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Shani Khoo Parsons (Canada/US, b.1970, Philadelphia) is an independent curator, designer, and founding director of Critical Distance Centre for Curators. With degrees in architecture (Temple University, Philadelphia, 1994) and graphic design (RISD, Providence, 2000) she has pursued a multidisciplinary, process-driven practice within independent and institutional contexts, and has produced an eclectic body of work ranging from intimate artist’s books to immersive exhibitions.

After moving to Toronto from New York, she became interested in creating a hybrid model for curating and exhibition-making, one that provides institutional support for independent curators at all stages in their professional development and advances sustainable practices for curatorial production and publishing, as well as opportunities for community building, professional development, and critical discourse. 

Now in its ninth year, Critical Distance has established itself as a not-for-profit space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice and inquiry in Toronto and beyond. With a focus on critically engaged, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and art forms, and community outreach and education in art and exhibition-making, Critical Distance is an open platform for diverse curatorial practices and perspectives, and a vibrant forum for the exchange of ideas on curating as a way to connect, engage, and inform people and publics across cultures, disciplines, geographies, and generations.

Independent curatorial projects include solo and group exhibitions and site-responsive installations, public art projects and performances, experimental thematic moving image programs, art book fair presentations, and discursive event series. Current research interests include critical and experimental approaches to working with museum collections, histories and futures for publishing in the arts, creative strategies for accessibility in exhibitions (both onsite and online), and cross-disciplinary approaches to research and collaboration; all of the above pursued within an ethics and frameworks of communication (even, especially, in critique) with care.

work with me:

Please note this website is a bit out of date. For snapshots on more recent work (soon to be added here, once I have a bit more time), please see my Instagram page linked below. There will be more writing made available in the future as well. Thanks for your patience.

facebook / instagram (preview below)
cv provided upon request

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