GradEx 102 attracts record crowds

Group of medal winners with Chancellor Kiki Delaney and President Sara Diamond
Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Cool, rainy weather did not stop more than 45,000 people from attending this year’s Graduate Exhibition from May 3 to 7. Over 10,000 visitors attended opening night, where they explored the work of some 900 graduating students.

In her remarks on opening night, Dr. Sara Diamond, president and vice-chancellor, OCAD University, commented on the remarkable contribution of its 2017 exhibitors: “Our graduates can become the highly qualified problem-solvers and creative makers that our diverse and complex world needs. Art, design and design thinking represent an approach — a way of enhancing everyday life based on expanding our capacity to imagine, to consider challenges from every angle and to produce tangible results. These are fundamental tools needed to resolve the grand challenges of the 21st century.” 

In the midst of opening night festivities, OCAD U medal winners were honoured by their families, friends and special guests at Celebrate Excellence, a private reception celebrating their accomplishments. Guests paid tribute to 22 medal winners, who are masters of technique and creativity while also being high academic achievers.

Elisha Lim, a graduate medal winner for Criticism and Curatorial Practice, reflected on the inspiration of her fellow medalists in her speech: “I’m proud to stand amongst my fellow graduates because all of us are skilled and talented, but what sets us apart and makes us OCAD’s medalists is our determination to use our education in service of a better future.”

Undergraduate medal winner for Advertising, Justin Platnar, spoke poignantly about his ambitious plans, as a teen, to attend OCAD U:  “Every week I dreamt that, someday, I could go to school in that magical box in the sky… So here I am, all these years later, surrounded by the most talented and encouraging individuals that I’ve ever had the good luck to meet.”

The whirlwind five-day exhibition ended with a delightful visit by Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, for a special tour. OCAD U’s GradEx 102 also raised over $10,000 through visitor donations.

Visit our Facebook page for more photos. 


Lieutenant Governor Dowdeswell and Sara Diamond
Women talking in front of banners of medal winners' work

OCAD University invites you to celebrate the Class of 2017 at GradEx 102!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The exhibition, from May 3 to 7, takes place in three buildings across campus: the landmark Sharp Centre for Design at 100 McCaul St., and across the way at 113 and 115 McCaul St.

“This is a joyful time of year at OCAD University, when we welcome our local community to visit our campus and experience the immense talent of our graduating students as they prepare to set out for careers as creative professionals, researchers and entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor. “Our graduates are problem-solvers, risk-takers, collaborators and flexible thinkers and makers who will bring the transformative power of art and design to whatever field they choose.”

One graduating student in each program is awarded the OCAD University Medal in recognition of their creativity, innovation, mastery of technique and high academic achievement. This year, 22 medals will be awarded undergraduate and graduate students who excelled in their programs.

Undergraduate Medal Winners:

  • Advertising – Justin Platnar
  • Graphic Design – Tucker McLachlan
  • Illustration – Andrew Watch
  • Environmental Design – Shahrzad Nasiri
  • Industrial Design – Martin Luu
  • Material Art & Design – Mary K. McIntyre
  • Digital Futures (co-medallists) – Parth Soni and Sally Luc
  • Visual & Critical Studies – Sylvia Evans
  • Criticism & Curatorial Practice – Tori Maas
  • Cross-Disciplinary Art: Life Studies – Renee Hayward
  • Drawing & Painting – Tia Cavanagh
  • Integrated Media – Sid Tangerine
  • Photography – Aaron Moore
  • Printmaking – Jana Ghalayini
  • Sculpture/Installation – Maha Khan

Graduate Medal Winners:

  • Interdisciplinary Masters’ in Art, Media and Design – Annette Mangaard
  • Digital Futures – Fusun Uzun
  • Strategic Foresight and Innovation – Ryan J. A. Murphy
  • Inclusive Design – Elizabeth Morris
  • Criticism and Curatorial Practice – Elisha Lim
  • Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories – Émilie Uzoma Jacob

GradEx 102 runs Wednesday, May 3, through Sunday, May 7.

The public is invited to attend opening night celebrations on Wednesday, May 3, from 6:30. to 11 p.m.* Admission is free.

A variety of student works will be available for purchase at feature sales from programs such as Photography and Printmaking.

For details and a complete event schedule, visit or download the free smartphone app with information on wayfinding, exhibitors, medal winners and more at .

OCAD University’s annual Graduate Exhibition is generously supported by Presenting Sponsor Mercedes-Benz Financial Services; Lead Event Sponsors Delaney Capital Management and First Capital Realty; Event Sponsor Borden Ladner Gervais LLP; Broadcast Media Sponsor CP24; and Media Sponsor Metro News.

Congratulations on a record-breaking GradEx!

The 102nd Graduate Exhibition attracted a record 45,000 guests, a nearly 20% increase over 2016, with over 10,000 visitors attending opening night! 

Donovan Tapunha

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GradEx IAMD Students featured by Toronto Star

illustration of people and artworks
Friday, April 28, 2017

The work of two IAMD MFA candidates is featured in this week's Toronto Star, representing the cultural diversity and variety of work produced by the OCAD student body.

Thomas Haskell's thesis work Mas-Queer-Raid is a collection of sculptures "that are inspired by the folklore of the annual carnival showing his multi-faceted heritage" as a European creole born and raised in Trinidad. More on his work can be found online:

Mariam Magsi's thesis work Purdah is focused on imagery of Muslim identity and expression specific to the practice of women wearing burkas. Speaking to her work, Magsi states that "'Photography has the power for social change and it can shift perceptions'...adding that she hopes the storytelling and images can inspire viewers to question their own assumptions and biases against women in burkas." More on her work can be found online:

These two students, along with 10 others in the IAMD program, are exhibitiing artwork in OCAD University's 102nd Graduate Exhibition, a five day cross-campus exhibition of the work of more than 900 undergraduate and graduate students.

Artwork by all participating IAMD students is on view in GradEX from May 3 - 7, 2017 in the Ada Slaight Gallery on the second floor at 100 McCaul Street.

GradEx opening hours:

Opening Night Celebration Wednesday, May 3, 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Thursday, May 4, 9:30 a.m.– 8 p.m.
Friday, May 5, 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 6, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 7, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The full Toronto Star article can be read online here:

More on the Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design program:

OCAD University's 102nd Graduate Exhibition (GradEx)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 - 6:30pm to Sunday, May 7, 2017 - 5:00pm

This year, GradEx is a five-day exhibition spread across three buildings on campus including the iconic Sharp Centre for Design. The university will throw open its doors, inviting the community to see works by the creative minds of OCAD U’s Class of 2017.

Students from undergraduate and graduate programs will show their final thesis work to an audience of more than 40,000 guests, some of whom attend the show to recruit new talent for their own galleries and firms.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St. 113 McCaul St. 115 McCaul St.
Gradex 102 Poster

Industrial Design Online Fundraiser

Friday, April 7, 2017 - 3:45pm

Fourth Year Industrial Design Students at OCAD University have an ongoing online campaign to help them fund this year's GradEx.


You can support this/see more here.

Embed Video: 

Alumni Lounge at GradEx

Alumni Lounge at GradEx 2017
Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 11:00am to 5:00pm

OCA/OCAD/OCAD U alumni are invited back to campus on May 6 for the 6th annual Alumni Lounge at GradEx.

Come enjoy catered refreshments and a comforting space to take a break from the hustle and bustle of GradEx. Meet and mingle with fellow alumni from across departments and the decades. There will be kid-friendly activities available. We'll also have members of the volunter-run Alumni Association so you can meet them and learn more about how to get involved as a volunteer.

**New location for 2017** Please note we'll be in Room 284 (Level 2) at 100 McCaul.

Please note that while this event is complimentary, registration is required via the secure link above in order to enter the Alumni Lounge.

Alumni Lounge at GradEx is presented by OCAD U Alumni Relations with generous support from TD Insurance.


Venue & Address: 
Room 284, 100 McCaul Street Toronto ON

Are you ready for GradEx?

In case you missed it, OCAD U’s GradEx Information Package has everything you need to know to succeed