OCAD University
Dr. Amish Morrell
Assistant Professor - CLTA
Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate Studies

Area(s) of Expertise

Visual Culture, History of Photography, Cultural Studies, Contemporary Art Theory, Curatorial Studies, Contemporary Art History, Art Criticism


Amish Morrell is an educator, curator, editor and writer. From 2008 to 2017 he was Editor and Director of Programs at C Magazine. At C Magazine he developed numerous public programs, including lectures and workshops held in partnership with organizations including The Toronto International Art Fair, The Power Plant, Mercer Union, Art Metropole and the Toronto Art Book Fair. He has also curated exhibitions for the Doris McCarthy Gallery, The Confederation Centre for the Arts and the Cape Breton University Art Gallery, and developed experiments in alternative forms of public engagement, including Nightwalks with Teenagers with Mammalian Diving Reflex; The Sauna Symposium with Hart House at the University of Toronto; and Reading the Bruce Trail with Public Studio. His current research looks at the relationship between the avant-garde and counterculture in Cape Breton since the 1960s, and his most recent writing includes an essay about Indigenous philosophies of sustainability in the work of artist Ursula Johnson, forthcoming in C Magazine (winter 2017-18). In July-August of 2018, along with Diane Borsato he will be co-leading Outdoor School, a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts that combines social practice-based art, outdoor education and critical land-based practices. At OCAD University he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Contemporary Art Theory, Canadian Contemporary Art, Art Writing and Criticism, History of Photography and Curatorial Practice.


BES, 1996 (York University), MA, 1999 (University of Toronto), PHD, 2006 (University of Toronto)

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor, Ontario College of Art and Design University; Editor and Director of Public Programs, C Magazine (2008-2017); Instructor, School of Image Arts, Ryerson University (2008 – 2015); Instructor, University of Toronto Mississauga, Department of Visual Studies (2006-2013); Instructor, York University, Fine Arts & Cultural Studies (2008-09). Lead Faculty member, Banff Artist in Residence Program (2016).

Selected Exhibitions

Exhibition Curator: Outdoor School at the Doris McCarthy Gallery, UTSC Scarborough. Artists: Maggie Groat, Ayumi Goto, Hannah Jickling, Helen Reed, Jamie Ross and Jay White, Doris McCarthy Gallery, Scarborough, ON. September 14 – October 22, 2016.

Exhibition Curator, with Pan Wendt: Doing Our Own Thing: Back-to-the-Land in Eastern Canada at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown PEI. Artists: George Thomas, Fenn Martin, Simon Brown, Cristina Lisi, Sheilah Wilson, David Senior, Bay Woodyard, Caili Woodyard, and Seth Woodyard, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI, March – June, 2015.

Exhibition Curator, with Pan Wendt: Doing Our Own Thing: Back-to-the-Land in Eastern Canada Canada at the Cape Breton University Art Gallery, Sydney NS. Artists: George Thomas, Fenn Martin and David Senior. June – August, 2014.

Project Curator: Nightwalks with Teenagers, collaborative public artwork with The Institute of Walking and Mammalian Diving Reflex, involving youth from Inverness, Cape Breton and Parkdale in Toronto. Inverness County, NS. August 2011.

Exhibition Cuator: The Frontier is Here, at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts, Inverness, Nova Scotia. Artists: Red Armstrong, Karen Azoulay, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, Maura Doyle, The Third Leg (Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Onya Hogan Finlay and Logan MacDonald), Hannah Jickling, Amos Latteier, Sandy Plotnikoff, Yvette Poorter and Steve Topping, August 2009.

Awards \ Grants

Recipient of 2017 Graduate Studies Teaching Award, OCAD University.

Shortlisted for Ontario Association of Art Galleries Exhibition of the Year Under $20,000 (for Outdoor School, at the Doris McCarthy Gallery).

Shortlisted for Ontario Association of Art Galleries Curatorial Writing Award, 2,000 - 5,000 words (for the curatorial essay Under the Freeway, a Forest: Some Notes on Trespassing).

Selected Publications

Geoffrey Hendricks, Chair: Pour se voir, catalogue text in Pan Wendt (Ed.) Collections (Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown PEI), 2017.

A Feast for the Stewards of the Land: Contemporary Art and Netukulimk on Unama’ki, C Magazine issue 136 (forthcoming, winter 2017-18).

Magic Tricks in a Parking Lot: An Art Fair on the Other Side of Capitalism (catalog essay for The Festival of Alternative Art Sudbury, 2016, forthcoming May 2018).

Deep Time, Radical Camping in Maggie Groat (Ed.), Almanac, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, June 2017.

Under the Freeway, a Forest: Some Notes on Trespassing (Curatorial Essay for Outdoor School exhibition at the Doris McCarthy Gallery, September 2016)

Pedagogies of Looking: An Interview with Kim Simon and Gabrielle Moser, C Magazine, issue 131, fall 2016.

The Shadow on the Glass: On Susan Dobson’s Viewfinder series, in “Viewfinder”, exhibition catalogue, Michael Gibson Gallery, 2014.

with Eugenia Kisin et al, Walking with Artists (on Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Eryn Foster, Hamish Fulton, Ayumi Goto, Germaine Koh, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Barbara Lounder, Zoë Kreye, Gwen MacGregor, François Morelli, Lisa Myers, Carmen Papalia, Alvis Parsley, Elinor Whidden) C Magazine, issue 121, Spring 2014.

Orienteering in the Museum: Hannah Jickling’s FEATURED FEATURES, The Yukon Arts Centre, 2015.

Residency for Artists on Hiatus: Interview with Shinobu Akimoto and Matt Matthew Evans. C Magazine, issue 119, Fall 2013.

From one thing to another, catalogue essay for “Under New Management: Video Rental Store”, curated by Suzanne Carte and Su-Ying Lee (ODD Gallery, Dawson City; New Gallery, Calgary; Access Gallery, Vancouver), 2013.

Infinite Surface: The Materiality of the Image in Else Marie Hagen’s The Visible, Gallery 44, 2012.

Professional Affiliations / Boards / Juries

National Advisory, C Magazine (2017 - )

Emerging Atlantic Artist Residency, Banff Centre for the Arts, February 2017

University of Guelph, external examiner, April 2016

University of Western Ontario, MFA critiques, December 2015

Director’s Advisory Group, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and University of Toronto Arts Centre, 2013-15.

Gallery 44 portfolio reviews, May 2014

Grants for independent critics jury, Canada Council for the Arts, May 2013.

OCAD University, Criticism & Curatorial Practice Awards Committee, Spring 2012

CARFAC Newfoundland and Labrador, provincial art writing awards jury, Spring 2011

University of Guelph, MFA critiques, December 2011

University of Toronto Department of Visual Studies, studio visits, February 2010