Shannon Stratton speaks on the DIY MFA and conceptions of craft at OCAD University

Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm


Stratton is a founder and Executive Director of Threewalls, a Chicago based not-for-profit for the presentation of contemporary art and ideas. Established in 2003, Threewalls has grown from a start-up exhibition space to a vital visual arts organization supporting contemporary art through solo exhibitions, residencies, grants, publications, conferences and commissioning programs. 

Stratton writes, curates exhibitions and other experimental projects, and relishes opportunity for administrative and pedagogical experiments. In 2010 Stratton was named one of the top 5 most vital people in the visual arts in Chicago by NewCity. In 2011 she was a fellow of the NAMAC Visual Arts Leadership Institute and a finalist for the Chicago Community Trust Emerging Leader Award. Stratton was 1 of 9 leaders in the arts featured in the Chicago Tribune 2011 Chicagoans of the Year. In 2013 Newcity named her one 50 "Visual Vanguards."

Stratton teaches in Art History, Theory & Criticism and Fiber & Material Studies departments at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was appointed Critical Studies Fellow at The Cranbrook Academy of Art for fall 2012. In 2013 she was a recipient of the Alberta College of Art Board of Governors' Alumni Award of Excellence.

Shannon Stratton’s visiting lecture has been co-sponsored by the Faculty of Art and the Faculty of Design.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University Room 1516, Level 5, 113 McCaul St.


Matta, the eldest elder in town. Nunavik. Image courtesy Cape Dorset Mural Project
Judy Baca with one of her murals. Image courtesy Judy Baca.
Patrick Thompson and Gootileak Echo paint a mural in Iqaluit. Image courtesy Cape Dorset Mural Project

World renowned Los Angeles artist, educator, activist and community arts pioneer Judy Baca brings her vision for public art to OCAD U for a March 14 lecture presented by the Faculty of Arts, while OCAD U alumni Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson campaign to facilitate mural painting in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. All three artists are engaged in large-scale, collaborative multi-artist projects centred around recording memories and telling the stories of communities.

Judy Baca’s political landscapes

“I hope to use public space to create public voice, and consciousness about the presence of people who are often the majority of the population but who may not be represented in any visual way.” Judy Baca

Judy Baca with one of her murals. Image courtesy Judy Baca. Baca is a Chicana muralist who teaches at the University of California. In 1974 she founded the first City of Los Angeles Mural Program, a community arts organization that evolved into the Social and Public Art Resource Centre (SPARC). As artistic director of SPARC, Baca’s focus is on giving voice to historically disenfranchised groups and preserving their stories.

One of her most cherished projects, for which she served as director, is The Great Wall of Los Angeles, a multicultural history “tattooed” along a flood control channel in the San Fernando Valley. It’s one of the longest murals in the world. She is also inspired by the land, believing there’s an intelligence to living and growing things and to the earth that nurtured them. “I have always known the value of art as a tool for transformation both personal and political” she said. “What I have had to learn through being attentive to my own curiosities and artistic focus, is that I choose often to use land as my method of recording memories and stories in my paintings and drawings.”

Baca’s talk at OCAD U is a co-presentation by Latin American Canadian Art Projects, Community Arts Practice (CAP) at York University and OCAD U’s Faculty of Art.

Alumni help spark imaginations in the north

Patrick Thompson and Gootileak Echo paint a mural in Iqaluit. Image courtesy Cape Dorset Mural Project OCAD U alumni Alexa Hatanaka (Printmaking) and Patrick Thompson (Drawing & Painting) are getting ready to fly to Cape Dorset, Nunavut where they were invited to paint a large outdoor mural on the hamlet’s co-op building, collaborate with local artists and facilitate youth workshops. The artists have been collaborating together on murals and youth workshops in fly-in Canadian arctic communities for four years (though Thompson has been involved in such projects for ten years).

Hatanaka and Thompson will be working on the project in Cape Dorset from April 16 until the end of June, helping to collaborate on a colourful mural for a busy, northern centre that’s cold and dark for many months of the year. One of their youth workshops will delve into contemporary mural art practices and techniques while another will culminate in the painting of wildlife-proof garbage bins throughout the community.

Their project is partially funded with support from the Ontario Arts Council and First Air, with accommodation by the Kinngait Lithography studio apartment, but the couple is also seeking Indigogo funding for materials, cargo shipment and artist honourariums.

Join the conversation:

Share your favourite mural on OCAD U’s Facebook page

Learn more:

Attend Judy Baca’s lecture

Judy Baca

Cape Dorset Mural Project

Festival of the Body

Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 8:30pm

Presented in conjunction with President's Speaker Series

With special guest Bill Shannon

Please join us for Bill Shannon's President's Speaker Series talk “Retaining Neutral Palette Through a Forest of Heroic and Tragic Positions” on Wednesday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m. More information...

“Bill Shannon’s performance videos”

From September 18 at noon until September 20

Location: Open Gallery, Inclusive Design Institute
OCAD University, 49 McCaul Street


4:30 p.m. Festival of the Body kickstarts with improvisation dancing in Butterfield Park, 100 McCaul Street

CRUTCH (video)

5:00 p.m.
Art exhibit The body curated by Assistant Professor Natalie Waldburger, including a discussion group moderated by Faculty of Art Instructor and Manager of Student Experience Projects Spencer J. Harrison.
Great Hall, 100 McCaul Street

5:30 to 6:45 p.m.
“Reimagining Access & Inclusion at OCAD U”
A discussion about the meaning of access and inclusion in creative educational settings, led by OCAD U Recruitment Coordinator Nadia Galati
Learning Zone
122 St. Patrick Street (also accessible via Village by the Grange food court)

7 to 9 p.m.
Screening of William Kurelek's The Maze followed by a Q&A session.
Presented by Jutta Treviranus, Director of OCAD U's Inclusive Design Research Centre and Lisa Brown, Founder, Workman Arts.
Auditorium, 100 McCaul Street


416-977-6000 x2855



Venue & Address: 
Various locations - see description for details 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario

Alessandro Ludovico

Monday, September 23, 2013 - 10:30pm

Speaking on Post Digital Print

“For more than a century now, avant-garde artists, activists and technologists have been anticipating the development of networked and electronic publishing. Although in hindsight the reports of the death of paper were greatly exaggerated, electronic publishing has now
certainly become a reality. How will the analog and the digital coexist in the post-digital age of publishing? How will they transition, mix and cross over?” Post Digital Print

The Faculty of Art in conjunction with the McLean Foundation is pleased to present Alessandro Ludovico. He will speak about his recent book, Post Digital Print: The Mutation of Publishing Since 1894. Ludovico is the first McLean Foundation Artist in Residence, under the auspices of the Publication Area of Specialization in the Faculty of Art.

Alessandro Ludovico is a media critic and editor in chief of Neural magazine since 1993.

Established in 1993, Neural focuses on new media, electronic music and the networked and conceptual use of technology in art. He's one of the founders of the 'Mag.Net (Electronic Cultural Publishers organization), an international network of magazines, and also served as an advisor for the Documenta 12's Magazine Project. He has been a guest researcher at the Willem De Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Ludovico teaches at the Academy of Art in Carrara, Italy.




Venue & Address: 
Great Hall 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario
Alessandro Ludovico speaking on Post-Digital Print

Design with Dialogue

Design with Dialogue
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 10:00pm

Discover Your "Why"

How do we discover our Why and implement it meaningfully?

Octobers's DwD session is hosted by Stephen Shedletzky, founder of

Our "Why" is our cause, purpose or belief that guides our every thought, action and behaviour. All individuals have one Why, as do organizations. The challenge is that our Why is hard to discover and articulate on our own.
This session is designed to:
Help us discover our Whys
Teach us how to lead the Why Discovery process so that we can help others find their Why
Create a larger network of trusted friends who we can call with future issues
Provide a fresh perspective on what it truly means to be a leader
When we are in the right conditions, human beings are naturally trusting and cooperative. However, in the wrong conditions, we become cynical, paranoid and selfish. The best organizations, and the best leaders, create conditions in which we naturally work together and help each other. In this session, we will focus on what it takes to create a culture of leadership, cooperation, and trust in our lives, organizations, communities and families.
When we are clear on our Why, disciplined in How we bring our Why to life and consistent with What we do, fulfillment is our result. These concepts are called the Golden Circle, which were discovered and made popular by thought leader and author Simon Sinek in his book Start With Why and his TED Talk, How great leaders inspire action.

Stephen Shedletzky
believes in a world in which the vast majority of people are fulfilled by the work they do. He leads, and collaborates with Simon Sinek’s team at Start With Why—an organization that exists to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. Stephen engages leaders and organizations to discover and create their “Why”—their higher purpose that provides the clarity needed for fulfillment. He speaks, coaches, consults and creates content all with one purpose: to connect with people in meaningful ways. Stephen has received leadership and coaching training with the Richard Ivey School of Business and the Coaches Training Institute.




Venue & Address: 
Lambert Lounge, Room 187 100 McCaul Street Toronto, Ontario

TALKxTALK: Andrea Di Marco

TALKxTALK: Andrea Di Marco
Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 8:30pm

Service Design: Designing the Invisible

The main goal of service design is to explore the many ways in which communities of people, interested in many different fields, ranging from art, design, product and digital development, and innovation, are merging and influencing each other in the world of material culture, to create great new experiences, both for themselves and the larger society. What makes an experience great? What is the role of design in all this, and how is the role of design changing nowadays? What accounts for success? How are the processes of design and innovation changing?

Businesses are increasingly thinking about services as possible alternatives to the manufacturing driven model of consumption, based on purchase, disposal and replacement. Service design is being developed out of the environmental management literature as an area concerning the investigation of alternative means and possible solutions to balance the need for competitiveness of the many businesses operating in the markets, with the imperative environmental concern. Newly created solutions, also referred to as product-service systems, are designed and combined so that they jointly are capable of fulfilling unmet people needs, in ways that are capable of spiraling up and unveil new synergies and opportunities.

Presented by the Digital Futures Initiative.
The Digital Futures Initiative is a collection of research laboratories, graduate and undergraduate degrees at OCAD University.




Venue & Address: 
BlackBox 49 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario

Art Creates Change: The Kym Pruesse Speaker Series: Kenneth J. Foster

Art Creates Change: The Kym Pruesse Speaker Series: Kenneth J. Foster
Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 11:00pm

Resilience Thinking: What the Arts Can Learn from Environmentalism

The Faculty of Art at OCAD University is very pleased to welcome Kenneth Foster, Associate Professor of Practice and Director of the Arts Leadership Graduate Certificate program in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, as our second speaker in our Art Creates Change speaker series.

In the midst of a rapidly changing and challenging environment, artists and arts organizations find themselves in a much different world than they anticipated, one in which the more generally accepted ways of thinking and acting are no longer providing the desired solutions. With more than thirty years of innovative leadership work in a variety of arts organizations, Kenneth Foster, newly appointed director of Arts Leadership at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, examines the contours of what is actually happening and suggests that an ecological view of the arts can illuminate innovative strategies to strengthen artistic vibrancy and create a robust environment within which the arts can thrive.

A nationally recognized arts leader with a distinguished career of more than thirty years, Prof. Foster has held Executive level positions at multiple arts organizations from community based nonprofit arts organizations to major University arts centers. Prior to coming to USC in 2013, he served for ten years as Executive Director of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), a multidisciplinary contemporary arts center in San Francisco. Under his leadership, YBCA achieved international recognition for its innovative approach to connecting art, artists and communities. He has served on several national arts Boards, and is a founding member of the African Contemporary Arts Consortium. He has traveled extensively, examining arts organizational practices throughout the world. His book, Presenting the Performing Arts; From Theory to Practice (2006) was the first to systematically define the discipline of performing arts presenting. He has conducted workshops and written extensively on contemporary issues and the arts.

About Kym Pruesse
“Kym [Pruesse] was complex, complicated and often challenged those around her to think profoundly and creatively.” — The Globe and Mail, December 8, 2010

An artist, educator, writer and theorist, Kym Pruesse is celebrated as an expert in popular culture, art and design history, visual activism, art criticism and curatorial practice. A part of the OCAD U community since 1994, Kym taught courses in media and cultural studies, contemporary theory, women in art, art criticism, popular culture and studio. She believed in a cross-disciplinary perspective and taught in both the Faculty of Art and the Faculty of Liberal Studies at OCAD U. She passed away suddenly in June, 2009. The Art Creates Change series commemorates Kym’s work at OCAD U, as well as her contribution to the Toronto art community.

The Kym Pruesse Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a student in excellent standing who shows a demonstrated interest in curatorial practice, art and design activism and/or popular culture. If you would like to make a donation in support of the scholarship, please contact Development & Alumni Relations at 416-977-6000 Ext. 481.




Venue & Address: 
Auditorium 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario