Artist Talk by Ed Pien

Friday, November 30, 2007

Instructor Luke Painter invites all students to join his class "Professional Practice for Printmakers" on November 29 at 7 pm for an artist tak by Ed Pien.
Known for his drawings and large-scale installations, Ed Pien's work arises from the spaces between mythology and fairy-tales, fiction and fact. Though no specific references are being made, his work alludes to both contemporary and historical events in various cultures. The strange and hybridized figures that appear in his work metaphorically represent sites of difference and resistance. Through his art Pien explores and confronts our collective fears and vulnerabilities.
Ed Pien received his BFA from UWO and MFA from York University. He has exhibited nationally and internationally in venues that include The Drawing Centre, New York; The New Paradise, Taipei; La Biennale de Montreal; W139, Amsterdam; The Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; The Canadian Culture Centre, Paris; Middlesbrough Art Gallery, UK; Parkhaus, Berlin; Quartair, The Hague; and Canada House, London. His most recent installation is presently being presented at the Bellevue Arts Museum, in Bellevue, Washington.
Pien teaches part-time at University of Toronto and OCAD.

Venue & Address: 
Auditorium 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

Artist Talk by Martin Kersels

Martin Kersels
Thursday, November 8, 2007 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Martin Kersels is the co-director of the Program in Art at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)
and a Los Angeles based artist who works in sculpture, audio, photography and performance. He has had solo shows in New York, Los Angeles, Bern and Paris. His work has also been included in numerous group shows, such as 'Departures: 11 Artists at the Getty,' 'Young Americans 2', at the Saatchi Gallery and the 1997 Whitney Biennial. His work is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Norton Family Collection.

Venue & Address: 
Auditorium 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

Street-level art: Hadley+Maxwell on icons, time and sculpting for the public sphere

Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens — professionally known as the dynamic artist duo Hadley+Maxwell—live in Berlin, Germany, and exhibit their integrative, 3D work all over the world. In early spring 2016, they delivered an artist talk at OCAD University, where their thoughts on employing diverse media to rework iconic images and traditional forms galvanized my interest. That first encounter with Hadley+Maxwell’s energetic blending of pop culture, politics, history and aesthetics left me craving more.

Most recently, Hadley+Maxwell have ventured into the public domain with their latest project Garden of Future Follies. This major public art commission is installed along Toronto’s waterfront (Front St. E. and Bayview Ave., North-West corner)

Hadley Howes casting To Serve and Protect
Hadley Howes casting To Serve and Protect
Photo by: Cristina Saban

The Garden of Future Follies is “based on the idea of the fanciful gardens and landscape ornaments of 18th- and 19th-century France and England,” explain Hadley+Maxwell. In this project, the artists deploy their signature Cinefoil process, which entails pressing a thick aluminum-foil material against an object to take its shape.

The overarching goal of the Garden of Future Follies is to bring aspects of public works down to street level. In this way, audiences can engage with past histories and reconfigure “reified ideologies” expressed within public works to present a new way of thinking and living.

Hadley+Maxwell and artist assistant Alex Achtem casting the iconic fireplace at Osgoode Hall Library
Hadley+Maxwell and artist assistant Alex Achtem casting the iconic fireplace at Osgoode Hall Library
Photo by: Sara Malabar

Individually titled Modern, Memorial, Atlas, Caryatid, Gargoyle, Threshold and Monument, each piece of their installation serves as a physical remix or mash-up of what has come before, and presents itself as the new ideal, not only within the art world but within Toronto’s larger social and cultural makeup. Expected to be completed in May 2016, the 190 aluminum impressions are currently in their final stages of being cast in bronze, polished, treated with patina and fitted with posts for installation. 

Recently, I drove out to Artcast — a premiere art foundry in Georgetown — to see how Hadley+Maxwell’s project is progressing and to gain more insight into how these artists shifted their thinking in order to create for the public sphere. Here is part of our conversation.

Time and space

Jill Price (JP): Up until this project you have been working within the gallery system. What have you had to think about differently while creating an installation that many people will interact with each day?

Hadley Howes (HH): We learned that we were more nervous than what is warranted. We expected many more restrictions. Time also became a bigger concept: regardless of the work now being constructed in bronze, the question arises, what does permanence really mean? Deterioration is still a time-based process; we are just dealing with a different variation of longevity in this case.

Maxwell Stephens (MS): Even the process became an organic research project about what is a successful public art project. We had to consider engineering and aesthetics simultaneously, safety, sharp edges, pinching, etc. We also needed to think how the context around the work might change.

Interpretation and aesthetics

JP:  Did you have mentors that you could turn to during this process?
HH: We approached and looked to creative people who have had experience working on this scale and in this realm. Dan Young, Ed Pien, Antonia Hirsch, Liz Magor and Fast Worms are all artists who we looked to for their sense of play. We also looked at the work of architects such as Carson Chan and Alex Schwader (a New York architect who has become an artist and has translated his practice from interior to public spaces).
MS: Historically, we also looked to great old-school public art by artists such as Picasso, Jean DuBuffet and Alexander Calder. They all considered surface versus interior; abstraction; adaptation; the difference between back and front; and the aesthetics and politics of collage.

Hadley+Maxwell contemplating the addition of a lion door knocker to balance the columns of Gargoyle
Hadley+Maxwell contemplating the addition of a lion door knocker to balance the columns of Gargoyle
Photo by: Jill Price

Public-sphere art

JP: Have there been benefits to working with extra parameters or expectations?
HH:  Overcoming or working on the temptation to be swayed by public opinion has demanded a lot of personal growth. When we realized there would be an overwhelming expression of public opinion, I had to ensure that I became very centred, developed a real conviction about our work and did not give in to the ego stroking or breaking that can happen when exposed to the public sphere.
MS: I have been excited to be able to make this work and take up the challenge to make for a broader public who are incredibly intelligent. The project has also served as a natural extension of our past projects, and has helped us continue our learning process as artists. Additionally, we became very excited when we saw some real opportunities for additional process or abstraction at the wax stage of the mould-making process.

Material language

JP: Do the two of you ever arrive at an impasse and, if so, what strategies do you use to move through those moments?
HH: Pouting! (LOL) We typically put everything on the table—historical context, constant questioning. If we are butting heads, it may be because we aren’t listening to the material and its history.
MS: We do take informal timeouts, but often the last word goes to the third element, the material. We share a respect for the material we are working with, whether it is the language of a poster or the aura of bronze.

Interpretation, interaction, integration

JP: Knowing that your works will be venerable, what do you worry about most? 
HH: I think my greatest fears are indifference, static interpretation, no interaction, no questioning.
MS: I find all forms of interaction exciting! I can’t wait to see how they will become integrated into the community and how they will be utilized or altered in different ways.

Advice for new public-commission artists

JP: What would be one piece of advice you would offer to artists who want to venture into the world of public art commissions?
HH: Do not think that you can do it on your own. Budget for help in your proposal. Also, immerse yourself in your making! We don’t really value traditional research methods, but we learned more than we ever expected simply through direct interaction with the sculptures.
MS: Yes, throw yourself into the material process and the ideas and meaning will follow. We had more people come up and teach us about what we were working with than we could have ever imagined. 



See more of Hadley + Maxwell’s work online, and follow the Garden of Future Follies on Facebook.


Jill Price is the curator and education officer at Quest Art in Midland, Ontario. She is currently a student in OCAD U’s Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design (IAMD) MFA program.

Jill Price
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OCAD University Presents: The Conversationalists III

Poster for the Conversationalists III, text on pastel background with coloured shapes
Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 11:00pm to Friday, April 22, 2016 - 1:00am

OCAD University Presents:  The Conversationalists III

Pamila Matharu: Artist / Educator / Cultural Producer
Emily Norry: Student
Tough Guy Mountain: Artist Collective

The Conversationalists is a series of talks, performances, presentations and chatter that hopes to explore the notions of ‘social change’ and ‘social innovation’ within the arts and education. A five-part series, The Conversationalists III will offer varying insights into supports, challenges, warnings and ambivalences when applying pedagogical frameworks towards social change. What is Social Change? How can Social Innovation exist in the arts? What is the artist’s role? This is where we start.

Pamila Matharu
Pamila is an artist, educator and cultural producer, based in Toronto. In her practice; she varies from installation, ephemera, analog media, artist-organizing/curating, to more recently; socially-engaged art in a teaching studio. Over the last 20 years, she has made contributions and gestures by contributing and collaborating on in artist-run culture projects such as the critically acclaimed Come Up To My Room: The Gladstone Hotel’s Alternative Design Event.

Emily Norry
Emily is an OCADU student studying Drawing and Painting with a Minor in Art and Social Change. Part of Emily's practice focuses on the queering and reframing of art history. By providing alternate images, presentations and lectures to the accepted academic canon of art history Emily is working to provide models of education and history that provides information that is inclusive of the diversity of artists practicing today. Emily is on of the 2016 winners of the Big Idea Fund micro grant and will be putting on more events to explore diversifying art history.

Tough Guy Mountain
Tough Guy Mountain is a post-capitalist, economic science-fiction about a company that exists in a separate dimension where it creates brands and then sells them to companies, causes and individuals. It has been operating as an artist collective in Toronto since 2012.

Space is limited: e-mail in order to reserve a seat! Or pick up tickets at the door.

For further information contact:

Coordinator, Impact Exchange
Centre For Emerging Artists and Designers

The Impact Collective is a social innovation project at OCAD University. Learn more at


Venue & Address: 
Scrap Metal Gallery, 11 Dublin St. Toronto, ON Lost?

Hadley+Maxwell Artist Talk

Thursday, March 31, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm


March 31, 2016

12:00 PM

Room 320, 205 Richmond

Please join us for an artist talk by acclaimed Canadian artists Hadley+Maxwell. Currently based out of Berlin, Hadley+Maxwell’s installations, performances and writings employ diverse media to rework iconic images and traditional forms as they are expressed in pop-cultural, artistic and political movements. They cut into reified narratives via direct touch, transposition and refiguration, putting into play the absences cast in relief.

Hadley+Maxwell have been collaborating since they met in Vancouver, Canada, in 1997. Public presentations of their work have included solo exhibitions at Artspeak (Vancouver), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), Kunstverein Göttingen (Germany), Smart Project Space (Amsterdam), and Project Art Centre, Dublin, and group exhibitions at galleries and festivals including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Kunstraum München, the Power Plant (Toronto), the National Gallery of Canada, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, La Kunsthalle Mulhouse (France), Witte de With (Rotterdam), the 4th Marrakech Biennale and the 19th Biennale of Sydney.

This Spring, the artists will unveil a major new public sculpture commission entitled The Garden of Future Follies at Front and Bayview in the Lower Don Lands.

This talk is presented by the Office of Graduate Studies at OCAD University.

Venue & Address: 
Room 320, 205 Richmond Street West
416-977-6000 X4366
HADLEY+MAXWELL poster with event info

Why is ceramic art making a trendy comeback?

Award-winning ceramic artist Steven Heinemann talks about why ceramic art is making a popular comeback. Learn more about studying ceramics in OCAD U's Material Art and Design program. 

Embed Video: 

Chris Thomaidis

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 11:30pm to Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 1:30am

Photographer Chris Thomaidis will give a talk on photography.
All are welcome.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Auditorium - Room 190
Man looking into a jet engine

Indigenous Visual Culture Nigig Visiting Artist Residency - Artist Talk with Michael Belmore

Sculpture of a face
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Indigenous Visual Culture hosts artist Michael Belmore, INVC Nigig Artist in Residence, for an artist talk during their weekly Buffalo Stew Lunch.

The Nigig Visiting Artist Residency, hosted by the Indigenous Visual Culture Program at OCAD University, is a new program that provides an opportunity for an Indigenous artist to visit OCAD University for a 3-week period to focus on a short-term project and explore in a collaborative environment, issues impacting their work. The visiting artist will engage and interact with students and faculty in the capacity of mentorship, critique, lecture and a public workshop / demonstration. The Nigig Visiting Artist Residency supports the dynamism located in Indigenous contemporary art practice and is a tremendous educational opportunity for the artist and students.

Michael Belmore is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and graduated with an A.O.C.A. in sculpture/ installation from the Ontario College of Art & Design in 1994. Belmore's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in the permanent collections of various institutions and numerous private collections. His most recent exhibitions include Land, Art, Horizons, North American Native Museum, Zurich, Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art at the Peabody Essex in Salem, MA, Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, an international exhibition of contemporary indigenous art in Winnipeg, MB and HIDE: Skin as Material and Metaphor at the National Museum of the American Indian – George Gustav Heye Centre in New York.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD U Student Gallery 52 McCaul Street Toronto ON M5T 2W7

Shelley Niro: Seeing Through Memory - Artist Talk and Book Launch

Black and white photograph of female forms
Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 11:00pm to Friday, February 6, 2015 - 2:00am

Co-presented by the Indigenous Visual Culture program and the Visual & Critical Studies program, OCAD University is pleased to launch Madeline Lennon's Shelley Niro: Seeing Through Memory (Blue Medium Press, 2014). Published as part of the Canadian Artist Monograph Series (CAMS), this book is the first illustrated study of the work of this important First Nations artist in Canada and includes an interview with Niro.

Shelley Niro's artist talk begins at 6:30 pm
followed by the book launch and reception at 7:30 pm

Image caption: Shelley Niro, Flying Woman #7, 1994

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul, Room 187
Open and free to the public.

Artist Talk: Christopher Stevenson

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 10:30pm

Talk Photography & Workshop

Christopher Stevenson has been working in advertising and editorial photography. He had worked with clients such as The Bay, BMW, Capezio, Davids, Holt Renfrew, Toyota, Elle Magazine, Fashion Magazine, Toronto Life, Mclean's Report on Business, etc.

Venue & Address: 
Central Hall 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario