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katie lawson

is a curator and writer based in Toronto. Most recently, she was a curator for the Toronto Biennial of Art, working with Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien on the inaugural 2019 and 2022 editions. She has guest curated exhibitions at the MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie; Y+ Contemporary, Scarborough; RYMD, Reykjavik; the Art Museum, Toronto; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and Images Festival, Toronto. Katie is a graduate of the Master of Visual Studies Curatorial program at the University of Toronto, where she previously completed her Master of Arts in Art History. She is currently working towards a PhD in Art and Visual Culture at Western University, with an interest in contemporary art and climate change. Lawson was awarded the Hnatyshyn Foundation Fogo Island Arts Young Curator Residency in 2023. 

She has held curatorial and programming positions at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Doris McCarthy Gallery, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, bodega (NYC) and the University of Toronto. She has lectured and participated in programming with Images Festival, The Gladstone Hotel, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, the Laboratory for Aesthetics + Ecology and Universities both nationally and internationally.


Katie has a love of publication. She was the Editorial Lead for the Toronto Biennial's double catalogue Water, Kinship, Belief (co-published with Art Metropole, 2022). She was also the Art Editor for the Hart House Review (Coach House Press, 2016-2019), and contributes writing and editing to a range of print and online publications. 


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I am grateful as a woman of settler descent for the privilege to conduct research and cultural work which engages with Tkaronto, the gathering place. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and Confederacy of the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. Today, this meeting place is still home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island, and I carry forth a profound sense of response-ability and respect for all in a human and more-than-human world.

I recognize, too, the privilege that Greta Gaard so astutely points to: I am able to think through issues of gender and environment, when so many have real material needs for food security and productive agricultural land, forest resources, clean water and sanitation which takes precedence over more structural discussions about gendered environmental discourses. Invaluable work in being conducted in varying contexts, the urgency of which cannot be understated: yet to take time for the development of theory is to attend to the systemic defects (namely the Western story of reason and nature) which have fuelled human and environmental crises.

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