Graduating Photography students exhibit across the city this spring

Young woman obscures face with crystal against vintage wallcovering
Nude male stands half obscured by door
Pressback chair with hand shot in square of sunlight
Image of glowing embers in cave of grasses
Monday, April 27, 2015 - 4:00am

OCAD University Photography students are papering the town with their art this spring.

Twenty-seven graduates of OCAD U’s Photography program (thesis option) will showcase their images in this year’s centennial Graduate Exhibition as well as the prestigious Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

The CONTACT show – The Fortune of Having Been There – will be divided into three “volumes.” Each will be curated by a third-year student from OCAD U’s Criticism and Curatorial Practices program:

  • Volume I: May 14 to 24 (Opening reception: May 15)
  • Volume II: May 25 to June 2 (Opening reception: May 28)
  • Volume III: June 3 to 10 (Opening reception: June 5)

The volumes will unfold at The Project Gallery (1109 Queen St. E.), and the curators will attend their respective opening receptions.

Before that month-long exhibition gets underway, those 27 visionary photographers will present their work at OCAD U’s Graduate Exhibition – the biggest in the university’s history. The hundredth anniversary of this annual gathering of graduating students’ art, design and digital-media projects is open to the public from 6:30 p.m. on April 29 until 5 p.m. on May 3.

Four of the 27 also have works included in another CONTACT show: Revolution. All the participants in Revolution are students in OCAD U’s International Collaboration Studio course. Visit the exhibition at the Open Gallery, 49 McCaul St., from May 10 to 25.

The Fortune of Having Been There

Contact logo with OCAD U loco
Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 4:00am to Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 4:00am

27 emerging artists from OCAD University’s photography thesis program present their graduate work in the exhibition, The Fortune of Having Been There, as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

The Fortune of Having Been There showcases the work of 27 graduates of OCAD’s photography thesis program. This month long exhibition, curated into three distinct shows by students from OCAD’s Criticism and Curatorial Practices program, introduces the next generation of local artists and curators.

Volume I (May 14 to 24), curated by Tori Maas. This exhibition brings together images and objects from artists’ interactions with space and site, the landscapes they inhabit, and the tension created by the collision of public and private lives. Opening: Friday May 15, 5 to 8 p.m.

Volume II (May 25 to June 2), curated by Sara Nicole England. The gateway into this exhibition is the idea of "doubling." Included works incorporate subject matter that mirrors the "double nature" of photography; twinning, duplication, generation, imagined selves and masquerade are all at play. Opening: Thursday May 28, 5 to 8 p.m.

Volume III (June 3 to 10), curated by Stephanie Peikert. As humans, we often associate ourselves with external entities in order to ground us in our journey. Exploring the relationship between individuals and objects, works in this exhibit reveal the associations, tensions and struggles inherent to identity and self-discovery. Opening: Friday June 5, 5 to 8 p.m.

These events are open to the public and press. The artists and curator of each volume will be in attendance during the respective opening reception.

Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday: 2 pm to 8 pm. Saturday to Sunday: 12 pm to 6 pm

Venue & Address: 
The Project Gallery, 1109 Queen St. E.
Devan Patel (416) 315-1192

Searching For No End In Sight...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 4:00am to Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 4:00am

An OCAD U Criticism and Curatorial Practice MFA Thesis Exhibition by Natasha Peterson

Featuring the work of:

SEARCHING FOR NO END IN SIGHT . . . is an exhibition that begins with a line -- the horizon. As a fundamental feature of the landscape, the horizon conjures up feelings of infiniteness, longing, and even the sublime. In family snapshots, it marks a division between earth and sky, and provides a backdrop for scenes of leisure and informal congregation. This exhibition examines the horizon as a metaphorical subject and a framing device used by anonymous amateur photographers. By comparing found photographs with numerous others from the Archive of Modern Conflict Toronto, as well as the artwork of Parastoo Anoushahpour, the horizon is reconsidered as a subject with spatial and affective resonances.

Curated by Natasha Peterson

EXHIBITION: 17-21 March 2015, 12-5PM

RECEPTION: 19 March 2015, 7-9PM

Venue & Address: 
Graduate Gallery - 205 Richmond Street West

Photography Silent Auction

Photograph of disassembled mannequins in an empty room
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 5:00am to Friday, March 13, 2015 - 4:00am

Please join us in this year’s Photography Silent Auction running until March 13, 2015. Works can be seen in display cases on the 2nd floor hallway at OCAD U.

Proceeds will be going towards International Art Collaborations, an art collective founded in 2010 consisting of artists from OCAD U, as well as participating schools in Finland, South Korea, Germany and Japan

The auction closes Friday March 13th at 3pm.

Happy bidding!

Image courtesy of the artist: “Fourth Floor Behind Womenswear” by Lucas Johnson

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul St. 2nd Floor Display Cases

Rob Allen Talks Photography

Black and white photograph of a bald human head with eyes closed
Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 11:45pm

"Rob Allen is a photographic artist and educator working in Toronto. He has been a working as a professional photographer since 1989, pursuing his personal projects in his own time as well as exhibiting in solo and group shows. He holds a BFA and an MFA from the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. While fully immersed in new technologies, Allen simultaneously explores the disappearing camera crafts of the twentieth century. 

Recently, Allen has branched out into motion-picture production, still attentive to the rewards of patient observation. Allen enjoys thinking and working with ideas around the "Extended Portrait". The notion of the “extended portrait” has a long history in photography and implies capturing a multitude of revealing moments as well as the possibility of certain moments lasting longer than others."

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul St. Auditorium, Room 190

Aimia | AGO Photography Prize: Call for Submissions

Aimia logo
Monday, February 2, 2015 - 5:00am to Monday, March 2, 2015 - 5:00am

We are pleased to announce that OCAD U has been invited to participate in The 2015 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program.  This scholarship program invites 16 schools across Canada to propose one representative be considered for a $7000 scholarship.  To be eligible, you must be a full-time student  going into your final year of study.   Submissions are accepted from February 2nd and will close on March 2nd, 2015. 

2014 Winners include:

Marvin Luvualu Antonio (OCAD U)

Kristiane Church (University of Manitoba)

Paige Lindsay ( Ryerson University)



AGO Artist-in-Residence: Meera Margaret Singh

Photograph of Meera Margaret Singh
Monday, June 8, 2015 - 4:00am to Friday, July 31, 2015 - 4:00am

Meera Margaret Singh is a Winnipeg born, Toronto-based photographer. With a background in anthropology and art history, Meera first became interested in photography as a documentary tool. While pursuing her degree in Fine Art at OCAD University (Photography), Meera 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, Meera has questioned and interrogated cultural, physical, geographical, and emotional ideas of displacement and suspension. Meera has been selected as a scholarship winner and participant in the Magnum Workshop with international photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti and as a selected artist in an international residency with German photographer Thomas Struth at the Atlantic Centre for the Arts in Florida. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions and festivals throughout Canada and the United States

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

George Whiteside Talks Photography

Black and white image of flowers
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - 11:45pm

After graduating from OCAD in 1979, George Whiteside started his career as an artist showing regularly in galleries across Canada and internationally. He was a founding member of YYZ gallery in 1979. By 1981 commercial work began taking up the majority of his time, contributing to most major magazines and fashion advertising campaigns in Canada as well as the U.S. He has also managed to continue exhibiting personal work for the last 4 decades and in the last 5 years began focusing again on fine art. He is in the permanent collection of the AGO and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.

The Faculty of Design has entered Scotia Bank Contact as a celebration of Photography and the work of the students in the Faculty of Design.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul Street Auditorium, Room 190  

Student Marvin Luvualu Antonio featured in AGO exhibition

Photograph by OCAD U student Marvin Luvualu Antonio on display at AGO
Marvin Luvualu Antonio flanked by Aimia AGO scholarship recipients
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 7:00pm

OCAD U Photography student Marvin Luvualu Antonio is one of three recipients of the Aimia | AGO Photography scholarship currently exhibiting at the AGO. Antonio’s work will be on display in the Weston Family Learning Centre Community Gallery through the end of January 2015

Part of the prestigious Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, this inaugural $7,000 scholarship will be applied towards tuition for Antonio's final year of undergraduate studies at OCAD U. He is joined by Kristiane Church from the University of Manitoba and Paige Lindsay of Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts.


Photo credit: Art Gallery of Ontario

Bottom photo from left to right:

Sophie Hackett, Associate Curator of Photography, AGO; Alden Hadwen, Director of Community Engagement, AIMIA; Paige Lindsay, Recipient Scholarship, Ryerson University; Marvin Luvualu Antonio, Recipient Scholarship, OCAD University; Kristiane Church, Recipient Scholarship, University of Winnipeg; Kevin O’Brien, Chief Commercial Officer, Aimia ;Judy Koke, Chief, Public Programming and Learning, AGO.

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