Hiring Permanent Collections Student Monitors!

Onsite Gallery
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - 9:45am

OCAD U's Galleries System department is hiring OCAD U Permanent Collections Student Monitors for the summer term.

Reporting to the Dorene & Peter Milligan Executive Director, OCAD U Galleries, the Permanent Collections Student Monitor will:

• Assist in the implementation of the Permanent Collections Plan
• Assist with the documentation of artifacts in the University’s permanent collection of art and design
• Handle and examine artifacts
• Maintain an accurate collections management database
• Create reports on the condition of artifacts
• Assist in the process of acquisition and de-acquisition of artifacts as approved by the University’s Collection Committee
• Assist in the preparation of the new Collections Storage facility at Onsite Gallery
• Assist in the management of the existing Collections Storage room
• Conduct research on the Collection, as required

Skills required:

• Meticulous attention to detail
• Ability to handle, lift, and pack artifacts with professional level of care
• Ability to concentrate on records-keeping for extended periods
• Ability to work efficiently with and without direct supervision

• Knowledge of Canadian art history and the history of OCAD U
• Experience in digital photography
• Experience in artifact handling
• Experience in collections database management
• Knowledge of safe artifact conservation methods 

 Duration: 6 weeks (Week of July 10 to week of August 14, 2017)
 Rate of pay: $12.43/hour 
 Flexible hours, 12.5 hrs/week
 Vacancies: 2

 ****Must be Institutional Work Study Plan (IWSP)- eligible. Alongside your application, please submit a copy of your IWSP eligibility confirmation for the Summer 2017 semester provided by Financial Aid. Confirmations for previous semesters will not be accepted.**** 

Please submit the following to Linda Columbus, Programs Coordinator, at lcolumbus@ocadu.ca:
• a cover letter
• resume
• IWSP eligibility confirmation for the Summer 2017 semester

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m., June 25, 2017.

John Walsh: This is a Political March / 1973 – 2016

Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 9:00am to Friday, June 30, 2017 - 7:30pm

100 McCaul St., Lobby
Runs June 1 to 30, 2017
Monday to Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This is a Political March / 1973 - 2016
Video (4:16 minute loop), 2016

In 1973 Sylvia Rivera, a prominent figure of the Stonewall riots, fought her way onto the stage at New York’s Gay Liberation Rally. After years of fighting for the rights of trans and gender non conforming individuals of the queer community, she found the oppressed had turned into the oppressors; attempting to silence her voice as well as others. The feminists and gay men of 1973 believed that queens and trans women such as Sylvia were not the right face of the Gay Liberation movement, which we now celebrate as Pride. 

How far have we come?

In 2016, Black Lives Matter Toronto staged a sit-in at the Pride Parade, protesting the treatment and representation of the most marginalized of the LGBTQ2S community in Toronto. Booing from the crowd ensued. Within seconds of critiquing the current system of Pride, and asking for a more inclusive approach, Black Lives Matter were denounced by the very people who belong to the same community. Is this a political march, or a capitalist party?

With rebuilding and reinventing the ways we navigate through the movement of queer liberation, we cannot allow our most marginalized to be an afterthought.

- John Walsh

John Walsh is a multidisciplinary designer based in Toronto. Through political and speculative work, he aims to promote dialogues and discussion within topics such as identity, society and activism.

This work is presented by Onsite Gallery at OCAD University, as part of OCAD U's participation in Toronto's Pride Month.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St., Lobby
416-977-6000, Ext. 456
John Walsh, This is a Political March / 1973 - 2016 (still)

For This Land: Inside Elemental

Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 12:00pm to Sunday, December 10, 2017 - 6:00pm

Onsite Gallery at OCAD University’s stunning new location at 199 Richmond St. W. includes a Category A designed exhibition space and media lounge as well as collection storage, study and exhibition zones. We are excited to inaugurate this 8,000 square-foot build with the following major exhibitions:

For This Land: Inside Elemental 
2Ro Media: Jackson 2bears and Janet Rogers
Presented with community partner imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

For this Land: Inside Elemental is part of a multi-project series by 2Ro Media,  comprised of Jackson 2bears and Janet Rogers—both Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) artists from Six Nations of the Grand River. The artists, who currently live outside their traditional territory, produce work collaboratively about ‘returning home’, which typically involves creating site-specific narratives using video, sound, poetry, performance and multi-media installation.

With Inside Elemental, the artists engage in a series of conversations with the Kana:ta Village on traditional Haudenosaunee territory in order to create an immersive multimedia installation using sound, video, performance and digital languages. Inside Elemental is an exploration of the internalization of one’s traditional territory, and in general about how external environments are deeply intertwined with identity, self-understanding, and the interiority of personal and collective experience. The exhibition brochure is available online here.

Also on view is raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000 - 2015).

For This Land: Inside Elemental

Jackson 2bears is a Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) multimedia installation/performance artist and cultural theorist originally from Six Nations of the Grand River. He is currently based in Lethbridge, Alberta. Since 1999, 2bears has exhibited his work extensively across Canada in public galleries, museums and artist-run centres, as well as internationally, in festivals and in group exhibitions.

Janet Rogers is a Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from Six Nations of the Grand River. She was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has lived in Stoney Creek, Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario. She has been living as a guest on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people in Victoria, British Columbia, since 1994. Janet works in the genres of poetry, spoken word performance poetry, video poetry and recorded poetry with music. Janet is also a radio broadcaster, a documentary producer, and a media and sound artist.

imagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival
imagineNATIVE is the international centre for Indigenous-made media arts. Through year-round presentation, promotion and professional development activities, it is committed to a greater understanding by audiences of Indigenous peoples, cultures, and artistic expressions.

Public Events
- Saturday, September 23, 4 p.m.: Canadian Art Magazine’s Gallery Day with talk by Lindsay Nixon
- Saturday, September 30, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.: Nuit Blanche at Onsite Gallery
- Tuesday, October 10, 7 p.m.: Lisa Myers Artist Talk
- Friday, October 20, 5 p.m.: imagineNATIVE Art Crawl Kick-Off
- Saturday, November 4, 2 p.m.: Mark Igloliorte Artist Talk
- Thursday, November 16, 12 to 4 p.m.: Wiki-Edit-a-Thon with the Inuit Artist Database
- Thursday, November 16, 6 p.m.: Panel Talk: Indigenous Tattoo Revitalization with Native Women in the Arts
- Saturday, December 2, 2 p.m.: Land Claims: raise a flag Pennant Workshop and Artist Presentation
- Sunday, December 3, 2 p.m.: Indigenous Art Today: Lindsay Nixon & Ryan Rice


Onsite Gallery gratefully acknowledges that the new gallery construction project is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Canada Cultural Spaces Fund at Canadian Heritage, the City of Toronto through a Section 37 agreement and Aspen Ridge Homes.

Venue & Address: 
Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond St. W.
416-977-6000, Ext. 456
Janet Rogers and Jackson 2bears

Proud objects: Cheryl Pope’s first Canadian exhibition + tips for collaborative art


Cheryl Pope, I WANT TO BE PROUD, 2016. Text by Debora Puricelli. Nylon and tackle twill, 3 x 5 ft. Image courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

In early 2016, renowned Chicago-based visual artist and designer Cheryl Pope collaborated with OCAD University students and local community members in her first Canadian exhibition, which formed a major part of Onsite Gallery and the university’s Pride 2016 programming (June 8 to July 4). This site-specific exhibition, Objects for Listening, included 10 colourful, varsity-style champion banners and multiple audio installations she calls “listening stations.”

All the pieces were developed in workshops, in which Pope led us through a variety of exercises, each one bringing us deeper into our private personal thoughts and perceptions. We answered questions. We sewed and chatted. We wrote while looking at ourselves in mirrors. And then we chatted some more.



Cheryl Pope, I AM MYSELF, 2016. Text by OCAD U workshop participant. Nylon and tackle twill, 3 x 5 ft. Image courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.


Cheryl Pope, I AM NOT AFRAID, 2016. Nylon and tackle twill, 3 x 5 ft. Image courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

Queer diversity and community

Pope designed the artworks in Objects for Listening to carry individuals’ thoughts from the OCAD U community. Those individuals may or may not have very different viewpoints, but they all reveal deep reflection on diverse identities, gender expressions and sexual orientations. Today, at the 35th anniversary of the bathhouse raids and Toronto’s Pride Parade, it is impossible to find any overarching language that could define the OCAD U or queer communities.

As discussions at the intersections of gender, race, cultural background, ability, age, class, education, politics and values are expanded, the significance of community remains important. As a community, over the past 35 years many in Toronto have fought hard for diverse sexual and gender expressions and identities.

Now, as we investigate systemic oppression, community strength, support and brainstorming remain vital. Working collaboratively, in the manner Pope does, successfully navigates and supports individuals and their communities.


Cheryl Pope, I DON”T SEE ME AS YOU SEE ME, 2016. Nylon and tackle twill, 3 x 5 ft. Image courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.


Cheryl Pope, I AM UNSURE OF MY PLACE, 2016. Text by Lizz Khan. Nylon and tackle twill, 3 x 5 ft. Image courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

Cheryl Pope. Image courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago. Photo credit: LaMont Hamilton.

Cheryl Pope. Image courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago. Photo credit: LaMont Hamilton.

Pope’s 7 most important elements for designing collaborative art projects

  1. “Generating content with people through conversations, workshops, text submissions and free writes is rooted in the value of discovering together, of asking, looking, listening and finding.”
  2. Creating collaboratively “respects and celebrates the individual and highlights that individuals together make a community.”
  3. Pope’s works “offer the possibility to hear both the individual and the community.”
  4. “Working in this way, I find that it is possible to avoid assumptions and, instead, hear and better represent the voice of the people I am collaborating with.”
  5. “Research through conversations and workshops draws a foundation to the work that it is for the people, by the people and with the people. I see myself as a journalist; this is extremely important, as the work is understood as a voice of many.”
  6. “Being physically present with people and listening offers me the opportunity to hear the call and reactions, the community speak, the value and weight of the voice, of the body, the temperature in the room, the cadence and the progression, the silence, the comfort and discomfort. These aspects are most important in the research, the physicality of language.”
  7. “The workshops are focused opportunities for reflecting, sharing, questioning and listening. They offer the opportunity for members of the same community to hear one another, in a safe, respected and valued space. The awareness that their voices are being listened to as part of the research seems to call forward a heightened intention to the contribution and exchange.”


Lisa Deanne Smith is the curator of Onsite Gallery, OCAD University’s experimental curatorial platform and professional gallery of art, design and digital media.

Lisa Deanne Smith
Standard Template

Nicole Beno Vinyl Mural

Nicole Beno Vinyl Mural
Nicole Beno Vinyl Mural
Friday, April 1, 2016 - 4:00am to Monday, May 1, 2017 - 4:00am

Onsite Gallery is pleased to present a public work by Toronto-based designer/artist Nicole Beno that celebrates Onsite Gallery’s upcoming move. View Beno’s larger-than-life vinyl mural on the window façade of 230 Richmond Street West which directly faces the gallery’s future location across the street at 199 Richmond Street West. From April 2016 to May 2017, viewable 24/7.

Curated by Linda Columbus.

Nicole Beno
Nicole Beno is a graphic designer and visual artist from Toronto, working with bold colours, layers and screen printed compositions. Her playful process combines hand drawings, materials, and textures with computer generated illustrations to form a unique graphic style.

Venue & Address: 
230 Richmond St. W.
416-977-6000, Ext. 456
Nicole Beno Vinyl Mural
Embed Video: 

Artist Mel Chin: From Melrose Place to toxic landfills

Image of artist Mel Chin speaking with students
Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 5:00am

Houston-based artist Mel Chin opened his March 9 talk “You are Never Done” with a solo rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds.” After grabbing the attention of the capacity crowd – more than 300 people filled the auditorium – Chin launched into a lively presentation of some of his most spectacular creations: large-scale conceptual art with social impact.

Chin showed images from Revival Field, a landscape-art project that combines science, technology and art. He planted hyperaccumulator plants to naturally draw toxic heavy metal from the soil at a Minnesota landfill. Chin has worked with other scientists and artists to replicate the project in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, and Stuttgart, Germany.

For In the Name of the Place, Chin and his collaborators inserted art objects on the set of the prime-time TV series Melrose Place, placing fine art into popular culture. The pieces were later auctioned off to benefit educational charities.

Chin also screened the trailer for 9/11-9/11 (2006), an animated film based on his graphic novel of the same title. The fictional love story examines the human impact of covert political machinations.

During his visit to OCAD University, Chin also met with a group of students who are committed to social justice through their art or activities on campus.

"You are never done" is presented by the President's Speaker Series in association with Onsite Gallery’s ONSITE/EXCITE/INSPIRE program which investigates stimulating change through public platforms outside the gallery.

ONSITE/onward: Art/Design and Public Spaces Panel Talk

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 10:30pm to Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - 12:00am

What role does public art and design play in our everyday urban experience? Join us for a conversation on art/design and public spaces, presented by Onsite Gallery in partnership with Design Exchange.


Nicole Beno (graphic designer and visual artist)
Karen Carter (Executive Director of the Myseum of Toronto)
Shawn Micallef (author and weekly columnist at the Toronto Star)
Ala Roushan (OCAD U Assistant Professor, Faculty of Design)
with Nina Boccia as moderator (Director of Programs at Design Exchange)

Tuesday, April 5, 6:30 p.m.
100 McCaul St.
Auditorium, Room 190

Event is FREE, all are welcome
Space is wheelchair accessible

This talk formally launches a public work by Nicole Beno that celebrates Onsite Gallery’s upcoming move. View Beno’s larger-than-life vinyl mural on the window façade of 230 Richmond St. W., directly across from the gallery’s new location. From April 2016 to May 2017. Curated by Linda Columbus.

Nicole Beno
Nicole Beno is a graphic designer and visual artist from Toronto, working with bold colours, layers and screen printed compositions. Her playful process combines hand drawings, materials, and textures with computer generated illustrations to form a unique graphic style.

Onsite Gallery is pleased to present a public non-commercial graphic design vinyl work installed on the two-storey street-level exterior window surface of 230 Richmond St. W. – the former site of Onsite Gallery which directly faces the gallery’s future location across the street at 199 Richmond St. W.

Karen Carter
Karen Carter is the Executive Director of the Myseum of Toronto an innovative approach to the museum experience, and a new way to experience Toronto’s natural spaces, cultures, history, archaeology and architecture. She has over 20 years experience working and volunteering in a variety of cultural and educational settings in Toronto. She is the co-founder and Chair of Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue (BAND), an organization dedicated to the promotion of Black arts and culture in Canada and abroad. Karen is also the Program Coordinator and faculty member for the Culture and Heritage Site Management program at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre.

Shawn Micallef
Shawn Micallef is the author of The Trouble With Brunch: Work, Class, & the Pursuit of Leisure, Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto and Full Frontal TO (nominated for the 2013 Toronto Book Award), a weekly columnist at the Toronto Star, and a senior editor and co-owner of the independent, Jane Jacobs Prize–winning magazine Spacing.  Shawn teaches at the University of Toronto and was a 2011-2012 Canadian Journalism Fellow at University of Toronto’s Massey College. In 2002, while a resident at the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab, he co-founded [murmur], the location-based mobile phone documentary project that has spread to over 20 cities globally. Shawn is the Toronto Public Library’s urban-focused Writer in Residence until December 2013.

Ala Roushan
Ala Roushan is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University and a Ph.D. candidate at the European Graduate School focused on Philosophy, Art & Critical Thought of the Digital. She is engaged in speculative design research, writing, curatorial practice and teaching through which she explores the boundaries of design, art and architecture. She is the co-curator/co-director of flip project space, a curatorial project for contemporary art based in Napoli, Italy. Through exhibitions and printed publications flip addresses various aspects of contemporary artistic practice by reevaluating the intricate networks between object, content, concept, form and space.

Nina Boccia
Nina Boccia is the Director of Programs at Design Exchange, Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the pursuit of design excellence and preservation of design heritage. Nina was previously the Managing Editor at Designlines magazine, Toronto’s ultimate guide to design, and the Associate Editor of Azure magazine, where she wrote about design and architecture. She has interviewed some of contemporary design and architecture’s leading talents including Stefan Sagmeister, Philippe Starck, Rem Koolhaas, and Patrizia Moroso.

Onsite Gallery
Onsite Gallery, OCAD University’s public gallery and experimental curatorial platform for art, design and digital media, fosters social and cultural transformations. In preparation for the launch of Onsite Gallery’s new location in May 2017, our 2016 ONSITE/ programming imagines and creates what a public gallery can be.

Onsite Gallery’s education program is generously supported by Nexus Investment Management.

Design Exchange
Design Exchange, a not-for-profit museum funded by its members and donors, is Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the pursuit of design excellence and preservation of design heritage. At the crossroads of multiple disciplines, their programs are curated to reflect the popular zeitgeist and contemporary culture while demonstrating the relevance and importance of design to everyday life. DX is committed to delivering accessible design experiences and education and it aims to provide the tools necessary to connect design learning to the ordinary and extraordinary. 

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University’s Auditorium 100 McCaul St., Room 190
416-977-6000, Ext. 456
Art/Design and Public Spaces Poster

Onsite [at] OCAD U exhibition celebrates the 10th anniversary of Flash Forward

The Passing by Jinyoung Kim

The Flash Forward 10: Uncanny Worlds exhibition on now at OCAD U’s Onsite [at] OCAD U gallery brings together works by a diverse group of past Flash Forward Festival winners from OCAD U, as the international photography festival celebrates its 10th anniversary. The show runs until December 20, 2014.

The collaborative exhibition could be considered a departure for Onsite, but Lisa Deanne Smith, the gallery's curator, was won over after talking with MaryAnn Camilleri, the director of the festival (and founder of the Magenta Foundation which hosts it) together with Barbara Astman from OCAD U’s photography faculty, and then reviewing the range of work.

“It was very inspiring to research each artist’s full body of work since they graduated from OCAD U,” Smith said. “The Photography department at OCAD U fosters experimental, critical, conceptual work and I was blown away by the depth conceptually as well as visually. The educational foundation these photographers received is evident in the successful manner in which they are evolving.”

What unifies the work of the 12 photographers in the show is how they build a complex conversation addressing the relationship of humans and the physical world. When you walk into the gallery and start looking around, you’ll see a wide range of images that you pull you into their worlds and tell engaging stories. In Jinyoung Kim’s video, “The Passing” a person stands against the backdrop of the ocean, slowly letting a fistful of sand blow into the wind. It could evoke a sense of release and letting go, or loss, depending on how you view it.

Danny Custodio’s series, taken in the St. Catherines suburbs, shows trees growing up around hydro poles and wires—nature accommodating built structures, and perhaps even thriving in spite of it.

In Meryl McMaster’s “Murmur #3” hundreds starlings swirl around a woman’s head, but the birds are made from paper, and she’s standing against a concrete backdrop.

The exhibition also showcases Sanaz Mazinani, Nathan Cyprys and Stacey Tyrell, described by Smith as having developed “challenging, rigorous, gorgeous work.”  She says she was drawn to the “formal qualities nearing perfection” of featured works by Geoffrey Pugen, Kotama Bouabane, Adrian Fish and Elise Victoria Louise Windsor, and notes Sebastián Benitez and Alex Kisilevich “employ humour and critique, always a difficult endeavor.”


“In its state of rapid change I find our world extremely exciting and often quite scary. Every day an article or conversation voices concern for our environment and the effect of humans on the earth. Every day there is someone, something or a moment that inspires and, I feel, makes our world a better place. The artists in Flash Forward 10: Uncanny Worlds do just that.” Lisa Deanne Smith, Curator, Onsite [at] OCAD U

Find out more:

Upcoming events as part of Flash Forward 10: Uncanny Worlds 

Flash Forward 10

Flash Forward 11 Call for Submissions