GradEx100 draws record 41,000 to OCAD University

 

Monday, May 4, 2015 - 4:00am

It was an exhibition that exceeded all expectations: The 100th edition of the university’s graduate exhibition drew an estimated 41,000 visitors, a 64% increase over last year, making it one of the city’s largest free art and design exhibitions.

Some 900 students from 14 undergraduate and six graduate programs displayed their thesis works, including smartphone apps, wearable technology, ad campaigns, sculpture, textiles, digital painting and everything in between. The top student from each program received an OCAD University medal. 

President Sara Diamond stated, “I spent many days immersed in the exhibition and had the pleasure of touring government and private sector partners through the show. We all agreed that the quality, maturity and relevance of the students’ work is remarkable. They will have a powerful influence on the world."

Saturday night the inaugural Alumni of Influence awards were presented to accomplished alumni for their achievements and service to the community:

  • Legacy – Painter Doris McCarthy (AOCA, 1930)
  • Distinguished Alumni – Designer Donna Cummings (AOCA, 1967)
  • Distinguished Educator – Professor Allan J. Ryan, Ph.D. (AOCA, Advertising, 1967)
  • World Builder – Photographer Christine Germano (AOCA, 1994)
  • Trailblazer – Illustrator Gracia Lam (BDes, Illustration, 2009)

​“The range and depth of talent displayed this year reflects the scope of programs and experiences students gain at OCAD University,” said Dr. Diamond. “Our alumni award recipients noted that their years here prepared them for their careers ahead by grounding them in interdisciplinary skills and discipline while giving them a unique frame of reference for their creativity. They represent a bridge between our past and current unique excellence in delivering studio-based education.”

In his opening night remarks, illustrator Gary Taxali, an alumnus and faculty member, recalled his own graduate exhibition. “I’ve worked for every major magazine and have shown in top galleries, but I’ve never had thousands of people come to one of my openings like they do for GradEx every year. When I was a student it was one of the greatest experiences of my life and it kick started my art career.” Taxali designed this year’s GradEx poster and donated proceeds from the sale of limited edition prints to the university.

OCAD University’s annual Graduate Exhibition is generously supported by Presenting Sponsor Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Other sponsors include: C.A. Delaney Capital Management Ltd., First Capital Realty, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, CP24 (Media Sponsor), NOW (Media Sponsor) and Steam Whistle (Event Sponsor).

This event has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.

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Monday, May 4, 2015 - 4:00am

It was an exhibition that exceeded all expectations: The 100th edition of the university’s graduate exhibition drew an estimated 41,000 visitors, a 64% increase over last year, making it one of the city’s largest free art and design exhibitions.

Some 900 students from 14 undergraduate and six graduate programs displayed their thesis works, including smartphone apps, wearable technology, ad campaigns, sculpture, textiles, digital painting and everything in between. The top student from each program received an OCAD University medal. 

President Sara Diamond stated, “I spent many days immersed in the exhibition and had the pleasure of touring government and private sector partners through the show. We all agreed that the quality, maturity and relevance of the students’ work is remarkable. They will have a powerful influence on the world."

Saturday night the inaugural Alumni of Influence awards were presented to accomplished alumni for their achievements and service to the community:

  • Legacy – Painter Doris McCarthy (AOCA, 1930)
  • Distinguished Alumni – Designer Donna Cummings (AOCA, 1967)
  • Distinguished Educator – Professor Allan J. Ryan, Ph.D. (AOCA, Advertising, 1967)
  • World Builder – Photographer Christine Germano (AOCA, 1994)
  • Trailblazer – Illustrator Gracia Lam (BDes, Illustration, 2009)

​“The range and depth of talent displayed this year reflects the scope of programs and experiences students gain at OCAD University,” said Dr. Diamond. “Our alumni award recipients noted that their years here prepared them for their careers ahead by grounding them in interdisciplinary skills and discipline while giving them a unique frame of reference for their creativity. They represent a bridge between our past and current unique excellence in delivering studio-based education.”

In his opening night remarks, illustrator Gary Taxali, an alumnus and faculty member, recalled his own graduate exhibition. “I’ve worked for every major magazine and have shown in top galleries, but I’ve never had thousands of people come to one of my openings like they do for GradEx every year. When I was a student it was one of the greatest experiences of my life and it kick started my art career.” Taxali designed this year’s GradEx poster and donated proceeds from the sale of limited edition prints to the university.

OCAD University’s annual Graduate Exhibition is generously supported by Presenting Sponsor Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Other sponsors include: C.A. Delaney Capital Management Ltd., First Capital Realty, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, CP24 (Media Sponsor), NOW (Media Sponsor) and Steam Whistle (Event Sponsor).

This event has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.