O-DAYS! OCAD Artist Alley

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 11:00am to 5:00pm

Need new paintings or sculptures to decorate your room? Maybe a one-of-a-kind jacket, or a custom ring? Some prints, zines, or stickers?

This event is open to the public so come by and support local artists!
**Remember to BRING CASH as most artists do not have card readers**

We'll be revealing Artist Profiles leading up to the event... Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/ocadartistalley/

The OCAD Artist Alley is a student initiative, in collaboration with OCAD U Campus Life and O-Days! 2018, to give students and alumni across all programs the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work.

Poster art by Becky Wu.

Eventbrite link: (coming soon)*: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/ocad-artist-alley-2018-tickets-49075457013 
*Tickets NOT needed for entrance.

VOLUNTEER! Or ask Questions:
Please contact: ocadartistalley@gmail.com

Venue & Address: 
OCAD U's Butterfield Park, 100 McCaul Street
Artist Alley poster

Thinking Through Craft and the Digital Turn

Thinking Through Craft and the Digital Turn is an ongoing research project.

Notions of craft and working by hand are inextricably linked in the popular imagination. Yet today's craft studios feature technological innovations such as 3D printing, laser cutting and computerized textile machinery. Students, faculty and technicians, in university studio departments, develop and explore the relationship of handwork to digital technologies daily. This study focuses on questions of how digital technologies intersect and combine with traditional, mechanical and hand fabrication processes, particularly the possible affordances of digital technology through embodied learning, a pedagogy of the whole body not just the intellect. The discourse is complex, however, autonomy and agency---the control of creative methods and output through materiality, tools and process---are central concerns in craft methodology. We interrogate the concepts of re- and deskilling as they pertain to craft and the digital turn.

In 2016, a study titled Craft, Pedagogy and the Digital Challenge sought to consider the place of teaching and learning digital craft at OCAD University from the perspectives of faculty, staff, and technicians. It identified the challenges of merging traditional techniques with the digital tools within an institution and finding ways of improving the gap between students, faculty, staff, technicians, and their work. OCAD Faculty, staff, and technicians who teach and facilitate traditional and digital craft methods provided insight and their perspectives through interviews.

Project Team:

     Dr. Lynne Heller (Material Art & Design) - Principal Investigator
     Dorie Millerson (Chair, Material Art & Design) - Principal Investigator
     Claire Bartleman - Graduate Research Assistant
     Ellie Manning - Undergraduate Research Assistant and Videographer
     Enna Kim - Undergraduate Research Assistant
     Keiko Hart - Research Assistant

Summary of study:

This research was inspired by the teaching environment of the Material Art and Design program, which includes the study of ceramics, jewellery and textiles practices. Research questions included, "What is the relationship between craft making traditions and the advent of advanced digital tools, and what are the pedagogical implications of that confluence"?

A number of faculty, staff and technicians who teach or facilitate digital craft methods were asked to participate in an interview for the Thinking Through Craft and The Digital Turn project. After consenting to participate in an interview and video, participants were given a list of questions in advance. Questions asked participants to discuss experiences in learning and teaching digital craft methods with reference to how they set goals or evaluate digital processes and what they see as the future of digital craft teaching. During the interviews PIs Heller and Millerson encouraged participants to answer or expand the questions in their own ways, which led to a variety of findings.

During the interviews RA Ellie Manning documented audio and visual material to create a video that was used in part to frame the presentation at the Canadian Craft Biennal (CCB) Conference on September 15th, 2017. In addition to the video, RA Claire Bartleman and PI Lynne Heller created a Research Wall in the host lab, the Data Materialization Studio. The Research Wall facilitated a visual and research-creation approach to the data collected and the theoretical stances being explored.

After the interviews, the research team chose a quote from each interview that best represented its participant. Quotes were then incorporated into posters designed by PI Lynne Heller. The posters were hung in the entrance to OCAD U during CCB conference proceedings. The intention in documenting and attributing quotes was to give a voice to the participants and draw attention to the findings of the project. The posters utilized a suffrage banner format as a framing device (based on the poster Standing Together ... by the National Women's Party, 1913-1920, as photographed in the exhibition Agitprop! at the Brooklyn Museum in 2016 by Alex Kittle).

The CCB Conference was well-attended and Hands on the Tech: Craft, Pedagogy and the Digital Challenge was scheduled for the session "Making Education: The Changing Nature of Teaching Craft", which was facilitated by PI Dorie Millerson and included papers from across the world. Heller and Millerson summarized their findings through the video, which was followed by a PowerPoint presentation. Afterwards, in a lively Q&A session, members of the audience asked questions about approaches to intersectional feminism within this context. The CPDC team described teaching practices that encourage students to investigate their own identities through their work and commented that there is an unequal gender representation in Material Art & Design that should be better understood and discussed. 

Moving forward, the Thinking Through Craft and The Digital Turn team is engaging student voices and collecting the findings, along with theoretical analysis, into an edited anthology focused on the relationship between teaching and learning digital craft. In order to expand the research across Canada the team has also applied for an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

The research team realizes the world of digital craft is a complicated topic that requires more time to theorize than simply referring to the binaries of digital and analogue. The team believes in providing a voice to OCAD U faculty, staff and technicians and is looking forward to extending this opportunity to students. The Principal Investigators are developing more research with the Faculty and Curriculum Development Centre along with pursuing more funding to augment this initial pilot project.

Click here to view the Craft, Pedagogy and the Digital Challenge video recorded and edited by Ellie Manning, Undergraduate Research Assistant.

A note on the Posters: The quotes that appear on the posters below were developed from each of the inverviews undertaken and include two quotes from the Principal Investigators. The posters were an amalgam of both digital and analogue techniques. The banner image is based on the sufragette banner Standing Together ..., by the National Women's Party, 1913-1920 (as photographed by Alex Kittle in the exhibition Agitprop! at the Brooklyn Museum, 2016). The quotes were 'typeset' in Photoshop and then the posters were printed in black and white. Researchers then hand-coloured the posters using pastels.

The posters are currently being exhibited in OCAD U's Office of Research and Innovation and Faculty and Curriculum Development Centre.

Photograph of CPDC posters exhibited on a wall at OCAD U.
Photograph of PIs Dr. Lynne Heller and Dorie Millerson and Head of Instructional Services Daniel Payne in front of a poster.
Poster reading "Beautiful expensive machines are pretty useless if people do not know how to use them" - Nick Hooper
Poster reading "I like working with the malfunctioning of a computer as the focus of investigation" - Stan Krzyzanovski
Poster reading "It is rare that you just push a button and the hand is not further involved in the making" - Marie O'Mahony
Poster reading "Materiality is the message" - Lynne Heller
Poster reading "Machines do not run themselves" - Laurie Wassink
Poster reading "Whether it is digital or analogue the subjectivity of the maker is paramount" - Kathleen Morris
Poster reading "The digital privileges the design process over making" - Dorie Millerson
Poster reading "The digital calls into question the whole meaning of craft" - Greg Sims
Poster reading "The term rapid prototyping is somewhat of a misnomer" - Darrell Currington
Poster reading "How can we use this technology but make it human" - Chung-Im Kim
Photograph of Lynne Heller and Dorie Millerson speaking about their research to faculty and students at OCAD U
Photograph of viewers examining the hung posters
Saturday, January 26, 2019 - 10:30am
Lab Member: 
Lynne Heller
Dorie Millerson

Canadian Craft Biennial

Canadian Craft Biennial
Friday, September 15, 2017 - 8:30am to Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 5:00pm

Aligning with Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Biennial will serve as a spotlight to celebrate and educate the public and craft professionals alike about the importance that Craft plays in our everyday lives. The biennial will provide historical contextualization of Canadian craft practise and offer critical insight into its future.


Canadian Craft Biennial Conference Can Craft? Craft Can!

September 15 and 16, 2017
Burlington and Toronto


Eleven sessions, covering a variety of themes and approaches will be presented by forty-four scholars and makers from around the world.

September 15: Holiday Inn Burlington, 3063 S Service Rd, Burlington, ON, L7N 3E9

September 16: OCADU, 100 McCaul St. Toronto, ON M5T 1W1


Registration ends September 14. 

For more information about the Exhibitions and the full program please visit CanadianCraftBiennial.ca

Venue & Address: 
Holiday Inn Burlington, 3063 S Service Rd, Burlington, ON / OCAD University, 100 McCaul

Materializing the Philippines: Piña Textiles, Nationalism and Border Zones of Cultural Production

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 10:00pm

The sale of handmade objects -- “ethnic or tourist arts” -- has become an important source of income for artisans in many communities in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. A variety of products speaking of their national or cultural identity, change hands in complex, multistranded commodity chains that ordinarily link artisans from these communities to consumers, often from the upper and middle classes, of the United States, Canada, Europe and parts of the Global South. The trade in such objects ranges from inexpensive, functional souvenirs to a new breed of “high ethnic art” objects. Drawing on the contemporary production of
goods and clothing made from piña (pineapple) cloth, a textile distinctive to the central Philippines, this paper explores the alternative strategies that artisans and designers use to enter this global trade more on their own terms. Artisans may craft a “this plus that” sort of construction -- the “this” of global modernity plus the “that” of timeless indigenous tradition. Scholars and the public often decry such
crossing of aesthetic boundaries as indicative of cultural contamination.

This lecture argues that such cultural graftings, or border zones of production, celebrate negotiated meanings and the ongoing oscillations in objects that make and remake material relations between people, things and national and personal identities. In so doing, the lecture reflects critically on the taken-for-granted categories of “tradition,” “authenticity” and “high or low ethnic art”.

B. Lynne Milgram is Professor of Anthropology in the Faculty of Liberal Studies at Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, Canada. Her research on material culture and on gender and development in the Philippines analyzes the cultural politics of social change with regard to fair trade, microfinance and women’s work in crafts, street vending and the secondhand clothing trade (the latter between the Philippines and Hong Kong). This research is published in edited volumes and in journals including Human Organization (2001), Anthropologica (2004), Asian Studies Review (2005) and Urban Anthropology (2005, 2008). She has co-edited (with K. Grimes) Artisans and Cooperatives: Developing Alternative Trade for the Global Economy (2000) and (with R. Hamilton) Material Choices: Refashioning Bast and Leaf Fibers in Asia and the Pacific (2007). Her forthcoming (2008) co-edited book (with K. Browne) is titled Economics and Morality: Anthropological Approaches.

Venue & Address: 
Institute of Advanced Studies; University of Western Australia 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Australia

GLXY Crafts Pop Up

Sunday, April 3, 2016 - 4:30pm to 10:30pm

Come out and support 3rd year MAAD students and the Pop Up Shops they are launching across the city from Friday through Sunday. These pop up events are student projects that are part of the MAAD Professional Practice course.

GLXY Crafts Pop Up
Join us and experience an OUT OF THIS WORLD one day only pop up shop! Become a part of all that is galaxy related in the form of handmade jewellery, textile and ceramic crafts created by OCAD University design students.


Venue & Address: 
Wonderworks 25 Baldwin Street
GLXY CRAFTS poster with event info and illustration of outer space with stars and planets

Shannon Stratton speaks on the DIY MFA and conceptions of craft at OCAD University

Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm


Stratton is a founder and Executive Director of Threewalls, a Chicago based not-for-profit for the presentation of contemporary art and ideas. Established in 2003, Threewalls has grown from a start-up exhibition space to a vital visual arts organization supporting contemporary art through solo exhibitions, residencies, grants, publications, conferences and commissioning programs. 

Stratton writes, curates exhibitions and other experimental projects, and relishes opportunity for administrative and pedagogical experiments. In 2010 Stratton was named one of the top 5 most vital people in the visual arts in Chicago by NewCity. In 2011 she was a fellow of the NAMAC Visual Arts Leadership Institute and a finalist for the Chicago Community Trust Emerging Leader Award. Stratton was 1 of 9 leaders in the arts featured in the Chicago Tribune 2011 Chicagoans of the Year. In 2013 Newcity named her one 50 "Visual Vanguards."

Stratton teaches in Art History, Theory & Criticism and Fiber & Material Studies departments at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was appointed Critical Studies Fellow at The Cranbrook Academy of Art for fall 2012. In 2013 she was a recipient of the Alberta College of Art Board of Governors' Alumni Award of Excellence.

Shannon Stratton’s visiting lecture has been co-sponsored by the Faculty of Art and the Faculty of Design.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University Room 1516, Level 5, 113 McCaul St.

Craft Awards Ceremony 2013

 Craft Awards Ceremony 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 11:30pm

Save The Date! Material Art & Design alumni Annie Tung, Fillipa Pimental, Heba Kandil and faculty Megan Price

Every year recipients of the Ontario Crafts Council awards program are honoured with a special event: the Craft Awards Ceremony. It's a night dedicated to makers and objects, and to celebrating the very best of contemporary craft.

Please join us in finding out who of the below 2013 award recipients has won which award, and to celebrate their achievement!

Special thanks to this year's jury: Beth Alber, Brad Copping, Lars Dressler, Noa Bronstein, Sarah Quinton, Steven Heinemann and Susie Osler.

We couldn’t make this program possible without the generous support of so many donors, and we’d like to extend our deepest thanks to the following organizations and people: RBC Royal Bank, the OCC Volunteer Committee, the One of a Kind Spring Show & Sale, Kingcrafts, The Pottery Supply House, Tuckers Pottery Supplies Ltd., the Women’s Association of the Mining Industry of Canada, A & M Wood Specialty Inc., Lacy and Co. Ltd, and the Copeland, Walker, Gregor, Yung, McPherson, Robertson and Diamond Butts families.

2013 Craft Award Recipients:
Aaron Oussoren
Amanda McCavour
Annie Tung
Bettie Cott
Chiho Tokita
Dayna Gedney
Grace Eunmi Lee
Filipa Pimentel
Heba Kandil
Janet Macpherson
Jennifer-Lyn Fife
Jie Yang
Kate Jackson
Lana Filippone
Lizz Aston
Meghan Price
Rachael Wong
Roger Wood
Tomas Rojcik
Vanessa Yanow

Refreshments will be served with a cash bar
Dress: Business/formal

RSVP to awards@craft.on.ca






Venue & Address: 
Edward Day Gallery 952 Queen Street West Toronto, Ontario