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Maya Wilson-Sanchez - Middlebrook Prize Winners. Toronto, ON, CA

Maya Wilson-Sanchez Maya Wilson-Sanchez

Curator, Writer and Researcher | Middlebrook Prize Winners

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Maya Wilson-Sanchez is a curator and writer based in Toronto.






Maya Wilson-Sanchez Maya Wilson-Sanchez




Maya Wilson-Sanchez is a curator and writer based in Toronto. She holds a BA in Visual and Critical Studies from OCAD University, where she co-founded the Journal of Visual and Critical Studies and co-directed the OCAD U Student Press, and an MA in Art History from the University of Toronto. She has published essays, reviews, and exhibition texts in multiple venues including the Senses and Society journal, the book Other Places: Reflections on Media Arts in Canada (2019), and in the upcoming anthology Community of Images: Strategies of Appropriation in Canadian Art, 1977-1990 (2020).

Wilson-Sanchez has worked in collection, research, programming and curatorial research roles at Gallery TPW, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Onsite Gallery, Xpace Cultural Centre and the Royal Ontario Museum. She co-curated Living Room (2017) inside the Family Camera exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum and curated Intra-Action: Live Performance Art (2016, 2017) at Xpace Cultural Centre. In 2019, she was Editorial Resident at Canadian Art and held a curatorial residency award at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. In 2020, she will be participating in the Tate Intensive program at Tate Modern in London, UK.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Visual and Critical Studies

Museum Programming

Curatorial Research

Museum Collections

Accomplishments (5)

Jean Sutherland Boggs Fellowship


Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s Canada Graduate Scholarships – Masters


Sir Edmund Walker Award for Graduate Studies


Visual and Critical Studies Graduation Award


Diversity & Equity Excellence Award


Education (2)

University of Toronto: M.A., Art History 2019

OCAD University: B.A. (Hons.), Visual and Critical Studies 2018

Affiliations (2)

  • Corkin Gallery : Gallery Assistant
  • OCAD University : Research Assistant

Media Appearances (2)

Maya Wilson-Sanchez Awarded Fall Canadian Art Editorial Residency

Canadian Art  


Canadian Art is pleased to announce that Maya Wilson-Sanchez has been awarded our Fall 2019 Editorial Mentorship, an 11-week, full-time position intended to develop aspiring writers’ expertise in art-magazine publishing...

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Student Maya Wilson-sanchez’s Work Featured on ROM Website

OCAD University  


Current BA (Honours) in Visual and Critical Studies student Maya Wilson-Sanchez's text "Collaboration, Family and Photography: The Process of Creating an Installation for the Family Camera Exhibition" is featured on the ROM's blog. Maya gives an overview of the Family Camera project through her participation in the Digital Futures Graduate Program course “Special Topic: Family Camera at the ROM.” The Sesquicentennial Exhibition The Family Camera will launch at the ROM in May 2017...

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Conferences (5)

Ways of Knowing Land: Métis and Anishinaabe Land Knowledge in the Work of Christi Belcourt and Bonnie Devine

Worlding the Global: Arts in the Age of Decolonization  National Gallery of Canada and Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, 2019

Encuentro: The World Inside Out

Performing Cuir Histories and Curating Andean Musealities  Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics and UNAM, Mexico City, 2019

The Album as Archive: Margaret Corry’s souvenir photographs through the lens of Canadian citizenship (1946-63)

College Art Association Annual Conference  New York City, 2019

Performing History in the Andes: Performance Art and Decolonial Methods

Decolonizing Conference  Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, 2018

Non-Human Kinship in Contemporary Canadian Art

Unsettling the Americas: Radical Hospitalities and Intimate Geographies  Hemispheric Institute NYU & York University, Toronto, ON, 2017

Curatorial Projects and Exhibitions (5)

God of Gods: A Canadian Play

Curatorial Resident, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON 2019

The Living Room

Co-Curator, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON 2017

DIY LOVE: Queer Knowledge & History Then, Now, and Forever

Curator, Pride Toronto, Toronto, ON 2017

Intra-Action II: Live Performance Art

Curator, Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, ON 2017

We Are Symbols

Co-Curator, Ada Slaight Gallery, Toronto, ON 2016

Articles (5)

Blackface, Brownface and Redface in the Arts: A Bibliography Canadian ArtF

Maya Wilson-Sanchez

2019 I spent the spring and summer months of this year developing the exhibition “God of Gods: A Canadian Play” with Toronto-based artist Deanna Bowen, currently on view at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. This process included expansive archival research into representations and discussions of race in fine arts, music and theatre in Canada. The exhibition showcases books, plays, musical performances and paintings in which redface, blackface and brownface are prevalent. The scope of the exhibition, which looks at the early decades of 20th-century Toronto, highlights, among other things, that brownface, redface and blackface were part of the performance repertoire of elite social circles at the time. Presented as groups of archival objects, “God of Gods” brings attention to how racism and exclusion functioned within the social circles of influential Canadian figures.

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Hemispheric Thinking Canadian ArtF

Maya Wilson-Sanchez

2019 Why do Canadians have difficulty envisioning themselves and their work hemispherically? At a recent gathering in Mexico City, I was able to examine collaborations and exchanges among artists and scholars based in Canada and those from across the Americas. Every two years in a different city, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (Hemi), a 21-year-old institution founded by performance studies scholar Diana Taylor, brings together artists, activists and scholars at Encuentro, a popular gathering that is part performance festival and part academic research workgroups. Headquartered at New York University, Hemi is an important centre for political performance art, theatre and cabaret in the Americas. Today, it has dozens of collaborating human rights and social justice organizations and 60 member institutions, including OCAD University, the University of Manitoba and the University of Toronto, among others. This year, Hemi hosted its 11th Encuentro in Mexico City, with most of the panels, workgroups, exhibitions, keynotes and performances presented at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and in the historic city centre. It included performances by local and international artists, theatre pieces and cabarets, as well as keynotes by Judith Butler, Richard Schechner and Jesusa Rodríguez.

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The Politics of Sensing Canadian ArtF

Maya Wilson-Sanchez

2019 Our experience of reality is mediated by our senses, thus creating a worldview that is contained within the restrictions of human perception. “Logics of Sense” is a two-part exhibition presented at the Blackwood Gallery that curator Christine Shaw describes as “examin[ing] sense-in-the-making.” Showcasing mostly video work, the exhibition asks visitors to reflect on the manner in which they collect information about the world, whether it is directly through the senses, or through technology that allows us to experience phenomena beyond that of human realms. The video works are projected onto large rectangular structures that break up the gallery space, like a labyrinth organized into intimate viewing spaces. With an interest in the representation of sensing, the works highlight diverse perceptions, frames of reference, networks and disciplines to present interpretations about the relationships we have with each other and nonhumans.

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“Àbadakone” Creates Community Canadian ArtF

Maya Wilson-Sanchez

2019 The opening of “Àbadakone/Continuous Fire/Feu continuel” was electric. More than 3,000 people came to the National Gallery of Canada that evening—the largest attendance since the gallery’s opening in 1988. There were lines to get into the building, as well as lines to get into “Àbadakone.” The exhibition opened after performances of throat singing, drumming, hoop dancing and jingle dress dancing, as well as Métis jigging, which the crowd clapped along to. This was followed by a procession of the artists featured in the exhibition, coming from the lobby and culminating in the Great Hall, with Canada-based artists leading the way while drumming and singing. Each artist was announced as they entered the space, marking a momentous arrival, and making it clear that on this night, the National Gallery belonged to Indigenous peoples and Indigenous art.

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Newcomers Discuss Creative-Industry Barriers in Canada Canadian ArtF

Maya Wilson-Sanchez

2019 More than 120 people, including newcomer artists, creative workers and arts-organization staff, gathered in Toronto last month to discuss a pressing issue: barriers newcomers face in finding work within Canada’s culture sector.

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