts and activism based organization working with LGBTQ youth. They are a proud member of the Drawing with Knives Radical Shadow Puppetry Collective. Tremblay currently coordinates the media arts, community arts and transformative justice programs at Sketch in Toronto, building creative leadership capacity with young people impacted by poverty.

Photo used in PIA logo by Patrick Rohe. Creative Commons Public License