More than 2,200 students and their families took the opportunity on Saturday to join Look Inside, OCAD University’s annual open house for those considering applying to study here.
They had the chance to meet with alumni, try their hand at sketching models, find out more about design disciplines such as Environmental Design, Advertising and Graphic Design, see the Integrated Media and Digital Futures studios in action and check out the university’s Main Building and Sharp Centre for Design.
It’s different, it’s creative, it’s inspiring,” said Evan Smith, 17, a student from Streetsville Secondary School in Mississauga, who is interested in computer design and came with his family to check out OCAD U. Everything from the photo labs to the jewelry-making studio were open, with faculty, staff and current students on hand to answer questions on topics from financial aid towhat career options follow studies in art or design.
Many of the visitors learned about Look Inside, held on Oct. 26, after visiting the OCAD University booth at the Ontario University Fair in September, but other roads also led to 100 McCaul St.
“I’ve basically been stalking the [university’s] website,” said Hannah De Lumbau, 17, from Northview Heights Secondary School in Toronto, who is interested in art and technology and considers OCAD U one of her top choices.
Hanna Schacter, 17, from Bishop Strachan School in Toronto, first found about OCAD U on a recent school trip to visit downtown Toronto university campuses. She is interested in art but also wants to focus on writing in her university studies and was attracted to the new BA program in Visual and Critical Studies, which reverses the university’s usual ratio of studio to academic coursework.
Existing programs have 75 per cent studio-based credits complemented by 25 per cent academic courses but the new BA will flip that, allowing students to take some studio courses while being able to delve into art history through research and writing. “I didn’t think there would be a program here for me,” Schacter said, “but there is.”
“It’s fun to be at an art school as a writer,” said Professor Dot Tuer, a writer, curator and cultural historian who is leading the new BA and who met with Schacter and other students curious about this program option. “It’s a perfect place.”
The most commonly asked question was: what does the university seek in the portfolio that students submit as part of their admission process? The answer is that there is no formula. “It’s a self-portrait: Show us who you are through your work,” said Jan Sage, Director, Admissions & Recruitment. Variety is encouraged, as well as including a sketchbook that shows the student’s process work, documenting inspirations, research and concepts.
For those unable to attend Look Inside, members of the university’s recruitment staff hold tours at 1 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, starting in the Lobby of the university’s Main Building at 100 McCaul St. Information on program options can be found on the Prospective Studentspage and on the Graduate Studies website.
All photos by Christina Gapic.
Video by Sarah Mulholland.