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South Asian Voices in the Creative Landscape

May 8 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT

Join us for a panel discussion titled “South Asian Voices in the Creative Landscape”

Join NAAAP and Friends of South Asia as we celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2024 with a panel discussion titled “South Asian Voices in the Creative Landscape” on Wednesday May 8th at 10am PST / 1pm EST for a 1 hour discussion.

A moderated panel discussion on community visioning and the value of a creative mindset featuring prominent South Asian Canadian and American artists. The panelists will share their artistic journey, reflecting on their insights, successes, and challenges while navigating and responding to uncertainty and change.

Due to the generous donation from our Corporate Sponsor Sun Life, we are delighted to confirm that tickets are complimentary for this online event. In your confirmation email you will receive a ZOOM link to join the event online.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to NAAAP’s Director of Heritage, Culture and Education Mike Quan via email at [email protected].


Name: Dr Nitin Deckha

Title: University Administrator, Learning & Leadership Consultant, Art Enthusiast

Pronouns: he/him

Biography: Dr Nitin Deckha holds a PhD in Anthropology from Rice University and is a Certified Training Development Professional (CTDP). Nitin consults and speaks on issues of equity, diversity and inclusion, intercultural competence, leadership and the future of work and learning and is a member of NAAAP’s Speakers Bureau. In addition, Nitin has 15 years’ experience designing and teaching courses across these areas and is currently Interim Assistant Program Head, Liberal Studies, at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto. Nitin is also a member of the Friends of South Asia, a volunteer group that supports the South Asia Gallery at Royal Ontario Museum.


Name: Sherry Bahl

Pronouns: she/her

Title: Artist / Curator / Educator

Biography: Shelly Bahl is an interdisciplinary artist and decolonizing art trailblazer. She has been leading and participating in BIPOC and feminist artist-run culture in Toronto and NYC for 30 years. She is currently based in New York City.

Bahl received her BFA (Visual Art and Art History) from York University, Toronto and her MA (Studio Art) from New York University. Her interdisciplinary work has appeared in many solo and group exhibitions in North America and internationally.

Bahl has also worked with numerous arts organizations as an educator, curator and arts programmer. She is a founding artist member of SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) and ZEN-MIX 2000: Pan-Asian Visual Arts Network in Toronto. She was the inaugural director of SAVAC from 1997-1999, and she has also served on the Board of Directors for the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective in NYC, and Mercer Union Gallery, A Space Gallery and SAVAC in Toronto. Recently, she has led curatorial projects for the Lahore Museum and South Asia Institute, Chicago.

Name: Heidi McKenzie

Pronouns: she/her

Title: Independent ceramic artist

Biography: Heidi McKenzie is a ceramic artist based in Toronto, Canada. Heidi completed her MFA at OCADU in 2014. Heidi is informed by her mixed-race Indo-Trinidadian/Irish-American heritage. Heidi uses photography, digital media, and archive to forefront themes of ancestry, race, migration and colonization, as well as body and healing. Heidi has exhibited internationally in Europe, Scandinavia and the US. The recipient of numerous grants, Heidi has created in Ireland, Denmark, Hungary, Australia, China and Indonesia.Heidi has showcased work at the Australian Ceramics Triennale, 2019, the World Indian Diaspora Congress in Trinidad, 2020. Heidi was inducted into the International Academy of Ceramics in 2022. Heidi serves as a volunteer board member with NCECA, the National Council for the Education of the Ceramic Arts. Heidi’s solo exhibition at the Gardiner Museum, Reclaimed: Indo-Caribbean HerStories (spring 2023) and recent installation at the Indian Ceramics Triennale in Delhi, 2024 bring the Indo-Caribbean diaspora “home.”

Name: Meera Margaret Singh

Pronouns: she/her

Title: Artist / Assistant Professor

Biography: Meera Margaret Singh is a visual artist based in Toronto, Canada. She holds a BA in Anthropology, a BFA in Photography from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, and an MFA from Concordia University, Montreal.

Singh has been the recipient of numerous residencies and awards, most notably Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council grants. She has been a selected artist at the Banff Centre for the Arts; artist-in-residence at The Art Gallery of Ontario; artist-in-residence at 1Shanti Rd in Bangalore, India; artist-in-residence at JACA Residency, Brazil; selected artist in an international residency with German photographer Thomas Struth at the Atlantic Centre for the Arts, Florida; scholarship winner and participant in the Magnum Workshop with photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti; visiting artist/instructor at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India; McCain Artist-in-Residence at the OCAD University, Toronto. She has exhibited widely in group and solo exhibitions throughout Canada and internationally. She is currently an Assistant Professor at OCAD University.

Name: Tazeen Qayyum

Pronouns: she/her

Title: Tazeen Qayyum

Biography: Tazeen Qayyum (b.73) is a Pakistani-Canadian, Multidisciplinary artist. Trained as a miniature painter of South Asian and Persian Traditions, Qayyum continues to explore new materials and processes through drawing, installation, sculpture, video and performance. Drawing from complex issues of belonging and displacement within a socio-political contest, her art is a way for her to navigate identity and beliefs living in the diaspora. Qayyum’s work has been exhibited across the globe and in included in several private and public collections, some of which include the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Canada, Welt Museum in Austria, TD Canada Trust Permanent Collection in Canada, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Canada, the Doris McCarthy Gallery in Canada, the National Gallery of Amman in Jordan and the National Art Gallery in Nepal. Qayyum received her BFA in Visual Arts from the National College of Arts Lahore, Pakistan, 1996 and currently lives and works in Oakville, Canada.


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