Syrus is a visual artist, activist, curator and educator. He is the Coordinator of the Art Gallery of Ontario Youth Program and a facilitator/designer at The Banff Centre. Syrus is the inaugural Daniel’s Spectrum Artist-in-Residence (2016/17). As a visual artist, Syrus uses painting, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and black activist culture. His work has been shown widely, including at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Art Gallery of York University, and The Gladstone Hotel. Syrus’ recent curatorial projects include That’s So Gay: On the Edge (Gladstone Hotel, 2015 & 2014), Re:Purpose (Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 2014) and The Church Street Mural Project (Church-Wellesley Village, 2013).
He is part of the PDA (Performance Disability Art) Collective and co-programmed Crip Your World: An Intergalactic Queer/POC Sick and Disabled Extravaganza as part of Mayworks 2014. Syrus is part of Blackness Yes! and co-produces Blockorama at Pride and other related events throughout the year. For 17 years, Syrus hosted the weekly radio segment, Resistance on the Sound Dial on CIUT 89.5FM. He is a prison abolitionist, is a former member of Friends of MOVE Toronto and the Prisoners’ Justice Action Project, and is one of the organizers of Toronto’s Prisoners’ Justice Day events.
Syrus was voted “Best Queer Activist” by NOW Magazine (2005) and was awarded the Steinert and Ferreiro Award for LGBT community leadership and activism (2012). In 2009, Syrus coedited the Journal of Museum Education issue Building Diversity in Museums with Gillian McIntyre. Syrus’ writings on trans health, disability studies and activism are part of curricula at City University of New York, York University, and Ryerson University. Syrus holds degrees in Art History, Visual Studies and a Masters in Sociology and Equity Studies, University of Toronto. Syrus is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University.