October 2015

Alumni Benefits Alumni Events
Volunteer Opportunity: Look Inside
Please join us as an alumni ambassador on October 24 for OCAD University’s annual “Look Inside” open house. You can make a huge contribution by being available to talk to prospective students about your experiences as an OCAD U student and your journey since graduation. 

If you are interested please contact Alumni Relations. There will be a food and training provided.

Welcome Class of 2015!
 OCAD U Class of 2015
Alumni Relations would like to congradulate all those who graduated this past June and officially welcome them as our newest alumni! Here's wishing you the best of luck with your future dreams.

Don't hesitate to contact us should you have any questions. 

Win an Art Toronto VIP Package!
Photo provided by Art Toronto
The Art Toronto VIP Program is a 4-day agenda of exclusive events that includes visits to some of Toronto’s top private and corporate art collections, visits to artist studios, curator-led tours of museums and galleries and private receptions.  The VIP package is available by invitation only.

OCAD U Alumni Relations is holding a draw on October 21 for one (1) VIP Program package to Art Toronto 2015 (running October 23-26).

To enter the draw please email Alumni Relations with the answer to the following question: When was Art Toronto founded? All correct entries received by 11:59 p.m. ET on October 20 will be entered into a random draw for the prize. Open to OCAD U alumni only. One entry per alumna/alumnus.

Fall Social - Thank you!
Photo Provided by Gardiner Museum
Thank you to all of those who attended the OCAD University Alumni Fall Social held at the Gardiner Museum! We were delighted to welcome over 90 guests, representing more than 6 decades of alumni, stretching from the Class of 1947 to the Class of 2015!

For more event listings please visit Alumni Event Calendar.

Call for Nominations: Alumni Of Influence 2016
The 2016 Alumni of Influence Awards are now open for nominations! The five awards recognize a wide range of OCAD University Alumni's fields and pursuits: Distinguished Alumni, Distinguished Educator, World Builders, Trailblazer and Legacy. If you know an exceptional alumni who has made an impact, nominate them today! 

The inaugural Alumni of Influence Awards, generously sponsored by TD Insurance, saw over 130 guests come to OCAD U in May 2015 to recognize five exceptional alumni who have made an impact across a wide range of fields and pursuits.
Please submit your nomination package for the 2016 Alumni of Influence Awards. The deadline is February 22, 2016!

Q&A with 2015 Distinguished Educator Award Recipient Dr. Allan J. Ryan (AOCA, Advertising Design, 1967)
 AllanRyan Photo provided by Dr. Allan J. Ryan
We caught up with Dr. Allan J. Ryan after the Alumni of Influence Awards reception on May 2 to ask him a few questions. 

AN: What does winning this award mean to you?
AJR: I am deeply honoured for several reasons: these awards represent public and institutional recognition of the diversity of fields in which OCAD U graduates have achieved excellence; they also recognize the impact the award recipients have had on the lives of others through mentoring, advocacy, and artistic example. Receiving the Distinguished Educator Award has served to raise the public profile of indigenous arts scholarship, and highlight the need to further incorporate indigenous pedagogy into mainstream educational institutions. This in turn has allowed me to publically acknowledge and express gratitude to all the indigenous artists, educators and elders who have inspired and influenced how I teach and interact with students. Finally, the ceremony reconnected me with long lost OCAD classmates, including Dale Atkinson, who has since passed away; serving as a reminder to not only cultivate the talents we have been given but the relationships that have allowed them to flourish.

AN: What advice would you give to recent alumni?
AJR: The visual literacy that OCAD U allows you to develop, along with a personal aesthetic, only increase in value; affording you a way of comprehending the world and imagining creative possibilities. A talent for critical visual discernment is a valuable and marketable commodity in a world of increasingly competitive value-laden images. In my Alumni Award acceptance remarks, I called this “the OCAD edge.” As alumni, this edge is yours too, and I urge you to vigorously own and embrace it. Maintain contact with your mentors and those who have taught you well. As both an educator and former student, I can tell you that these contacts are a teacher’s most precious reward. Your instructors have a vested interest in your future and may well have more to teach you. Finally, I suggest you acquaint yourself with the arts of Canada’s First Peoples. They will enrich your life and deepen your understanding of this country’s history and future.

AN: What is one of your most memorable experiences at OCAD U?
AJR: While at OCAD I played guitar and sang folk songs in numerous coffee houses, and began to write social and political satire. This caught the attention of the producers of CTV’s W5 who asked me to compose songs about John A. Macdonald and the more eccentric projects undertaken to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday in 1967. On New Year’s Day I performed these songs live in the CTV studio, surrounded by an ad hoc audience of OCAD classmates invited to share in the centennial festivities. On another occasion, following folk singer Joni Mitchell’s debut performance at Yorkville’s famed Riverboat coffee house I bought a photo of the singer onstage from a local newspaper and used it as the basis for a copper etching created in an OCAD printmaking class. I subsequently gave Joni a framed copy of the print when she returned to Toronto a short time later. To thank me she offered to come to my home and cook supper.

View Dr. Allan J. Ryan's full profile and video

Make a nomination for the 2016 Alumni of Influence Awards!

Alumni News

Print provided by Matthew Borrett

David Johns (AOCA, 1964) and Donna Dolson (AOCA, 1983) have work featured in "Photo-Op 6th Annual Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Photographs" at John B. Aird Gallery until October 23

Maggie Broda
(AOCA, Drawing & Painting, 1972), Jacqueline Veltri (AOCA, General Studies, 1992) and Inger Whist (AOCA, Photography, 2001) are featured in the winter publication at Fleck Fine Art.

Tony Luciani (AOCA, 1975), Neville Clarke (AOCA, 1984), Barbara Sutherland (AOCA, 1984), Daniel Hughes (AOCA, 1991), Marnie White (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2005) and Jen Mann (BFA, Printmaking, 2009), figure and portrait art are 2015 finalists for The Kingston Prize.

Jorge Lozano (AOCA, 1979) photography exhibit "MOVING STILL_still life" opens October 14 at Ryerson Image Centre.

Carlo Cesta
(AOCA, 1980) has an exhibition of new sculptural works in his solo “while-u-wait” at Gallery On Wade.

Kika Thorne (AOCA, 1990) has work featured in “Silva Part I: O Horizon”, an exhibition at Nanaimo Art Gallery.

Pearl Van Geest (AOCA, Drawing & Painting, 1996) blurs the boundaries between ordinary objects and paintings in "Viscous Body" at Flesherton Art Gallery. The opening reception is October 17.

Bonnie Devine
(AOCAD, Sculpture/Installation, 1997) is contributing to a group show “7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc,” at The Art Gallery of Windsor.

Tasman Richardson (AOCAD, Integrated Media, 1997) has an immersive installation "Sphere of Influence, Circle of Protection" at Neubacher Shor Contemporary Solo Gallery, opens October 16.
Mathew Borrett (AOCAD, Illustration, 1998) intricate digital landscapes are currently exhibiting at his solo show, “Hypernurnia”, at The Red Head Gallery until October 31.

Tamara Toledo (AOCAD, Drawing and Painting, 1998) curated “True Patriot Love”, presented by LACAP at Sur Gallery. Running now until November 21.

Jonathan Davis (AOCAD, Drawing & Painting, 2002) figurative paintings are in “Over the Shoulder” at Gallery 50.

Amanda White
(AOCAD, Drawing & Painting, 2002) and Devin Schaffner (BDES, Industrial Design, 2014) culinary- based designs are at a group show "Food for Thought", currently on display at Harbourfront Centre.

Melissa Neil (AOCAD, Drawing & Painting, 2002) and Maria Flawia Litwin (BFA, Sculpture/Installation, 2008) are currently showing at “The Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition: Tradition Transformed” at Orillia Museum of Art & History.

Andrée Wejsmann (AOCAD, Material Art & Design, 2003) is in a group show "The Utensil" currently exhibiting at Harbourfront Centre.

Shelley Beach (AOCAD, Drawing & Painting, 2004) is partaking in a group show "Aquavision" at The Papermill Gallery starting October 18.

Michelle Mendlowitz (BDES, Material & Design, 2005), Krystal Speck (BDES, Material & Design, 2005) and Dianne Lee (BDES, Material & Design, 2006) are a part of a group show “Small Transgressions” with Craft Ontario currently exhibiting until October 31.

Karen Kraven (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2006) intricate patterning and textile “37 Fouettés” is currently exhibiting at 8-11.

Jennie Suddick (BFA, Fine Arts, 2006) newest series of white architectural models “Of nails and rope ladders” is currently exhibiting at Varley Art Gallery.

Vanessa Rieger (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2008) is the Director and Head Curator for “Ghost Hole VII”, an annual haunted art show showing October 31 at Jam Factory Co.

Tyler Vipond (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2008) experimental work is part of a group show “Once Removed - A project by Brandon A. Dalmer” at InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre running until December 19.

Gracia Lam (BDES, Illustration, 2009), Brandon Celi (BDES, Illustration, 2014), Hudson Christie (BDES, Illustration, 2014), Dallas Conte (BDES, Illustration, 2014), Sophia Feesh (BDES, Illustration, 2014), Rosena Fung (BDES, Illustration, 2014), Orlando Grünewald (BDES, Graphic Design, 2014), Aaron Millard (BDES, Illustration, 2014), Suharu Ogawa (BDES, Illustration, 2014), Michael Pitropov (BDES, Illustration, 2014), Stephanie Kenzie (BDES, Illustraion, 2015), JW Pang (BDES, Illustraion, 2015) have illustrations and designs in a group show “Secret Lives” at Steam Whistle Brewery that opens November 4th.

Alejandro Freeland (BFA, Fine Arts, 2011) curated “3 Worlds”, a group show featureing work by John Nobrega (AOCAD, Drawing & Painting, 1997) and Aramika Kliavin (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2012) opening October 15 at Gallery Hittite.

Sean Martindale (MFA, Interdisciplnary Art, Media & Design, 2011) “There Is No Away”, is an Extended Project of Nuit Blanche running until October 12.

Lisa Myers (MFA, Criticism & Curatorial Practice, 2011) is a part of a group show, "Forage" currently exhibiting at Harbourfront Centre.

Erin Loree (BFA, Drawing and Painting, 2012) abstract paintings are presented in her solo show “GRIT/SHEEN” at Project Gallery, runs until October 14.

Madison van Rijn (Illustration, 2015) illustrative signage and murals were featured in the The Globe and Mail.

Share your news with Alumni Relations
Alumni in Action: Janna Watson (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2009), Nico Soule (BDES, Industrial Design, 2012)

Photo provided by The Globe and Mail

Watson Soule is the creative collaboration between artist Janna Watson and designer Nico Soule; combining their multidisplinary skills to produce visually expressive floor pieces. Each rug is original and hand tufted from 100% natural fibres in their downtown Toronto studio.

Janna Watson is a young emerging artist renowned for her compelling and evocative abstract compositions; her work can be found in several high profile collections across Canada and internationally. Nico Soule is a multifaceted designer with a portfolio that includes lead designer for hospitality venues and designing for a leading management and consulting firm in Shanghai. Together they founded Watson Soule in 2012.

AN: What led you to pursue a career in the arts?
WS: Janna's grandfather was a painter and her grandmother, a designer, were both taught at OCAD University. Janna was able to experience first-hand creative people having successful careers and lives, this instilled in her the belief that it is possible to create a life through the arts.

AN: Looking back, what was most resonant or pertinent from your OCAD U experience?
WS: OCADU has a large student body, it's a microcosm of the world you are about to enter in choosing to pursue a career in the arts/design. By being surrounded by so many talented people, it pushes you to define who you are as an artist/designer and hone in on those skills early. We both left OCADU with valuable relationships.
AN: What has been the most exciting (and possibly intimidating) project you have taken on?
WS: 2 years ago I (Janna) painted a 32x11ft painting for Canada’s largest residential tower, the Aura building.  I had no idea how to work on such a scale but Nico project managed the job and this was one of the first large corporate jobs we did together while forming Watson Soule. Working together under such stress for the first time helped us learn a lot about our capabilities.  

AN: What advice would you give the other alumni as they approach starting a professional art or design practice?
WS: Be professional. Get a website. Get business cards. Take risks. Get yourself out there. Connect with other creative people, surround yourself with a community you trust, people who want the same things that you do. It’s important to have practical knowledge such as accounting, strategy, a business plan, learn the language of business. Integrity and passion will show through anything you make, this is your asset as a creative, your unique narrative. Ultimately it's energy; you get out what you put in. 
AN: How do your varying academic backgrounds play off of each other in the creative process?
WS: Janna is a represented artist, her strengths are colour, composition, expression. Nico’s Industrial design training has focused on thinking creatively, quickly and with strategy. With our different practices and skills we are able to tackle challenges in a multifaceted way and in the end create a better product and service. There has been a great divide of art and design, but as the world becomes more globalized we believe that this idea is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

To check out Janne Watson and Nico Soule's work, visit their website

Share your journey since graduation with Alumni Relations and we might profile you in the newsletter!
Giving News: FORREC Ltd.
 GivingOct2015Photo provided by FORREC Ltd.
Theme parks, water parks, visitor attractions and OCAD University – oh my!  FORREC, a Toronto-based entertainment design company, creates places of escape and destinations of distinction, and is behind The FORREC Design Scholarship of Excellence at OCAD University. 

Created in 2014, this scholarship is granted to a third-year environmental design student to help launch the career of a promising designer: suitable for someone who has consistently exceeded requirements through their course work, projects and extra-curricular activities.  The recipient also has to show a commitment to big ideas and design creativity, have strong communication and interpersonal skills, and be a resourceful self-starter.

Craig Harris (Environmental Design) (right), the inaugural recipient of The FORREC Design Scholarship of Excellence, had the opportunity to meet with James Anderson (Lead Creative Director, centre) and Terry Brown (Creative Director, left) at the FORREC offices in Liberty Village.  Craig explained how his background in film, set design and production has helped his eye for design.  Portfolio in hand, Craig showed a number of both hand-drawn and computer-illustrated works, an advantage in the creative and design industry, according to James and Terry. 

After a tour around the FORREC offices and meeting with members of the Creative Studio, James and Terry spoke about FORREC’s 30-year history and their international presence in over 20 countries.  They spoke about multi-disciplinary work and the value of FORREC seeing what today’s students are learning. 

James and Terry were already familiar with the calibre of OCAD U students.  They’d attended the annual Graduate Exhibition in May and have hired OCAD University graduates for their Creative Studio in the past. So establishing this scholarship was an obvious next step.  “It’s a pleasure for us to support newcomers in our field because it benefits the overall industry.  We get to meet new talent and students have the opportunity to learn about FORREC, to see the possibilities ahead for them after graduating,” says James.

As for Craig, the scholarship couldn’t have come at a better time; it will help fund his research in northern Ontario for his thesis work.  “Being a mature student and changing careers, when I have a family to support, was not an easy decision,” says Craig. “But through the support of my family and because of donors like FORREC, I’m able to breathe a little easier, so I can focus on my research and final year at school.”

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

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 Tara Krebs
Currently featuring "The Woods": an acrylic painting by Tara Krebs (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2007). 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.

Submit your work for consideration to Alumni Relations. 


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10% discount on Hot Pop Factory fabrication services. Check it out!

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

Life Drawing Sessions
Photo provided by OCAD University

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