Concert-goers party with Block Heads at WayHome festival

Block Head figure with fish tail
Blue Block Head character
Person taking photo of installation
Man hugging green blockhead
Yellow-haired Block Head
Block Heads installation
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 4:00am

A whimsical, experiential and interactive installation by five OCAD University students and alumni provided hugs, photo-ops and more than a few laughs to the 35,000 concert-goers at the inaugural WayHome Art & Music festival on July 24 to 26.

The installation, called The Block Heads, consisted of nine quirky characters some three metres tall with floppy arms, hair, fur and scales. Faculty of Design students and alumni, Ashley Mauerhofer, Kristin Ryan, Maeve Wallace, Sarah Eldershaw and Zeynep Sen, won first place in a joint Faculty of Design and Faculty of Art competition for their concept, receiving a prize of $5,000 and a budget of $18,000 to build the installation.

Set in the farmlands of Ontario’s Oro-Medonte township, WayHome featured 72 bands and musicians, including Neil Young, St. Vincent, Future Islands and Alt-J, alongside 15 visual artists.

Organizers say the festival will return in 2016 from July 22 to 24.


Recent OCAD U grads paint new mural linking two Toronto districts

Mural by Emily May Rose and Heidi Berton
Mural at University Triangle by Emily May Rose and Heidi Berton
Mural by Emily May Rose and Heidi Berton
Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - 4:00am

The Toronto Entertainment District Business Improvement Area (TOED BIA) and the Toronto Financial District BIA unveiled a multi-colored mural as a shared contribution to the aesthetic improvements to the retaining wall at the University triangle (University Avenue, Front Street and York Street). The mural spans over 470 square feet from the Front Street West base of the triangle.

With a commitment to maintain this triangle, the BIAs were faced with the challenge of combating a constantly tagged wall. The solution was to partner with OCAD University to commission two artists. Mural preparations commenced on June 15th under the skillful execution of Toronto based artists Heidi Berton and Emily May Rose.  Both are graduates of OCAD U’s Illustration program. The two muralists were selected through a juried process and are part of an ongoing collaboration between OCAD U and TOED BIA.  Dr. Sara Diamond, President, OCAD University, comments further by saying “We are excited to be working with the BIAs on this project together - this is a wonderful example of how the business community can work together to improve the public realm.”

Together, Emily May Rose and Heidi Berton have created mural art with humour and vibrant colours to brighten busy commuter mornings. The mural’s colour palette is bright and whimsical, strengthening a sense of the area’s hustle and bustle, as it is depicted throughout the mural’s design. For artist, Emily May Rose “Our concept was to take the idea of the train station being the hub of activity in the Front and University area by creating a motif of city transportation imagery, centred around a train track running throughout. Because the tracks have been a constant in the lives of Torontonians and commuters for many years, we wanted to show the evolution of how people continue to get around while the train tracks remain a staple.”

Councillor McConnell of Ward 28, states that “…We are pleased to see the ongoing beautification of a key entry point to two of Toronto’s most popular destinations: The Entertainment District and the Financial District. The City of Toronto is very thankful to have our BIAs working together in maintaining and beautifying this important parkette.”

Councillor Cressy of Ward 20, commented further by saying “…such a joint project as this is a prime example of bringing public art to this vibrant and busy area of Toronto while providing a fantastic opportunity for OCAD artists to showcase their talent.”

For Video footage click

About OCAD University
OCAD University is Canada’s university of the imagination. Founded in 1876, the University is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines.

About Toronto Financial District BIA
The Toronto Financial District BIA represents Toronto's premier business centre, an area that includes Union Station, the PATH underground walkway and Canada' s five major banks and most prominent firms. With a mandate to promote economic development in the area, initiatives include improving public spaces, showcasing the daily activity of our thriving businesses at and @MyTOFD, and identifying collaborative opportunities that ensure the Financial District and PATH are well-maintained, integrated, connected and accessible.

About the Toronto Entertainment District Business Improvement Area  Established in 2008, TOED's mandate is to promote, improve and preserve a dynamic area of Toronto. Benefitting from economic, environmental and social factors driving downtown growth, the Entertainment District is in the midst of a renaissance, firmly establishing itself as a thriving and vibrant district for living, creating, working and entertainment. From Air Canada Centre to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the Entertainment District includes many of Toronto's most iconic buildings. In the heart of the District is the CN Tower, Steam Whistle Brewing, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, MetroCentre, Rogers Centre, Roy Thomson Hall, Princess of Wales Theatre, Royal Alexandra Theatre and TIFF Bell Lightbox (

OCAD U alumnus named Best New Illustrator

Illustration by Hudson Christie of a male sitting on a toilet with genitals behind him
Monday, June 29, 2015 - 4:00am

At the 38th National Magazine Awards Gala, OCAD University 2014 Illustration Program Medal winner Hudson Christie was named Best New Illustrator in the Best New Creator category.

Hudson’s winning entry was an illustration for Maisonneuve’s article, A Portrait of the Artist with Testicles in Hand,” published mere months following graduation. Joining Hudson as one of the finalists shortlisted for the Best New Creator category was Min Gyo Chung (BDes, Illustration, 2014) for his illustration accompanying an article in Corporate Knights titled “Under the Climate," art directed by Jack Dylan (née Andrew Attard, BDes, Illustration, 2013).

In another category, Spot Illustration, the Silver Medal went to Joren Cull (BDes, Illustration, 2011), whose work was featured throughout the May issue of The Walrus magazine.  

The gala’s opening video features animations of Christie and Chung’s work.



CONTACT Photography Festival: Chris Curreri

Black and white image of clay
Friday, May 1, 2015 - 4:00am to Sunday, May 31, 2015 - 4:00am

As part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, acclaimed Toronto-based multi-media artist and OCAD U alumnus, Chris Curreri, is exhibiting striking photographs taken in 2013 while he was attending weekly clay classes at the Gardiner Museum. Curreri photographed the other students’ wet, discarded projects, capturing raw materials in different states: fresh and untouched clay; mounds of bowls and other objects; and the process of recycling this matter into new, usable material. The installation in the Museum Lobby, entitled So Be It, also features an ambitious new sculptural work by Curreri—his first piece of ceramic art. Resembling a pile of discarded vase forms, the sculpture measures eight feet long and is made from 800 lbs of clay. “It’s special to be exhibiting these photographs in the place where they were taken. It feels like they’re coming home,” says Curreri. “The sculpture was quite daunting because of its size, but I’m excited about the result. It expands upon the relationship between raw material, latency, and finality that’s introduced in the photographs.”

Some of the prints have a subtle solarization effect—a phenomenon in photography in which the image is wholly or partially reversed in tone by exposing the print to light during the development process. This process underscores a correspondence between the photographic darkroom and the pottery studio by emphasizing the brief moment where the image is still malleable and has yet to be fixed to the photographic paper. “Chris Curreri’s installation bridges the artistic visions of the Gardiner and the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival seamlessly,” says Kelvin Browne, Executive Director and CEO of the Gardiner Museum. “The works explore the potential of clay as both an artistic medium and as a beautiful and dynamic photographic subject matter.”

Chris Curreri studied photography at Ryerson University before completing a master’s degree at Bard College. He has exhibited locally and internationally, and his work is included in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO); the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University; Hart House, University of Toronto; TD Bank; and Royal Bank of Canada. He was shortlisted for the 2014 Sobey Art Award.

Visitors to the Gardiner can experience Chris Curreri: So Be It free with regular admission. 

About Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is an annual event in May with well over 1500 Canadian and international artists and photographers exhibiting at more than 175 venues throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Founded as a not-for-profit organization in 1997 and now a charitable organization, the Festival is devoted to celebrating, and fostering the art and profession of photography, through a diverse range of programmes. As a leading proponent of photography, the Festival increases exposure and recognition for local, Canadian and international artists and is committed to advancing knowledge, creativity and innovation in photography. It stimulates excitement and discussion among a diverse audience that has grown to over 1.8 million. CONTACT is the largest photography event in the world, and a premiere cultural event in Canada.

IMAGES: Untitled (Clay Portfolio), 2013, gelatin silver print, 7 3/4 x 5 3/4 in., from a portfolio of 21 images

Venue & Address: 
Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen's Park Toronto

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  

Fall in Art

Image of poster with an orange slice at the top
Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 12:00am to 2:00am

What better way to spend a Saturday evening at a contemporary art show in a cozy & friendly café/ gallery/ vinyl record store?

Come for the artworks. Stay for the celebration! With work by OCAD U alumnus Rob Collinet.

Whether you are an artist, an art enthusiast, or a fan of art shows, this is an event for you! Come and meet the artists!

Venue & Address: 
Cabin Fever 1669 Bloor Street West
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Q: Are you an undertaker? A: No Q: Are you a service provider? A: Yes

Image of carved human forms in relief
Friday, November 7, 2014 - 5:00am to Saturday, November 29, 2014 - 5:00am

Work by OCAD U alumna Amanda Nedham

Opening Reception: Friday, November 7, 6 to 9 p.m.

Primarily concerned with the various taxonomic functions of history, Nedham’s works on paper exhibit a technical proficiency and enamoured exploration of natural history’s complex and overlapping structures. Through a process of abstraction based on the collaging of drawings, largely from television and internet sources, she attempts to focus on those moments that create tension as they challenge the governing voice of history. Nedham is the winner of the Ontario College of Art and Design’s Printmaking Medal. Her work has been ehibited in Toronto, Florence, and New York.

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday: 11 to 6 p.m.


Venue & Address: 
LE Gallery 1183 Dundas St. W. &nbsp;


Image of a small doll covered in beadwork
Friday, October 24, 2014 - 4:00am to Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 5:00am


Opening: October 24, 6 to 8 p.m.


Recast suggests the changing of roles often associated with theatre or film, or the remaking of something. This exhibition presents Christian Chapman’s video collaboration and Bev Koski's photographic series to consider how meaning shifts with the recasting of narrative and objects. Chapman invites Sébastien Aubin’s and Caroline Monnet’s media art collective AM, filmmaker Marja Bål Nango, and artist Nathan Young to join him as each edits super eight footage of a self-taught Woodland painter living in the bush. This experiment of outcomes reveals multiple roles of an artist. Koski's photographs of tourist kitsch figurines peering out from under beaded covers creates new personas for caricature depictions of Indigenous North Americans. These larger than life portraits give new meaning to the objects they represent, performing new roles and declaring an unexpected presence.

Co-presenter and commissioning partner: imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival 



Bev Koski is an Anishnabekwe artist who lives in Toronto. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and has a BFA from York University. Koski was involved with 7th Generation Image Makers, an art and mural programme for Indigenous youth run by Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. She currently teaches beading at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, among other places. She is a constant beader and occasional artist.


Christian Chapman is of Anishnaabeg heritage from Fort William First Nation. His interests include painting, printmaking and film. Chapman uses storytelling as a main theme in his practice to compose his images. The act of storytelling has been an important part of his life: it has informed him of his culture by shaping his identity and personal experiences.

Collaborators for Edmazinbiiget:

With a Bachelors of Fine Arts (major in Graphic Design) from the University of Québec, Sébastien Aubin has worked for Kolegram, one of the most prestigious graphic design studios in Québec, and has since shaped his professional career as a freelance graphic artist. Aubin has done publications for numerous artists, organizations and art galleries in Winnipeg, Montréal and Ottawa, including Plug In ICA Close Encounters, the next 500 years, Terrance Houle, KC Adams, Carleton University Art Gallery, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and Art Gallery of South Western Manitoba. Aubin is one of the founding members of the ITWÉ collective that is dedicated to research, creation, production and education of Aboriginal digital culture. Currently based in Montréal, QC, Sébastien Aubin is a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba.

Nathan Young is a multidisciplinary artist working in the mediums of film, documentary, animation, multi-media installation, and experimental and improvised music. Young’s filmmaking focuses primarily on health and social issues in American Indian communities and his films have screened in international film festivals as well as having been featured in the National Geographic All Roads Film Festival and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Film + Video Festival. He received his Bachelors degree in art history from the University of Oklahoma. Nathan is of Pawnee, Kiowa and Delaware decent.

Caroline Monnet (1985) is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist of Algonquin ancestry from Outaouais, Québec. Her work demonstrates a keen interest in communicating complex ideas around Indigenous identity and bicultural living through the examination of cultural histories. Monnet has exhibited in Canada and internationally in such venues as the Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and Haus der Kulturen (Berlin) for the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid, Toronto International Film Festival, Aesthetica (UK), Cannes Film Festival (not short on talent) and Arsenal (Montréal). Monnet lives in Montréal and is also a founding member of the Aboriginal digital arts collective ITWÉ.

 Marja Bål Nango is an Sámi artist and filmmaker from Galgujávri in Norway. Nango attended Nordland College of Art, Film and Film & Television studies in Lillehammer University College and studied film producing at Sámi University College. During Riddu Riddu Indigenous Festival 2011, she was the young artist of the year, with a solo-exhibition of art and her own film program. In 2012, Her short film for children, Juletrollet (The Christmas Troll) was purchased by The Norwegian Film Institute and screened in children’s short film program at cinemas all over Norway. She is now working on two different film projects with a three year film grant, a documentary project and a longer film script.



Lisa Myers is of Anishnaabe ancestry from Beausoleil First Nation and the Georgian Bay region. She grew up in Milton, Ontario. Myers earned her Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University and continues her research as an independent curator. Myers has curated exhibitions at the MacLaren Art Centre and the York Quay Centre at Harbourfront in Toronto. She lives and works in Toronto and Port Severn, Ontario.

Venue & Address: 
Gallery 44 401 Richmond St. W. Suite #120

Patient Files- exhibition by IAMD alum Andrew Zealley

Image of sticks with the ends painted black
Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 6:00am to Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 5:00am

Opening reception January 16, 8 - 11 PM

Exhibition of work by IAMD 2013 alumni Andrew Zealley

exhibition and mobile clinic | january 16 through 26 | wednesday through sunday | noon to 5 pm | opening on full moon January 16 from 8 to 11 pm

Venue & Address: 
Greenbelt Gallery, 77 Florence St., Toronto, Ontario

Soft Spin

People dancing with long, brightly coloured dresses in large atrium.
Monday, June 2, 2014 - 4:00am to Friday, June 20, 2014 - 4:00am

Performance June 5th 12:30pm

With choreography by Andrea Nann, Dreamwalker Dance Company
Produced by Emma Mackenzie Hillier, Nightswimming Theatre
Music by Radiant Brass Ensemble

Exhibition of work by Graduate Studies Alumnus Heather Nicol

Soft Spin offers a fresh view of the hard-surfaced symmetry of the space with the playful interruption of five enormous fabric forms, gently twirling overhead. Colour, texture, movement, and decidedly flirtatious forms invite visitors to look up and embrace the unexpected, highlighting the ever-present potential for encounters with unforeseen pleasure and drama in the day-to-day.

Venue & Address: 
Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place 181 Bay Street Toronto, Ontario