July/August 2015

Alumni Benefits Alumni Events
Alumni News
Illustration by Hudson Christie
Neville Smith's 
(AOCA, 1964) early graphic design works are exhibiting at La Petite Mort Gallery from July 17 to July 23.

Paul Szep (AOCA, 1964), will be honoured on July 30
 as a Distinguished Laureate during the 15th Anniversary of American Civilization Awards at the National Museum of American Illustration. Read More

Penelope Umbrico (AOCA, 1980) has a few upcoming shows. July 15 - August 13 she will be in a group show at University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. August 22 - December 6 she will be in the group show "Forget Me Not" at Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art in Kennesaw, GA. August 29 - November 28 she has a solo project at Museum of Contemporary Photography in UC Riverside, CA. Visit her website.

Steven Rhude (AOCA, 1983) is currently exhibiting work for "Forces and Vagaries'" show at the Fraser Cultural Centre. Read More

Eva Lewarne (AOCA, 1984) has her solo exhibition "Enigma" at Gallery 1313 from July 22 to August 2.   

Gary Evans (AOCA, 1989) is exhibiting paintings and paper collages with André Ethier at Paul Petro Contemporary Art from July 17 to August 15. 

Katherine Gray (AOCA, 1989) is currently exhibiting "This Makes Me Think of That" at Heller Gallery in New York City until July 31. Read More   

Anson Liaw (AOCA, 1989) will be exhibiting 10 pieces of his framed illustration artwork at Rainbow Cinemas Market Square Art Gallery in Toronto from July 1 to August 31.

Cliff Humes
(AOCA, 1991) has collaborated on The Trinity Concept, a motorcycle with tandem seating for weekends away or commuting. Read More

Gary Taxali
(AOCA, Communication & Design, 1991) is exhibiting "HERE AND NOW: THE ART OF GARY TAXALI" at Idea Exchange in Cambridge, ON from July 17 to September 20.  Read More

Bev Koski
(AOCA, 1994) is exhibiting "Recast,” which features photographs of Koski’s delicately beaded figurines and Christian Chapman’s collaborative film project, opens at Thunder Bay Art Gallery from June 19 to September 6.  

Peter Rotter (AOCA, 1995) was a featured artist at the gARTen PArty fundraiser for the Art Gallery of Peterborough. Read More 

Dan Chamberland (AOCAD, Industrial Design, 1998) won a drawing contest in 1988 and 27 years later his son Jack won the same contest. Read More 

Christine Latimer (AOCAD, Integrated Media, 2002) has an interview in Art Reveal Magazine on page 28. 

Vicky Talwar (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2005)has her art exhibit "Idiosyncratic Expressions" at the Agora Gallery, NYC.  It opens on July 31st and will run until August 20th, 2015. The opening reception will take place Thursday, August 6th, from 6-8 PM. 

Vivian Chan (BDES, Material Art & Design, 2006), Humbolt Magnussen (MFA, Interdisciplinary Art, Media & Design, 2014) & Alize Zorlutura (BFA, Sculpture & Installation, 2010) are in the group exhibition “The Self" at James Gallery in Hamilton, ON from July 10 to August 15. 

Stanzie Tooth (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2007) is presenting her MFA thesis exhibition "Hand to Ground" at the Karsh Masson Gallery in Ottawa, August 1 - September 10, 2015. 

Hazel Meyer (MFA, Interdisciplinary Art, Media & Design, 2010) is exhibiting her show "Muscle Panic", which picks up on the Pan Am spirit, showing her ongoing interest in athleticism at the MacLaren Art Centre from July 9 to August 30. 
Tom Briggs (BDES, Graphic Design, 2011) is senior designer for Cervélo, a Toronto-based bicycle manufacturer. Briggs has designed the new paint job for team MTN-Qhubeka, the first African-registered team in the Tour’s history. Read More

Petra Collins
(Class of 2011, Criticism & Curatorial Practice) edited the book Babe, a collection of art by, for and about teen girls. Read More

Nicholas Crombach (BFA, Sculpture & Installation, 2012) has a solo show, "Trapped", at Angell Gallery from July 24 to August 15. 

Emily Gillis (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2013) is the designer for "Meet on the Way" a new Toronto-based website that provides a platform for strangers to meet up before heading out to a concert to ensure they're not going alone. 

Yi Jang (BDES, Industrial Design, 2013) is a finalist for the James Dyson Awards for his foot-powered washing machine, the Drumi.

Claire Scherzinger (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2013) is one of the 2015 RBC Canadian Painting Competition finalists. 

Hudson Christie (BDES, Illustration, 2014) was named Best New Illustrator in the Best New Creator category at the 38th National Magazine Awards gala. 

Julie Douglas (BFA, Photography, 2014) was featured in the Peterborough artists exhibition highlighting 30 outstanding artists under the age of 30. Read More

Heidi Berton (BDES, Illustration, 2015) & Emily May Rose (BDES, Illustration, 2015) painted a new mural linking Toronto's Entertainment and Financial districts. Read More

Share your news with Alumni Relations  

Alumni in Action: Taessa Chorny (BDES, 2006)

Photo provided by Taessa Chorny

Taessa Chorny (BDES, Environmental Design, 2006)  greatly credits her years at OCAD U in fostering her creative design sensibility. Taessa has gained a great knowledge of the core elements and principles of design that she brings into each of her designs. Instilled in her was a meticulous attention to detail; it is these details that leave the greatest impression.

Today, Taessa designs jumpsuits her eponymous label/brand. Toronto-based through and through, she works closely with local seamstresses and fabric manufacturers; every aspect of the design process is within arms reach, allowing for the highest of quality.

AN: What led you to pursue a career in the arts?
TC: Since I was young I have always been making and designing. I found myself distracted by my love of design while studying at another university prior to OCAD U. I enrolled in a night class at a local college to see if I wanted to pursue design further, and found myself more interested. I put together a portfolio and applied to OCAD U and, thankfully, was accepted.    

AN: Looking back, what was most resonant or pertinent from your OCAD U experience? 
TC: Concept. It is the most fun and creative part of the design process. I enjoy letting my imagination run free and coming up with new ideas. I remember a professor suggesting sketching ideas in pen because you can't erase them and you never know, it may develop into something further.  

AN: What advice would you give the other alumni as they approach starting a professional art or design practice?
TC: Share. As artists and designers we are so invested and protective over what we create. I have learned to share my ideas with others, talk about them openly and freely, ask for opinions and advice, and seek help from others. As I work on my current season, S/S 2016, I have been consciously #sharingthecreativeprocess on social media to gain feedback. 

AN: What has been the most exciting (and possibly intimidating) project you have taken on?
TC: Starting my own fashion line has been the most exciting and the scariest thing I have ever done. It is amazing to see your ideas come to life. But there is so much to learn in starting your own business that isn't taught at an art and design school. Much of the business side I've been learning as I go.  

AN: Any final comments on your career? What do you see on the horizon? 
TC: I will be the happiest as long as I can keep designing  I could not imagine myself doing anything else in this world.  

To check out Taessa's jumpsuits, visit her website

Share your journey since graduation with Alumni Relations and we might profile you in the newsletter! 

Alumni in Action: The Station

Photo provided by The Station
Kassem Ahmed (BDES, Illustration, 2010), Gracia Lam (BDES, Illustration, 2009) & Hugh Langis (BDES, Illustration, 2008) have teamed up to create a shared incubator space called The Station. We asked our alumni to explain their initiative.

AN: What is The Station?
TS: It’s a creative community that fosters ingenuity and design by offering temporary or permanent work space as well as ongoing lectures and events by leaders in the design and innovation industries. We offer rates that people can afford, a network to exchange knowledge and barter skills, and hard-to-reach support systems like healthcare, business planning and legal services, and, yes, free coffee.

AN: Why have you launched The Station?
TS: Many freelancers and entrepreneurs are missing the structure and support that fosters creative development and business expansion. Though they have skills that people want and are supporting themselves financially, they’re often working in isolation and without the advantages or structure of a modern company.

The Station brings creatives out of isolation and into an accomplished network of artists, designers and innovators who are thriving and passionate about what they do.

If you're interested in becoming a member or helping build the community contact them.

Book a trip! Alumni Travel


Join Alumni Association President Maggie Broda (AOCA, 1972) and other OCAD U alumni in discovering art, architecture, food and much more from around the world.

Maggie has provided the following updates to the Alumni Newsletter:

USA: We're planning to run small group tours to New York City and Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

Europe: Join us for an art-themed small group tour to Florence, Italy in May 2016 (includes access to the OCAD U campus studio courtesy of the Alumni Association). We are also planning a tour to Barcelona!

For more details about these trips to the USA and Europe please contact Maggie Broda.
Cruise: Join former OCAD U Art History professor Dr. Francis Broun for “Voyages to Antiquity: Cruise Greek Islands & Turkey (September 12-27, 2016) featuring Athens, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes, as well as destinations in Turkey like Ephesus, Troy and Istanbul. Cruise ship limited to 350 guests. Learn more.

New! Studios & Fabrication Resources


We know that finding a creative community and a work space after graduation can be challenging. That's why we've put together this list of resources that we feel will assist you in finding places to get things made, workspaces, and much more. 

Visit the new Studio & Fabrication Resources page. 

If there's any information you feel is missing and should be included please email us

Get Your Work Featured! 

Painting by Eva Lewarne

We have so many talented alumni and want to share your work in the social media sphere. We're looking to curate our Facebook and Twitter header with alumni work. Currently featured is "Here" an acrylic painting by Eva Lewarne (AOCA, 1984).

Submit your work for consideration to Alumni Relations

Volunteer for O-DAYS! 2015


Would you like to get involved, have fun with your peers and make new alumni friends while helping behind the scenes? Join the O-TEAM and volunteer your time and energy to help welcome the Class of 2019 to the OCAD U community this September! 

Join the O-TEAM! Submit your volunteer application before Friday, August 14, 2015. 

Save the Date: Alumni Fall Social (Sept. 30)
Please join the OCAD University Alumni Association at the Gardiner Museum for the annual fall alumni social. Maggie Broda, President of the OCAD U Alumni Association welcomes you and your guest(s) to mingle with other alumni while enjoying refreshments and treated to a private tour of the Gardner's collections.

When: Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Where: Gardiner Museum, Toronto, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

More details and RSVP will be provided shortly. 

In Memoriam: Wendy Coburn (AOCA, 1986)
Wendy Coburn (AOCA, 1986).
The OCAD University community, colleagues and friends, mourns the death of Wendy Coburn, tireless champion of students and faculty and a fierce advocate for social change and thoughtful action. Wendy was an accomplished and celebrated artist and devoted arts educator. Read More

Wendy will be greatly missed. A scholarship has been created to honour her life as an artist, activist, teacher, mentor and friend.

In Memoriam


Earl Preston (AOCA, 1951) died peacefully on Friday, April 24, 2015 in his 90th year at the Kingston General Hospital. Full Obituary

Special thanks, as always, to alumnus John Ellis (AOCA, 1961) for keeping us informed. 


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