Festival of the Body marks official launch of Life Studies specialization

Image of blurred face wearing what appears to be a sheepskin hat
Friday, January 16, 2015 - 5:00am


On view since January 15 at OCAD U is the much-anticipated Festival of the Body. This month-long event and exhibition series for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games highlights works by students that explore new and cross-disciplinary approaches to the body in contemporary art. The Festival also marks the official launch of Life Studies, a new Faculty of Art specialization that investigates the figure and the body in studio practice and scientific methodology.


The Life Studies specialization is a natural for OCAD University. The institution’s students and faculty have been considering issues of the body for 138 years. Today, drawing from the figure as a way of understanding the body and building empathy around the human condition is at the core of every student’s education.  


Festival of the Body panel discussions will be scheduled throughout the academic year, as a lead-in to 2015 PanAm/Parapan Am Games. They’ll feature a diverse group of experts from within and outside the university. Among this group will be a PanAm/Parapan Am athlete, faculty members, and student artists and designers, who will together discuss bodies, discipline, and the connection between sports and the arts. The Festival will culminate in a final exhibition of work by OCAD U art and design students staged during the PanAm/Parapan Am Games. 



Festival of the Body


Thursday, January 29, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The Great Hall and Central Hall (Room 230)

Exhibition Opening — Festival of the Body Part II: Speculative Bodies

Performance and video event


Thursday, February 5, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Great Hall

Panel — Life Studies: Art and Science

This panel will investigate the threshold between art and science, which is increasingly generative for the new specialization in Life Studies. Moderated by Dr. Caroline Langill

To include: Nina Leo, assistant professor at OCAD U; Suzanne Anker from Bio Art Lab, NY; and Francis LeBouthillier, assistant professor at OCAD U


Organized by Wrik Mead and Natalie Waldburger. Sponsored by: Ontario Ignite program – PanAm Parapan Am Games 2015; The Faculty of Art Innovation Fund - Office of the President; Office of the VPA; Faculty and Curriculum Development Centre; Health & Wellness Centre; Admissions and Recruitment



Festival of the Body

Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 5:00am to Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 5:00am

Festival of the Body
In the Great Hall at OCAD University

A month-long series of events and exhibitions for the PanAm/ParaPan Am games and the launch OCADU’s new specialization Life Studies on contemporary studies of the body in art and science.

Festival of the Body Part I: Whose Body?
Private Opening: Thursday, January 15
Opening remarks by Dr. John Semple, Chief of Surgery at Women’s College Hospital.

Panel Discussion:
The Festival of the Body: Whose Body?
Thursday, January 15
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Participating artists and curators of the exhibition discuss the show in the context of diversity and representation.
Moderator: Amy Swartz
Panel: Natalie Waldburger, Ryan Rice, Bogdan Luca, JJ Lee, Christina Sealey & students participating in the exhibition

Kit Curry memorial show
Location: January 19 to 23
Transit Space
Opening reception: Thursday, January 22

Panel Discussion:
The Festival of the Body: Athleticism
Thursday, January 22
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
A panel on art and athleticism as it relates to identity, ability and performance.
Moderator: Dr. Spencer Harrison
Panel: Matthew Strang –Academic, Adam Lancia - ParaPan wheelchair basketball athlete, Andrea Nann – Dreamwalker Dance Company

Festival of the Body Part II: Speculative Bodies.
Thursday, January 29
Performance & Video event in the Great Hall and Central Hall, Room 230

Panel Discussion: The Festival of the Body: Science
Thursday, February 5
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
This panel with investigate the threshold between art and science which is increasingly generative for the new specialization in Life Studies.
Moderator: Dr. Caroline Langill, Dean of Liberal Arts and Science, School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Panel: Nina Leo (TBC) – Assistant Professor, OCAD U, Suzanne Ankor – Bio Art Lab, NY, Francis LeBouthillier - Assistant Professor, OCAD U

Sponsored by the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games, The Faculty of Art, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science/School of Interdisciplinary Studies, IAMD, Graduate Studies, First Year, Drawing and Painting and The Office of the President to support the launch of the Life Studies Specialization

Venue & Address: 
The Great Hall
416-977-6000 ext 330

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