June 2015

Alumni Benefits Alumni Events
Q&A with Worldbuilder Award Winner Christine Germano (AOCA, 1994)

  Photo provided by Christine Germano 

We caught up with Christine Germano (AOCA, Photography/Sculpture, 1994) after the Alumni of Influence Awards reception on May 2 to ask her a few questions. 

AN: What does winning this award mean to you?
CG: I’m thrilled to be recognized by OCAD U and for the work that I do with Indigenous youth and communities. It means that all of those years of living in remote locations, learning to communicate through language barriers and gaining the trust of the locals; suffering sunburns, bug bites, jet lag and even a parasite or two – was worth it! The project succeeded in being heard. I love my work, and I’m driven by the urgent need to share the stories of those most affected by climate change. To be honoured with other alumni who are trying to make this world a better and more beautiful place is a humbling experience.

AN: What advice would you give to recent alumni?
CG: See as much of the world as you can and travel like a local. Listen to the elders and the children that you meet: their stories will enrich your journeys. Stay in touch with mentors, fellow students and instructors and attend as many of their exhibits as possible.

Challenge yourself, fully and fearlessly. If you fail - so what? Your mistakes can be a greater instructor to you than your successes and can lead to future masterpieces. When commissioned work takes over much of your time, as it will, rejuvenate the inner artist with personal art projects. These are the springboard to inspiration and are the balm for the soul. Life is too short and unpredictable to not live it exactly the way you want. So be brave. Be bold. Be kind. And have fun.

AN: What is one of your most memorable experiences at OCAD U?
CG: My third year of OCAD was spent in Italy during the Florence program. My Professor, Peter Porcal, captivated us with his lectures, our necks craning as we gazed up at lavish architecture, intricate sculptures and beautiful paintings. I often found myself strategically maneuvering through our tours so I could stand right beside Peter to be sure I wouldn’t miss a word. I will forever have a great love for art history because of this trip.

[Editor's Note: Sadly Peter Porcal passed away in 2014. Read More]

View Christine Germano's full profile and video and her website

Make a nomination for the 2016 Alumni of Influence Awards!  

Alumni News

 Photography by Jimmy Limit

Lorraine Kwan (AOCA, Material Arts, 1967), in partnership with Janet Lee, will be included in two upcoming Trashion Fashion events in NYC. Read More 

John Scott (AOCA, 1976) has his first New York show, “Mortality Games,” on view at the Flowers Gallery with work ranging from 2008 to the present. Read More

Chris Ross (AOCA, Communication & Design, 1980) recently wrote two webisodes for CTV’s "Saving Hope" web series, and directed the final installment of the series. She is currently developing her first feature film, "The Art of Being Busy" with Clique Pictures and LoCo Motion Pictures. Visit her website

Penelope Umbrico (AOCA, 1980) currently has an installation, "Sunset Portraits From Flickr Sunsets, ‘FOMO’, Sextant et plus", in Marseille, France until July 31. From June 13 to September 9 her installation "Signals Still, Triennial of Photography", will be at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany.

David Rokeby (AOCA, 1984) will be exhibiting "Very Nervous System" at Robert McLaughlin Gallery from May 30 to September 13, 2015.

Ian Johnston (AOCA, 1995) has a show at Access Gallery in Vancouver, “The Chamber” from June 6 to July 15, 2015. 

Tasman Richardson's (AOCAD, 1997) immersive exhibition “Necropolis” opened at the Karsh-Masson Gallery on June 11. 

Ian Vandenberg (AOCAD, Industrial Design, 2003) has designed a butter dish in the shape of the Toronto Streetcar, it's currently being sold at the Drake General Store. 

David Constantino Salazar (BFA, Sculpture & Installation, 2007) was the winner of this year's First Capital Realty Public Art Competition. Read More 

Meryl McMaster (BFA, Photography, 2010) takes her photographic self-portraits to New York. Her solo show opened this week at the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian. Read More

Winnie Truong (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2010), will be showing new work in the group show "All Types of Characters" at Joshua Liner Gallery in New York City, opening June 18. 

Georgia Dickie (BFA, Sculpture & Installation, 2011) recently exhibited at one of New York City’s most dynamic and growing contemporary art shows: the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) fair.

Jimmy Limit (BFA, Photography, 2012) won the Gattuso Prize for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. His exhibition "Surplus" was held at Clint Roenisch Gallery. Read More

Eunice Luk (BDES, Illustration, 2012), Alicia Nauta (BFA, Printmaking, 2010), and Luke Painter (AOCAD, Printmaking, 2001) are in a group show, "Roll up that tender air and the plant dies, the colour fades" at Narwhal until June 13. 

Nico Soule (BDES, Industrial Design, 2012) and Jenna Watson (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2009) have joined forces as Watson Soule and created the collection "Twofolds" of reversible carpets. Read More

Humboldt Magnussen (MFA, IAMD, 2014) and Marjan Verstappen (MFA, IAMD, 2014) run Younger than Beyoncé, a gallery that aims to give emerging artists exhibition opportunities, has been voted one of the top 5 new art galleries in Toronto by BlogTO 

Share your news with Alumni Relations  

Alumni in Action: Nicholas Di Genova (AOCAD, 2005)

  Illustration by Nicholas Di Genova

Nicholas Di Genova (AOCAD, Drawing & Painting, 2005) was born in Belleville ON, and came to OCAD in 2000 to study sculpture and then drawing and painting. Graduating in 2005, he has been exhibiting internationally for over a decade. Nicholas has garnered all levels of press in Canada, featuring reviews in Canadian Art Magazine, Globe and Mail, National Post, numerous online forums, NOW Magazine and EYE Magazine. He is represented in Toronto by LE Gallery and in Paris and Leipzig by Galerie Dukan.

AN: What led you to pursue a career in the arts? 
ND: There was never really any question that I would grow up to be an artist. I've been drawing as often as possible for as long as I can remember. When I was in grade 13, I lucked out with a new art teacher that had transferred to my school. He was just a few years older than me. We had a lot in common, and he really pushed me to focus and get a good portfolio together, and suggested that I apply to OCAD. I'm glad he did. 

AN: Looking back, what was most resonant or pertinent from your OCAD U experience? 
ND: What sticks out to me the most is the connections with several of the teachers I met along the way, such as Robin Collyer, Michelle White (AOCA, 1978), Stan Krzyzanowski (AOCA, 1977), Nicole Collins, and Cathy Daley, among others. Something really clicked. The best thing that happened to me at OCAD was meeting John Scott (AOCA, 1976). Michelle White, whom I believe was the Drawing & Painting chair at the time, pulled me aside one day and said I had to enroll in John's class. Not knowing what to expect I did, and taking his class in my final year really changed me. He's a pretty intense guy and was a major influence on my work; why I lived and worked the way I did. 

AN: What advice would you give the class of 2015 as they approach starting a professional art or design practice?
ND: I think the most important thing is to take it seriously and don't get discouraged. When you get out of school, treat your studio practice like a job, build a schedule and commit to it. Try not to get a full time job if you can avoid it; instead get a part time job, and live cheaply. Building an arts career is difficult, especially in a city with rent prices like Toronto. Apply to grants, apply to shows, and if you get rejected, be relentless. Just keep making work and applying to stuff. Live a simple life, put in the hours, and understand that it's going to be a lot of work. You'll ride a lot of emotional and financial roller-coasters, but being a professional artist or designer is also going to be a lot of fun. 

AN: What has been the most exciting (and possibly intimidating) project you have taken on?
ND: The most exciting and definitely the most intimidating project would have to be the "Ultima" diorama I showed at LE Gallery last September. It was a 3' x 6' 1/87th scale cityscape diorama filled with little fingernail sized inhabitants. Although I originally entered OCAD to study sculpture, I switched my focus to drawing while I was in 3rd year, so going back to 3D after over a decade of working in 2D was a huge challenge. For most of 2013 and 2014, I rented a little basement studio up on Dupont and locked myself away almost everyday trying to figure how to make this thing. I was locked away for so long learning how to use an entirely new set of materials and not going out much, that people kept asking me if I still made art. That drove me absolutely insane. It was often very frustrating. I had to rebuild certain elements several times to get them right. In the end I was really happy with the piece, and it was strongly received. 

AN: Any final comments on your career? What do you see on the horizon? 
ND: My career path has always been simple - show up to the studio and work everyday. So I'm just gonna keep at it. Things I'm looking forward to right now are a small solo show at LE Gallery this autumn, relaunching my website and store sometime this summer, and releasing a small book of of my watercolours hopefully by the winter.

Follow him on Instagram

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

Giving News: Urban Ecologies


TD supports international Urban Ecologies conference at OCAD University.

Thanks to the generosity of lead sponsor TD, the second phase of OCAD University’s Urban Ecologies conference, taking place on June 17-19, 2015, will bring together scholars, designers, policy-makers, planners and others from across Canada and the globe to examine how cities can move beyond sustainability to become net producers of energy and resources.  Presented by OCAD U’s Faculty of Design, the conference will explore three core themes: adaptive capacity, resilience and livability.  Urban Ecologies 2015 challenges its participants to think beyond the current buzzword that is sustainability and move toward a more advanced humanitarian frontier. Read More

If you want to learn more about supporting students contact Michelle Kim. 

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.

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. Canadian dollar at par if booked by June 30, 2015. Learn more.

New Alumni Perk from Hot Pop Factory

Photo provided by Hot Pop Factory

We're delighted to introduce a new alumni perk from our friends at Hot Pop Factory. Matt Compeau and Bi-Ying Miao, the founders of this 3D printing innovative company, share their story

To encourage you to try these tools in your work they are offering an introductory 15% discount (code “OCADUALUMNI”) for all Alumni to use their fabrication services. Just mention it to them in person or in an email to redeem.

Get Your Work Featured! 

Illustration by Gracia Lam

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 an illustration by Gracia Lam (BDes, Illustration, 2009).

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 students to the OCAD U community this September! 

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

In Memoriam


Constance Johnson, (AOCA, 1978). With gratitude for many years of happy memories, the family announces that Connie passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Full Obituary

Joseph Albert Callow (AOCA, 1989), died June 6, 2015, 71 years after he landed with the first wave of British troops on Gold Beach, Normandy. Full Obituary

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


Alumni Association
Alumni Association Logo

New Alumni Perk

Special subscription rate for only $17.97 and receive a free issue of Canadian Art. 
Subscribe Now!

New Alumni Perk

15% discount on Hot Pop Factory fabrication services. Check it out!

New Alumni Perk

Save 25% off select productions throughout the season. Book Now!

Life Drawing Sessions
Photo provided by OCAD University

Support OCAD U
Gifts from undergraduate and graduate alumni, parents, and friends are vital to sustaining OCAD University's mission to be at the forefront of art, design, and media higher education and research. Learn more

Alumni Benefit

Home and Car Insurance

Alumni Perk
Road trip season is here! OCAD U Alumni are eligible to join AutoShare for $29 and get your first year membership for free. Find out more

Alumni Job Board

Alumni Benefit

OCAD U Today
OCAD U news, events and features 


Continuing Studies

Just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in OCAD University. Don't forget to add alumni@ocadu.ca to your address book so we'll be sure to land in your inbox!

facebook twitter youtube linkedin  flickr

OCAD University
100 McCaul Street
Toronto, ON   M5T 1W1
P: 416.977.6000

© 2016 OCAD University. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy