Summer 2024 Exhibition Programs at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham

To go boldly, installation view, Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 2024. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Online Panel Discussion: “Close Encounters: Futurism in Contemporary Art”

Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | 12:30 to 2 PM
Free | Online | Registration required

Moderator: Dr. Marissa Largo
Speakers: Exhibiting artists Brendan Lee Satish Tang and Syrus Marcus Ware, and curator Anik Glaude

Artists today embrace futurist aesthetics to envision futures that exceed our current realities. In particular, Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour (IBPOC) creatives are using speculative aesthetics in their creative production. IBPOC artists and curators see futurisms, including Indigenous futurism, Afrofuturism, and ethnofuturisms, as aesthetic and political modes of worldmaking, especially during a time of climate crisis, racial injustice, class struggle, and gender prejudice.

Inspiring the Varley Art Gallery’s science fiction-themed exhibition To go boldly, and the opening of York University’s new campus in Markham, this panel examines how futurist artists and curators envision the future they wish to inhabit.

Brendan Lee Satish Tang is a contemporary ceramic artist celebrated for his fusion of traditional Asian motifs with futuristic, robotic aesthetics. His acclaimed “Manga Ormolu” series juxtaposes intricate porcelain works with elements inspired by Japanese manga and modern technology. Tang’s innovative approach has earned him international recognition, with exhibitions across North America and beyond. His work explores themes of cultural hybridity, identity, and globalization, challenging conventional boundaries in ceramic art.

Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, visual artist, activist, curator, and educator. Using painting, installation, and performance, Syrus works with and explores social justice frameworks and Black activist culture. His work has been shown widely, including solo shows at Grunt Gallery in 2018, 2068: Touch Change, and Wil Aballe Art Projects in 2021, Irresistible Revolutions. His work has been featured as part of the inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art in 2019 in conjunction with the Ryerson Image Centre, as well as for the Bentway’s Safety in Public Spaces Initiative in 2020.

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Printmaking with Karen Law. Photo: Darren Rigo

Fandom Art: Printmaking workshop with Karen Law

Friday, August 2, 2024 | 6:30 to 8 PM
Free | In-person | Registration not required

Join artist Karen Law at the Varley Art Gallery for a fun, fandom art workshop. Drawing inspiration from the gallery’s current exhibition, To go boldly, participants will learn the art of relief printmaking to create unique prints on paper. Bring your own t-shirts or tote bags to personalize with your designs, too! All skill levels are welcome for this creative and engaging evening.

Karen Kar Yen Law is a Canadian emerging artist and educator. Following the completion of Fine Art and Education degrees at Queen’s University, she was the 2021-2022 Emerging Printmaker Scholarship Residency holder at Open Studio Contemporary Printmaking Centre. Law was the winner of the 2023 Untapped People’s Choice Award at Toronto’s independent artists fair, Artist Project. Law’s work has been exhibited throughout Kingston and Toronto, Ontario including Union Gallery, the Isabel Bader Centre for Performing Arts, Gallery 1313, Museum of Toronto, and Open Studio.

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A person viewing the 2024 Summer Exhibition, Summer Solstice, at the Varley Art Gallery. Photo: Hugh Li

Curator’s Corner: Discovering Art Together

Saturday, August 10, 2024 | 2 to 4 PM
Free | In-person | Registration not required

Discover Canadian artistry at this in-person gallery talk. Join us for an insightful afternoon with curator Anik Glaude and our special guest, Annemarie Hagan, daughter of the Canadian artist Fred Hagan, whose work is currently on display in the exhibition Summer Solstice.

Event highlights:

  • Gain unique perspectives as Annemarie shares stories about her father’s artistic journey and his first impressions of the northern Ontario wilderness
  • Explore the significance of Boy in the Wilderness by Fred Hagan
  • Join a guided exhibition tour led by curator Anik Glaude
  • Enjoy light refreshments as you mingle and discuss the art

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About the Varley Art Gallery of Markham

The Varley Art Gallery of Markham is a vital cultural hub for artists and diverse communities. A municipal gallery, we create critical conversations about Canadian art and society. We inspire local and national audiences to engage with art through outstanding exhibitions and rich public and educational programs relevant to the communities we serve. We support artists from York region and seek to broaden access to the arts for diverse artists and cultural groups. We also share and celebrate the life and work of F. H. Varley, a founding member of the Group of Seven.

The Varley Art Gallery is situated on the traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe. We are committed to reconciliation, partnership and enhanced understanding.

Varley Art Gallery of Markham
216 Main Street Unionville, Markham, ON L3R 2H1
905.477.7000 ext. 3261

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Summer Hours
Monday: Closed (July to August only: 12 PM to 4 PM)
Tuesday to Thursday: 12 PM to 4 PM
Friday: 12 PM to 4 PM (June to August only: 12 PM to 8 PM)
Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM to 5 PM


Our venue is accessible, with automatic door openers to enter the building and exhibition spaces. One accessible washroom is available.

For more information, please contact:
Jessica Li, Communications