SPOTLIGHT ON IAIN BAXTER&, OCAD U HONORARY DOCTORATE

IAIN BAXTER& was awarded an honorary doctorate at OCAD U’s convocation ceremony on June 12. BAXTER& is regarded as one of the most prolific artists in Canada.

Below are some highlights from his speech and the graduating class of 2014.

Find out more about IAIN BAXTER&

Watch “an introduction to IAIN BAXTER&” by the Art Gallery of Ontario.

 

IAIN BAXTER&’s online catalogue

Feature profile in Canadian Art magazine

OCAD to confer honorary doctorates on Carole Condé, Karl Beveridge, Anita Kunz and Buffy Sainte-Marie

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 - 4:00am

(Toronto—June 2, 2010) The Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) will present honorary doctorate degrees to artists Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, illustrator Anita Kunz and singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie at the university’s convocation ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on Friday, June 4.

“Condé and Beveridge, Kunz and Sainte-Marie exemplify OCAD’s commitment to engaging creative skills to allow a deep understanding of the complex world around us,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD President. “It is with great pleasure that we honour their contributions, and welcome them to share their visions for the future as inspiration for this year’s graduating class.”

Called “the social conscience of the Canadian art world” by Canadian Art, Toronto-based Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge are collaborative artists who have been working with trade unions and community organizations in the production of their staged photographic works for more than 30 years. “We feel that it is not only important to articulate the concerns and experience of working and community life, but also that [the work] should be able to stand up to the sophistication of corporate culture and take into account the complexities of cultural representation.” Their work has addressed issues ranging from free trade to health care to anti-globalization, with each project involving intense research and collaboration with grassroots organizations, labour unions and community members. The resulting narratives are constructed within the languages of mass-communication, delivering engaged social messages. Condé and Beveridge’s have exhibited internationally, and they continue to be active in several labour arts initiatives including the Mayworks Festival in Toronto and the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamilton.

Recently appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada, Anita Kunz is an accomplished and acclaimed illustrator contributing to the world’s leading magazines, design firms, book publishers and advertising agencies. Her clients include Time magazine, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ, The New York Times, Sony Music, Random House and many others. She has produced cover art for many magazines including Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, the Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times Magazine. She has also illustrated more than fifty book jacket covers. Kunz teaches workshops and lectures at universities and institutions across the globe, and has been honoured with many prestigious awards and medals. Her critically acclaimed paintings and sculptures have appeared in galleries worldwide, including the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts and the Teatrio Cultural Association in Rome. Her works are in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, the Canadian Archives in Ottawa, the Musée Militaire de France in Paris and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome. A number of her Time magazine cover paintings are also in the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. Kunz has been named one of the fifty most influential women in Canada by the National Post.

Buffy Sainte-Marie is an award-winning singer-songwriter, musician, composer, artist, educator and activist. Born on the Cree Piapot First Nation in Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Sainte-Marie was adopted and raised in the United States. In the 1960s, she toured North American colleges, reservations and concert halls with her songs of protest and love, encountering myriad misperceptions about Native American culture. Yet her career as a singer/songwriter earned her acclaim at home and internationally, eventually taking her to Europe, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. As a composer, she won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for the song Up Where We Belong, recorded by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes for the film An Officer and a Gentleman. Her work has been covered by such musicians as Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Janis Joplin and Chet Atkins.

An early pioneer in digital art and music, by 1994 Sainte-Marie's huge works were being shown in museums and galleries across North America, including the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, the Emily Carr Gallery in Vancouver, the Institute for American Indian Art Museum in Santa Fe, Ramscale Gallery in New York and the Tucson Museum of Art. Her works have appeared on the covers of Art Focus and Talking Stick magazines and featured in MS. Magazine, on Yahoo and in USA Today.

As an educator, Sainte-Marie is responsible for the Cradleboard Teaching Project, an educational curriculum devoted to the better understanding of Native Americans. She has taught digital music as an adjunct professor at several colleges. The recipient of many accolades and awards, Sainte-Marie was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Canada in 1997. She has received two medals from Queen Elizabeth II, and in 1999 received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. She has also received several Juno Awards, her most recent being Aboriginal Album of the Year for her 2009 release Running for the Drum.

OCAD’s 2010 Spring Convocation ceremony will take place on Friday, June 4 at 1:30 p.m. at Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto.

Background
Since 2003, OCAD has conferred honorary doctorates to such luminaries as Margaret Atwood, Charles Pachter, Dan Donovan, Bill Buxton, the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Karim Rashid, Will Alsop, Daphne Odjig and Claude Gidman. Prior to 2003, OCAD named honorary fellows, including A. J. Casson, Don Watt, Betty Goodwin, Atom Egoyan and Bruce Mau and many others.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.
 

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For more information or to request images, contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

Steve Virtue, Director, Marketing & Communications
416.977.6000 Ext. 222

OCAD University announces its 2011 medal winning students

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 4:00am

(Toronto — May 4, 2011) Thirteen OCAD University (OCAD U) graduates have been honoured with the University’s top accolade this week. Their art and design works address a wide variety of themes and issues, ranging from scientific exploration, discovery, alchemy and improving personal safety among women stricken by natural disaster, to non-linear forms of storytelling, ceremony and coming of age, along with new applications for passive building technologies.

“As medal recipients, these students are ambassadors for their respective programs and for the creative and intellectual power of the learning and research experience here,” said OCAD U President, Dr. Sara Diamond. “I invite the public to join us at OCAD University — this is our opportunity to give back to the community by opening our doors and sharing the tremendous talent, spirit of invention, innovation and imagination that has found a home at OCAD University. Come celebrate our medal winners and their cohort!”

This year’s medal winners will showcase their thesis works alongside more than 550 of their peers as part of The Show Off, the 96th annual Graduate Exhibition, which opens to the public on Thursday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m.

The 2011 medal winners are:

Faculty of Art:
Eileen Akitt (Integrated Media)
Georgia Dickie (Sculpture/Installation)
Aanchal Malhotra (Printmaking)
Rajni Perera (Drawing & Painting)
Anna Soper (Photography)
Farah Yusuf (Curatorial Practice)
Nathan Storring (Criticism)

Faculty of Design:
Thomas Briggs (Graphic Design)
Christopher Fischer (Environmental Design)
Bryan Howarth (Advertising)
Sean Lewis (Illustration)
Sungwook Park (Industrial Design)
Joanna Schleimer (Material Art & Design)

The Show Off, the 96th annual Graduate Exhibition, runs Thursday, May 5, to Sunday, May 8. Everyone is invited for Opening Night, Thursday, May 5, 6:30 to 10 p.m. For details, visit www.ocad.ca/gradex.

The 12 winners will receive their medals at OCAD University’s Spring Convocation Ceremony on Thursday, June 2, at Roy Thomson Hall.

Background Information: 2011 OCAD University Medal Winners

Faculty of Art:

Eileen Akitt (Integrated Media)
In her work, Eileen Akitt uses three independently operated kaleidoscope projectors to create a triptych that conversely suggests a traditional storytelling model, featuring a beginning, a middle, and an end, while at the same time suspending this kind of linear development. “All 26 letters of the English alphabet are split between the three kaleidoscopes,” explains Akitt. “In any moment, individual characters might be identifiable, while at other times they may be less distinguishable. The work shifts and evolves, continually in flux; linear progression is an impossibility.” The result is a momentary kind of depiction, implacable within the finite structures of narrative.

Georgia Dickie (Sculpture/Installation)
Georgia Dickie likens her studio methodology to Harper’s magazine’s “Findings” column, where long lists of unlikely, carefully ordered results from scientific experiments are strung together. Her sculptural works are curious assemblages of material, both fabricated and found, that when brought together become wholly new, almost alien objects. Paired with Dickie’s own written “findings” they become bizarre, intriguing artifacts as if from a parallel universe.

Aanchal Malhotra (Printmaking)
Combining digital photography with analog printmaking processes, such as intaglio printing, Aanchal Malhotra explores and recreates the complexities of the Parallax phenomenon in perceivable vision — a shift in perspective to create a new line of sight. “The occurrence of a Parallax gap, which constitutes a space between two or more perspectives that cannot be compromised to either one of them, fashions images as storytelling mechanisms that allow a viewer to blur the boundaries of various moments and create one clear depiction of an image,” says Malhotra. “The ephemeral fascinates, yet distorts the capability of objects to be rendered as absolute and definite, but in doing so, opens far and wide the possibility of discovery and perception.” Her resulting works capture a fleeting moment, a snapshot sketch of a window reflection, marking the transition through time.

Rajni Perera (Drawing & Painting)
Rajni Perera explores issues of hybridity, sacrilege, irreverence, the indexical sciences, ethnography, sexuality, popular culture, deities, monsters and dream worlds. Across all of these themes, Perera deconstructs the ethnic female body image, painting them as object-women. “These saccharine women conceal violent stories and ideologies; a complex dichotomy that is not explored, discussed or represented in print media, online or screen culture, particularly in Western imagery,” states Perera. “It is much the same for the ethnic female body image — the semiology is reduced, simplified and pared down to suit a blander ideological palette. I seek to open and reveal the dynamism of these icons, both scripturally existent as well as self-invented, and to create a subversive aesthetic to deal with these issues.”

Anna Soper (Photography)
In her series Terra Nova, Anna Soper explores landscape through richly imagined cosmic maps, tattered and ruined by apparent age and use. Titled after the ship used by explorer Robert Falcon Scott during his ill-fated 1910 to 1913 expedition to the South Pole, Terra Nova is a meditation on loss, displacement and failure. The project is also strongly influenced by 19th century photographic exploration images by photographer William Henry Fox Talbot and playwright August Strindberg. With references to the medieval science of alchemy, Terra Nova has a distinctly arcane sensibility; a characteristic enhanced by its obscure subject matter.

Farah Yusuf (Curatorial Practice)
For her thesis work, Farah Yusuf curated the exhibition Babel on Rosetta Stone, which featured works by Rob Bairos, Michelle Gay, Simon Glass, Nahed Mansour, Sam Pelletier, Norman White and Alize Zorlutuna. Babel on Rosetta Stone explored the borderlands between media using translation as a vehicle to expose the constructedness and incommensurability of meaning across systems of codes, whether literal, symbolic, performative, cultural, or executable. By reframing the problem of translation technologically, the exhibition highlighted the role of communication technologies in the emergence of a ‘global village.’ The artworks presented looked critically at communication systems and interrogated their media — speech, writing, or code — as they are deployed to reflect broader issues of individuality, diversity and universality.

Nathan Storring (Criticism)
As an artist, writer and curator, Nathan Storring is interested in highlighting the processes of history to “rescue images from the past that resonate in the present, setting them apart from the drone of everyday life.” His photography and video works examine the forces that baptize a new building into the cityscape. For his thesis essay, Storring explored the remnants of the Market Square Shopping Centre in Kitchener, Ontario, part of a utopian project in the 1970s to revitalize the downtown. “By making this historical event relevant to its contemporary audience, rather than documenting the downfall of this mall simply ‘how it happened,’ I intended to rescue this event both from the past and from the ever-growing profusion of uncritical information.”

Faculty of Design:

Thomas Briggs (Graphic Design)
Creating a story through visual language is a universal constant of design. However, this story is often left unexplored to its full narrative potential, says Thomas Briggs. He expands on the boundaries of graphic design, using cinematography, motion, sound and time to tell a complete story in the film No Masters. No Gods. Briggs asks: “Can design inform the film process in the creation of a project such as a narrative movie? How will design influence the visual, auditory and time-based elements of a story being told?”

Christopher Fischer (Environmental Design)
Christopher Fischer’s work explores passive energy systems in the built environment. His thesis project is a renovation concept for two buildings that formerly served as waterfront repair stations for cargo vessels, transforming the buildings into greenhouses for food production. The design features an aquaponic growing system with a lower story for tilapia fish farming and an upper story for strawberry cultivation. Using principles of infill design, thermal dynamic ventilation systems and a gravity-fed water filtration system, Fischer’s design aims to create an energy output that is greater than the energy used, establishing a constant energy surplus.

Bryan Howarth (Advertising)
Bryan Howarth tackles a lack of innovation in the realm of automotive advertising, where he identified an opportunity to create a campaign that showcases total ownership experience. His campaign develops an ongoing narrative that not only entices the consumer before the purchase, but also continues to engage the consumer after the sale through a variety of seamlessly integrated media. His concept for the Jeep brand also aims to widen the brand’s perception: Jeep vehicles not only excel off-road, but also offer on-road prowess.

Sean Lewis (Illustration)
Sean Lewis has created a series of works exploring the turning points in the lives of various infamous outlaws, such as Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, mobster John Torrio and Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Each image dissects the reasons behind why these people abandon the rules of society, and carve their unlawful paths through life.

Sungwook Park (Industrial Design)
Already an award-winning product designer, Sungwook Park’s thesis project addresses the dangers of rape and gender-based violence faced by women and girls in Haiti — a problem dramatically worsened by the January 2010 earthquake that decimated the country. The sex-for-food problem, and attacks on women as they attempt to access male-controlled relief supply distribution centres, has been widely reported in the media. To address this, Sung wook has designed Ami, a small personal security device that can communicate information about where and when to get food and supplies directly from relief organizations. “In helping the women of Haiti protect themselves, Ami will build connections between relief organizations and women directly, help women build community and support among each other, and restore a sense of hope while aiding in Haiti’s recovery.

Joanna Schleimer (Material Art & Design)
Cloth has the ability to communicate feeling, memory and emotion. Joanna Schleimer’s Lessons on Leaving is a series of handwoven and embroidered pieces made to reference the domestic textiles once collected in a young woman’s trousseau. Schleimer’s imagery references tangible objects, including heirlooms and intangible experiences such as anecdotes, lessons and advice associated with a young woman’s coming of age. Her work draws attention to the current lack of ceremony when one leaves their childhood home. Through the process of hand-making and reflection, Schleimer’s work seeks to create a new ceremony that honours a young woman’s coming of age by re-contextualizing a traditional female practice.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

OCAD University to confer honorary doctorates on Peter Caldwell, Piers Handling and Nobuo Kubota

Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 4:00am

(Toronto—May 19, 2011) OCAD University (OCAD U) will present honorary doctorate degrees to community leader Peter Caldwell, cultural icon Piers Handling and artist Nobuo Kubota at the university’s convocation ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on Thursday, June 2.

"Caldwell, Handling and Kubota are three individuals who have each had a profound impact in their respective fields," says Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University President. "Peter Caldwell has been a tireless crusader for OCAD University itself, especially in supporting our physical growth through major capital developments and acquisitions like the Sharp Centre for Design and our three southern campus buildings. Piers Handling has put Toronto on the global stage with his leadership in cultivating the Toronto International Film Festival into the world-class event it is today. Nobuo Kubota has left an indelible mark in Canada with his creative energy, innovation and enthusiasm. The qualities of these inspiring individuals are what we want to impart to this year’s graduating class as they go out into the world and make their own impressions."

Biographies:

Peter Caldwell has been a long-standing and passionate supporter of OCAD University in both a professional and personal capacity. As the institution’s former Vice-President, Finance & Administration, a position he held in various iterations since 1994, he served as its Chief Administrative and Financial Officer. In this role, he provided strong leadership and was a key figure in driving forward the university’s physical campus expansion while also supporting the overall academic growth of the institution. Notably, he oversaw the development and construction of the acclaimed Sharp Centre for Design that opened in 2004.
Piers Handling is one of the most successful CEOs within the Canadian cultural community.  Since taking over as the Director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 1994, he has been responsible for building an organization that presents an international event on par with Cannes and other premier film festivals around the world. Under his leadership, TIFF has grown to now include: TIFF Cinematheque; the Film Reference Library and the Canadian Film Encyclopedia online; Film Circuit, which promotes Canadian and independent film in underserviced cities across Canada; Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children launched in 1998; and the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Handling is also recognized for his role in the expansion of the Festival of Festivals into a larger cultural institution with a much broader mandate.

Nobuo Kubota is a Vancouver-born, multimedia artist and former OCAD University faculty member (1970 to 1998) who incorporates his years of architectural experience to make video and film that explore the variety of structural possibilities. Much of his work touches on both his Canadian identity, as well as his Japanese roots. Abandoning his 10-year architectural career in 1969 to fully devote himself to sculpture and music, Kubota received a Canada Council grant to study his passion for art in Japan. Today, he continues to exhibit widely, and in 2009 received the prestigious Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

OCAD University’s 2011 Spring Convocation ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 2 at 1:30 p.m. at Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto.

Background
Since 2003, OCAD has conferred honorary doctorates to such luminaries as Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, Anita Kunz, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Margaret Atwood, Charles Pachter, Dan Donovan, Bill Buxton, the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Karim Rashid, Will Alsop, Daphne Odjig and Claude Gidman. Prior to 2003, OCAD U named honorary fellows, including A. J. Casson, Don Watt, Betty Goodwin, Atom Egoyan and Bruce Mau.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research, and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

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