Text, "On Being Illiberal" in Prefix Magazine
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 12:00pm

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences & Graduate Studies, Dr. Suzanne Morrissette has been nominated for the OAAG's Curatorial Writing of the Year Award (between 2,000 and 5,000 words) for the essay, On Being Illiberal: Indigenous Artists Challenge Western Perceptions of Indigenous Political Knowledge, published by Prefix Photo Magazine (Issue 38, November 2018). 

OAAG Nomination List: Curatorial Writing between 2,000 and 5,000 words

Anthea Black
“Craft and the Polymorphous Perverse”
From the publication Making Otherwise: Craft and Material Fluency in Contemporary Art, 2018
Carleton University Art Gallery with Cambridge Art Galleries and Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery

Sara Knelman
“The Scale of Monuments: Daniel Alexander's When War Is Over”
From the publication Prefix Photo magazine, Issue 37, May 2018
Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art

Suzanne Morrissette
“On Being Illiberal: Indigenous Artists Challenge Western Perceptions of Indigenous Political Knowledge”
From the publication Prefix Photo magazine, Issue 38, November 2018
Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art

Click here to view the OAAG nominees for all categories:

Graduate Programs Info Nights and Online Webinars

Join a Graduate Program Info Night and/or online webinar this November. They are your opportunity to meet instructors, students and alumni from the program to help you learn more about courses, the learning environment and degree outcomes.

Criticism & Curatorial Practice Grad Students open new gallery: Bunker 2

Image of entrance to Bunker 2 space
Thursday, November 3, 2016 - 10:00pm

Bunker 2 is a new gallery space that "exists to push curatorial and artistic boundaries while maintaining a critical dialogue between our exhibiting artists and our local community."  It is founded by Criticism & Curatorial Practice graduate alumnus Matthew Kyba with two current CCP gradauate students on staff - Veronika Ivanova is a Curtorial Associate and Jesse Wardell is in charge of Outreach and Communication for the space. Bunker 2's inaugural exhibition, Casual Encounters, opens this Thursday, November 3 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. The space is located at 450 Dufferin Street.

Exhibiting artists include Daniel Griffin Hunt, Connor Olthuis (BFA, OCAD U), Ryan Pechnick (MFA 2016, OCAD U), Jenna Robineau, Claire Scherzinger (BFA, OCAD U), and Shanie Tomassini

More on Casual Encounters:

"What is the role of intimacy within the art gallery? How do specific practices use closeness as a means for communication? The exhibiting works engage in a conceptual tenderness that elevates foreign objects into sites for personal exchange.

Bunker 2 is a new project space that responds and is responsive to contemporary cultural, artistic, and local milieu. As the hyper-commodification of real estate in Toronto continues to mount, alternative venues must evolve in order to continue creating unrestricted exhibition areas for artists and cultural producers. Although this may seem like a basic tenant of curatorial practice, Bunker 2 was born out of this emphasis on the lack of said spaces.

Casual Encounters questions viewing rituals and invites each artist to display works that responded to both the space (or the lack there of) and other artists. This resulted in both a literal and figurative “closeness” that ties together each unique practice and the multiplitude of themes."

Bunker 2 website: www.bunker2.ca


More on the CCP Program: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/criticism-and-curatorial-practice.htm

More on the IAMD Program: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/interdisciplinary-masters-in-art-media-and-design.htm

Curatorial Projects Review

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 - 5:00am to Monday, December 15, 2008 - 5:00am

Selected final curatorial projects from the Fall 2008 Criticism & Curatorial Projects, Procedures, Pragmatics course. These projects feature work by OCAD students and professional artists as well as artifacts and images collected over the term. Presentations in the Transit Space are complemented by additional projects installed throughout OCAD and in Room 650.

Image credit: Tibi Neuspeil

Venue & Address: 
Transit Space 100 McCaul St., 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario

Artist residencies, or why you really should take a working holiday

The residency — it is a common, if not ubiquitous, section on the CVs of today’s most celebrated artists. But what exactly happens in these sequestered havens of creativity? Why do these places continue to attract creative minds year after year?

A conversation with Pascaline Knight, an MFA candidate at OCAD University who recently completed a residency at the highly regarded Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, shed some light on these questions for me.

It’s where you’re at

A view of the Banff Centre's spectacular surroundings.
A view of the Banff Centre's spectacular surroundings, Pascaline Knight

View of Tunnel Mountain
View of Tunnel Mountain, Pascaline Knight

When Pascaline and I met for coffee we spent the first few minutes gushing over the Banff Centre’s magnificent alpine surroundings. Pascaline admitted that “location is usually one of the major attractions for artists looking to do a residency.”

Some residencies host artists in tree houses overlooking majestic forests. Some are on remote islands surrounded by ocean as far as the eye can see. And some are even located on dormant volcanoes in the tropics. The wonders of the natural world can be a great inspiration.

Not only are these locations inspiring, but they also tend to be isolated or, at least, at arm’s-length from the hubbub of city life — offering both a change of scenery and a change of pace.

Pascaline's Studio View from the Banff Centre Cafeteria, Emily Cluett

Isolation or community?

Within the wide world of residencies, a multitude provides complete isolation where artists can be alone with their thoughts. But many others, like the Banff Centre nestled deep in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, offer group residencies. In those places, artists have private studios, but also share common spaces.

The Banff Centre is one such residency, where artists like Pascaline retreat to get away from the distracting demands of their lives in the city and settle into a new rhythm, focusing on their projects.

What goes on in these mysterious places?

Residencies provide not only unique spaces, but also unique experiences. According to my friend Pascaline, “unlike the rigid structure of school, the only deadlines are ones we create ourselves. And the only evaluation is self-evaluation.”

On the other hand, a residency is not completely unlike school because some programs, such as those at the Banff Centre, often bring in experts to give talks, meet with residents about their work or even collaborate on projects. What makes residencies so vital is the collegial, open spirit of creativity that comes from working in an environment where hierarchies dissipate and artists can work as peers in a communal setting.

Pascaline's Studio Pascaline's studio

Days and nights

Finally, a residency is a working holiday and, at the Banff Centre at least, residents know how to make the most of their time; they work hard and play hard. During the day, residents can be found experimenting in their studios or in the workshops, running ideas past their neighbours or meeting with new people to discuss potential collaborations.

Then, as the sun dips behind the nearby mountains, the networking continues. Evenings are when these creative minds get together for dinner and drinks, or perhaps a hike in their glorious natural surroundings. Even if they don’t get as much work done as they had hoped, the residency experience is nevertheless invaluable, because artists can make connections with the many talented individuals drawn to the program from all over the world.

Regardless of what happens in the woods, on an island or in the shadow of majestic mountains, there is always something to be gained from an artist’s residency. All you have to do is apply.


Emily Cluett is an emerging curator enrolled in OCAD University’s Criticism & Curatorial Practice MFA program. She recently spent a few days at the Banff Centre nourishing her creative and scholarly practice.

Emily Cluett
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CADN + CCP Colloquium

Monday, October 5, 2015 - 1:00pm to Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 6:15pm

2nd-year MA and MFA candidates in the Criticism and Curatorial Practice and Contemporary Art, New Media, and Design Histories graduate programs will be presenting their thesis proposals in a colloquium on October 5th and 6th, 2015. This is an important milestone for graduate students as it will give them the opportunity present their research publically and hear feedback on their work from their advisors and peers. Each student will present for 15 minutes, followed by a 15-minute Q&A period.

Location: Graduate Gallery, 205 Richmond (level G)
Time: 9:00 – 3:30 on October 5, 9:00 – 2:10 on October 6

9:00 – 9:30: Tak Pham
9:40 – 10:10: Barbora Raceviciute
10:10 – 10:20: BREAK
10:20 – 10:50: Jennifer Fraser
11:00 – 11:30: Cydney Langill
11:40 – 12:10: Treva Pullen
12:10 – 1:00: LUNCH BREAK
1:00 – 1:30: Theresa Slater
1:40 – 2:10: Andrea Ortiz
2:20 – 2:50: Alana Traficante
3:00 – 3:30: Archana Dalmia

9:30 – 10:00: Mary Callahan Baumstark
10:10 – 10:40: Alina Tigountsova
10:40 – 11:00: BREAK
11:00 – 11:30: Erica Manetta
11:40 – 1:00: LUNCH BREAK
1:00 – 1:30: Katie Connell
1:40 – 2:10: Ryan Pechnick (IAMD student)

Venue & Address: 
Graduate Gallery, 205 Richmond Street West, Level G
416-977-6000 X4366

AGO First Thursdays

Friday, March 6, 2015 - 12:00am to 4:30am

Guest-curated by OCAD U MFA Criticism and Curatorial Practice Students

Excerpt from AGO News Release:

OCAD U teaches AGO how to party with an Art Spiegelman–inspired First Thursday

Toronto electro-pop artist Lowell headlines March art party dedicated to comics, zines and illustration

TORONTO — March comes in like a lion at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) as First Thursdays returns on March 5, 2015, with a fierce lineup of artist projects, live music and pop-up talks, all inspired by the work of groundbreaking comics artist Art Spiegelman. Party-goers at this 19+ event will see the AGO transform into an after-hours artistic and cultural hub from 7 to 11:30 p.m. Guest-curated by OCAD U MFA Criticism and Curatorial Practice students, this special edition of AGO First Thursdays promises an exciting lineup of young and emerging talent, including a performance by Toronto’s own electro-pop lioness Lowell. Praised by the CBC for releasing one of the top 20 albums of 2014, her first album, We Loved Her Dearly, debuted in September to rave reviews on and off the dance floor. Lowell takes the stage in the AGO’s Walker Court at 10 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now at www.ago.net/firstthursdays. Regular-priced tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Admission for AGO members is $10 in advance and $13 at the door. Party-goers can purchase $22 advance combo-ticket packages to see Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time. The exhibition will be open until 10 p.m., with the last entry at 9 p.m. AGO members enter the exhibition for free but are encouraged to book tickets early. Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended as First Thursdays consistently sell out and tickets are not held back for at-the-door sales.

The March First Thursday lineup also includes:

Art Spiegleman’s CO-MIX: A Retrospective
Visitors are invited to explore the work of Pulitzer Prize–winning New York artist Art Spiegelman on view on the second floor of the AGO. A tireless innovator, Spiegelman creates work that references politics, the Holocaust, Cubism and hard-boiled detective fiction among other subjects. Representing the breadth of Spiegelman's career, the exhibition features 300 works on paper ranging from trading cards to magazine covers, including rarely seen works from Spiegelman's teens and 20s, original drawings for In the Shadow of No Towers (2004), illustrations for a 1994 edition of the Flapper Age epic poem The Wild Party and original manuscripts of his award-winning graphic novel Maus, rarely exhibited due to their fragility. The exhibition will close March 15.

Pop-Up Talks
Join AGO curator of Canadian Art Andrew Hunter, curator and critic Dr. Matthew Ryan Smith and Toronto artist Nina Bunjevac for a trio of pop-up talks beginning at 8 p.m. in the McLean Centre for Canadian Art. Hunter will discuss Speigelman’s influences, while Dr. Smith will explore autobiography in art and literature and Bunjevac will speak about her installation Out of the Fatherland, currently on view.

Artist Projects
Toronto artists Fiona Smyth and Alexandra Mackenzie (a.k.a Petra Glynt) will bring the AGO’s Fleck Gallery to life with a series of large-scale projections celebrating Toronto female artists. Entitled The Walk, Smyth’s silent six-minute film tells the of story of woman’s life from birth to death, while Mackenzie’s drawings come to life in the video Propaganda, a video work inspired by her song of the same title from her 2014 album Petra Glynt. In the Edmond G. Odette Family Gallery on the first floor illustrator Ness Lee surprises with a series of life-sized figures and scenes, entitled Head in the Hole. In Walker Court, from 7 to 10 p.m., En Masse, a live drawing collective with members from Toronto and Montreal, will gather to create art.

Zine Lounge
Brooklyn-based Canadian artist Jason McLean invites visitors to pull up a chair and explore Soapbox Pillow, an installation of more than 20 zines, culled from his own extensive collection. Featuring collaborative publications from the 1990s to the present, this temporary library will be on display in the Reuben Wells Leonard Memorial Gallery on the first floor. As part of the project, McLean invites visitors to submit a title for his new book.

Fake Injury Party
Merging performance, comedy and improvisation, Derrick Guerin, Scott Leeming and Paul Tjepkema are Fake Injury Party, a three-man artist collective. Join them at 8 p.m. and again at 9 p.m. on the fifth Floor of the AGO’s contemporary tower as they present Men of the Rose, an interactive performance.

Art Making
Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in three different art-making projects during First Thursday. Button-making stations will be set up in Galleria Italia, and on the fifth floor of the contemporary tower, visitors can take inspiration from Spiegelman’s Garbage Pail Kids trading cards and make their own. In the shadow of the Group of Seven, visitors are also invited to participate in illustrated storytime, as they draw to the sounds of live storytellers. Art-making activities run all evening.

DJ Donna Lovejoy will be spinning tunes all night long in Galleria Italia and DJ Barbi will get the crowd going in Walker Court from 7 to 10 p.m.

Additional local artists, speakers and interactive projects will be announced in the coming weeks at ago.net/FirstThursdays. The evening will also feature an Out of the Vaults exhibition of rarely seen works from the AGO collection, as well as delicious food and drinks (cash bar; ID required).

For all the latest details on First Thursdays programming, visit www.ago.net/FirstThursdays and follow #AGO1st on Twitter and Instagram.

Venue & Address: 
Art Gallery of Ontario 317 Dundas Street W, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 1G4 Canada
Tickets are on sale now at www.ago.net/firstthursdays. Regular-priced tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Admission for AGO members is $10 in advance and $13 at the door. Party-goers can purchase $22 advance combo-ticket packages to see Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time.

AGO’s 2015 Artists-in-Residence announced

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - 6:00pm

Two artists with OCAD U connections have each been named Artist-in-Residence at the AGO. Lisa Meyers and Meera Margaret Singh are among four artists chosen to create unique experiences for gallery visitors over the upcoming year.

From the AGO news release: “The Artist-in-Residence Program fosters connections between the AGO and Toronto-based contemporary artists, encouraging new forms of expression and audience engagement. Artist projects may take various forms, including performances, events, talks, pop-up installations and gallery interventions.”

Meera Margaret Singh is a Winnipeg born, Toronto-based photographer who has taught at OCAD U. With a background in anthropology and art history, she first became interested in photography as a documentary tool. While pursuing her degrees in Fine Art, Singh began to explore the tension between documentary and fiction. She further seeks to represent fluidity (of culture, of gender, etc.), challenging the viewer to ask questions of her work. Through a succession of photographic series and more recently video works, Singh has questioned and interrogated cultural, physical, geographical, and emotional ideas of displacement and suspension.

Lisa Myers (MFA, Criticism & Curatorial Practice, 2011) grew up on a farm in Milton and is of Anishinaabe ancestry from Shawanaga and Beausoleil First Nation. Myers uses a range of media and materials including printmaking, sewn structures, film and surfaces often involving video projections, audio and the assemblage of materials such as food, seeds, canvas and beads. In addition to being an artist, she is a curator, musician and chef who works and lives in Port Severn and Toronto, Ontario.

The 2015-16 lineup of artists begins this spring with FAG Feminist Art Gallery (Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue), followed by Meera Margaret Singh through the summer, Lisa Myers in the fall and Jérôme Havre next winter 2016.


AGO Artist-in-Residence: Lisa Myers

Photograph of Lisa Myers wearing an apron and stirring a pot
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - 4:00am to Friday, November 6, 2015 - 5:00am

Lisa Myers' work as an artist is influenced by the many years she worked as a cook and by her family stories and history from the Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario regions. She grew up on a farm in Milton and is of Anishinaabe ancestry from Shawanaga and Beausoleil First Nation. Lisa experiments with walking and cooking as ways to think through the ideas in her work. She uses a range of media and materials including printmaking, sewn structures, film and surfaces often involving video projections, audio and the assemblage of materials such as food, seeds, canvas and beads. The tactile nature of working with these materials is similar to the creative process of cooking. Each ingredient has a story and its origin or cultivation contributes to the meal, as do the materials that Lisa brings together in her artwork. In addition to being an artist, Lisa is a curator, musician and chef. Lisa earned her Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial practice from OCAD University. She has exhibited her work in venues including Urban Shaman (Winnipeg), Peterborough Art Gallery (Peterborough), MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie), and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto). Lisa works and lives in Port Severn and Toronto, Ontario.

Venue & Address: 
Art Gallery of Ontario 317 Dundas Street West


Tara Bursey at Grad Ex 2013. Photo by Christina Gapic.
Part of Tara Bursey's project, Father Knowledge, Mother Tongue. Image by Tara Bursey.

Tara Bursey’s medal award-winning project Father Knowledge, Mother Tongue is an interdisciplinary publishing project highlighting stories of immigration, language, labour and adaptation. Here’s how she describes it:

My project, Father Knowledge, Mother Tongue, is a research and interdisciplinary publishing project. Taking inspiration from diverse approaches and disciplines such as oral history, critical pedagogy, community art practices and new working class studies, the project centres on two artist books I produced in collaboration with my parents that highlight their respective stories of inmigration and immigration, language, labour and adaptation. Compiling their convergent stories and elevating them through the production of both publications and works of art, Father Knowledge, Mother Tongue addresses the importance of integrating overlooked voices —specifically those of immigrants and working classes — into the cultural landscape.

What part of the process of creating this project did you learn the most from?

I learned to trust myself and trust the collaborative process more. Early in the project, I would ask myself: What the hell did I get myself into?  What is even going on here?  A big part of the collaborative process is learning to balance critical thinking with flexibility. I also learned to be a better listener.

What part of the process of creating this project are you the most proud of?

I’m amazed and proud that my parents and I were able to work on a multifaceted project as a family! It is thrilling to learn firsthand that anyone can become a cultural producer and bring their important lived experiences to creative projects. I’m proud there is something quietly subversive about this work, and that through the project I was able to bring art production and self-publishing a little further afield.

How did you react to the news that you won a medal for your work?

I was at work on my lunch break when I got the news — one of my thesis advisors called me to let me know. I remember having some really important work to do after lunch that I just couldn’t concentrate on because my mind was racing. I called my boyfriend and my mother.

What’s your fondest memory from your studies at OCAD U, and what will you miss the most?

The support and feedback of my thesis advisors Jennifer Rudder and Andrea Fatona. They are both so amazing and knowledgeable — an awesome pair who bring so much heart and smarts to the CRCP program. Also, the support, intelligence and feedback of my peers in CRCP thesis class helped and stimulated me —  their projects were unique, diverse and inspiring.

What are you planning to do next? 

I am currently working as an Administrative Assistant at Toronto School of Art and a Researcher for the Artscape Youngplace project. I have been working as a Contributing Curator at Gallery 1313, and am co-curating an exhibition that opens in August called Fear of Punk//Fear of Art that will be a part of the programming around Zine Dream, an annual Toronto small press art fair that is the brainchild of OCAD U alum Jesjit Gill. Finally, my partner and I have plans to relocate to Hamilton in the fall, which we’re looking forward to!

Find out more about Tara Bursey:



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