Syrus Marcus Ware – I am because you are. Image courtesy of the artist.

I am because you are

Syrus Marcus Ware

November 17–December 18, 2021


PLEASE NOTE: The New Gallery is participating in the Alberta COVID-19 Restrictions Exemption Program, proof of vaccination will be required to visit the gallery. 

TNG will be open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 10AM to 6PM. While it’s not a requirement, we are encouraging folks to book an appointment to visit the gallery through Eventbrite. The gallery will be open to walk-ins on Saturdays.

If you don’t feel comfortable visiting TNG in person, we are happy to offer free digital tours via Zoom. If you’d like to organize a tour please Sanaa Humayun, our Communications & Outreach Coordinator, at and we will reach out to you with a meeting link.


Exhibition Description

I am because you are explores the presence of Black and East Asian communities in Alberta—and features images of Black and East Asian Albertans moving together, supporting each other, and dancing across the wall. The wall work offers a chance to consider the ways that Black and East Asian communities can be in solidarity with each other and support each other. Images of artists, activists and friends of The New Gallery are repeated across the wallpaper—making an alternative environment wherein freedom is everywhere and wherein we recognize that we need each other—that we are because of each other.


Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, a visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. For 12 years, he was the Coordinator of the Art Gallery of Ontario Youth Program. Syrus is currently a facilitator/designer for the Cultural Leaders Lab (Toronto Arts Council & The Banff Centre). He is the inaugural artist-in-residence for Daniels Spectrum (2016/2017). Syrus is also a core-team member of Black Lives Matter Toronto.

As a visual artist, Syrus works within the mediums of painting, installation and performance to challenge systemic oppression.  Syrus’ work explores the spaces between and around identities; acting as provocations to our understandings of gender, sexuality and race.   His work has been exhibited at the Toronto Biennial of Art (2019), the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), Gladstone Hotel, ASpace Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, SPIN Gallery and other galleries across Canada.  His work has been reproduced in FUSE Magazine, The Globe and Mail, THIS Magazine, and Blackness and Sexualities, amongst others. His work has also been included in several academic journals including Small Axe and Women and Environment International.

You can read Syrus’ full biography here.

Territorial Acknowledgments 

TNG gratefully acknowledges its home on the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region, including the Blackfoot Confederacy (Kainai, Piikani and Siksika), Métis Nation of Alberta Region III, Stoney Nakoda First Nation (Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley), and Tsuu T’ina First Nation. TNG would also like to acknowledge the many other First Nations, Métis and Inuit who have crossed this land for generations.