The poster for the 2023 Shenkman Lecture shows a smiling Maureen Paley and details of the lecture in text
(Photo by David Mirzoeff, courtesy Maureen Paley)

Noted contemporary art gallery director Maureen Paley will deliver this year’s Dasha Shenkman Lecture in Contemporary Art at the University of Guelph on Wednesday, March 29. 

The free event begins at 6 p.m. in War Memorial Hall. 

Paley is a pioneer of the current art scene and was one of the first to present contemporary art in London’s East End at her eponymous Maureen Paley gallery. 

She has promoted and shown a diverse range of artists, including Wolfgang Tillmans and Gillian Wearing, whom she is credited with discovering in the early 1990s. 

Born in New York, Paley graduated from Brown University and completed her master’s at the Royal College of Art in the United Kingdom. She founded her gallery in 1984 in a Victorian terraced house, where it has developed a leading and influential contemporary program that now represents 48 international artists. 

The Dasha Shenkman Lecture is an annual event at U of G that provides exposure to internationally renowned figures in contemporary art. It was created through a generous endowment from Dasha Shenkman, a Canadian art collector and philanthropist living in the U.K. 

Before and after the lecture, graduate students in the School of Fine Art and Music will hold their annual Open Studios event, which enables the community to tour U of G art studios and become acquainted with the studio art program and its award-winning students. 

Open Studios will run from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Blackwood Hall, Firehall and Alexander Hall. 

A free shuttle bus will be offered to and from Toronto free, with pickup and drop-off at Mercer Union a Centre for Contemporary Art.