Food for Thought and Select Works

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 9:00am to Friday, November 8, 2019 - 6:15pm

This exhibition brings together a collection of oil paintings inspired by surrealist works with a contemporary exploration of meaning, intimacy and relationships. Ali Sheikh wrote:

This body of work sums up my first venture into oil portraiture. The series of three, inspired by surrealist works, explores the strange charm of a piece lacking context and the concept of finding meaning from nonsense, through dreamlike backdrops and hovering produce. Humidity aims to create an intimate, almost uncomfortable experience for the viewer, either provoking a sense of understanding with the subject or rather an awkward, claustrophobic feeling. The double portrait Affixed depicts two figures, partly converging, and is inspired by the relationship between how close one can be to another yet how little one may actually know about the other.

Venue & Address: 
Learning Zone, 113 McCaul Street, Level 1. Also accessible from 122 St. Patrick Street.
416-977-6000, ext. 2529
Five portraits combined in one image


Terry Shoffner has taught in the Illustration Program at the OCAD University since 1980. He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1971. In 1993 he received a Master's degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. His early work included Graphic Design and Television Art Direction. Over the past 40 years his work has appeared in magazines, books, advertising and design throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has worked for many major corporations and won numerous awards.

Face Forward

Friday, September 12, 2008 - 4:00am to Sunday, November 9, 2008 - 5:00am

This special exhibition features sixteen established and emerging
contemporary artists and their approach to the genre of portraiture.

Face Forward presents a selection of drawings, paintings, photography,
sculpture and mixed media works by Natalka Husar, Gordon Becker,
OCAD Professor Maria Gabankova, Olexander Wlassenko, Marianne Reim, Eliza Griffiths, Yin-me Yoon, Srdjan Segan, Deborah Colvin, Teodoro Dragonieri, Vincent Pietropaolo, Henry Regehr, Gili Cohen, Jenny Wing-Yee Tong, Victoria Cowan and Erik Jerezano.

Venue & Address: 
The Varley Art Gallery 216 Main St., Unionville, Ontario

Barbara Astman, Faculty of Art in "Portraits, self and others (it’s complicated)"

cropped photo of a woman in a black dress talking on a red telephone
Thursday, September 22, 2016 - 4:00am to Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 4:00am

Portraits, self and others (it’s complicated)

September 22nd and October 29th, 2016
Opening reception, Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00 P.M.

With the advent of the selfie and social media, portraits have become ubiquitous in contemporary culture. This has raised many questions about the nature of representing people in art. Many artists are now exploring the way in which identity is largely constructed through images and the complex relationship between the artist and the individuals they portray. This in turn raises important questions about how we define and visually represent “the self” and “the other” within the increasingly dynamic matrix of real and virtual social relationships.

This exhibition, which includes paintings, photographs, video and sculpture, examines diverse approaches to portraiture through the work of over twenty contemporary Canadian and international artists including: Stephen Andrews, Shuvinai Ashoona, Barbara Astman, Greg Curnoe, Colin Muir Dorward, Wyn Geleynse, Sky Glabush, Kirtley Jarvis, Jim Kost, Richard Hamilton, Jason McLean, Shelley Niro, Dennis Oppenheim, Gillian Saward, Becky Singleton, Gerard Pas, Jamie Q, Angie Quick, Michael Snow, Jeff Thomas, Joanne Todd and Joyce Wieland.

A highlight of the exhibition will be the first public display of internationally-acclaimed Canadian artist Tony Scherman’s recent portrait of former Western Chancellor Joseph Rotman (1935 –2015), the noted Canadian businessman and philanthropist. Rotman was the founder and benefactor of many successful organizations, including the Rotman Research Institute, the Rotman School of Management, and the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western.

Venue & Address: 
McIntosh Gallery Western University London, Ontario, Canada N6A 3K7
Tel: (519) 661-3181

26, Nicole Collins and Michael Davidson, present Melanie Janisse-­Barlow: The Poets Series

Photograph of the artist with multiple portraits hanging on the wall in the background
Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 6:00pm to Saturday, September 24, 2016 - 10:00pm

September 3, 10, 17, 24, 2016

Melanie Janisse-­Barlow:  The Poets Series

“The idea behind the Poets Series is to paint portraits of living poets and let each poet pick the next as a practice of practo-­poesis…I asked the poets who were picked if I could paint a portrait of them, and if they wouldn't mind selecting the next poet to add to the series...the beginning poets included other poets, and the archive began to grow, branch by branch into an emerging narrative of contemporary poetry.”


Join us, Saturdays in September to see the paintings completed to date, and to share some tea and poetry and casual conversation.

Saturday September 24, from 2 to 6pm, the Poets Read

Melanie and several local Poets featured in the exhibition will be on hand to give impromptu, unscheduled live readings from their works throughout the afternoon.

About the Artist:  Melanie Janisse-­Barlow is a poet and artist. Her first collection of poetry, Orioles in the Oranges (Guernica, 2009), was listed for the Relit Award, and her essay poems, Detroit, were listed in Best American Essays in 2013. Between a busy private commission schedule and the execution of larger projects such as the Ship of Fools Project (a painting installation on a sailboat), Guided (an installation in an abandoned apartment) and the Poets Series, Janisse works full time as a painter and installation artist in her hometown of Windsor, Ontario, and is completing her second poetry manuscript, Thicket. 26 Canadian Poets, which stems from her Poets Series project, is forthcoming from BookThug.

26 is a domestic viewing space for contemporary art in the Beaconsfield neighborhood of Toronto, Canada. A curatorial collaboration between artists Nicole Collins and Michael Davidson, 26 features an open program of diverse local and international artists and seeks to engage the viewer in a critical and relaxed experience with art.

Saturdays, 2-­6 or by appointment


Venue & Address: 
26 Mackenzie Crescent, Toronto, ON, M6J 1T1
416 346 3246

Sessional Instructor Ilene Sova presents: To Be

Portrait Painting of Alex Pangman
Saturday, April 2, 2016 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Sessional Instructor Ilene Sova presents:  To Be, an exhibition in partnership with the Ontario Gift of Life Network for organ donation awareness month

You are invited to the special reception for the opening of 'To Be' an exhibition in partnership with the Ontario Gift of Life Network for organ donation awareness month.  

Enjoy a wine reception with Ilene Sova in attendance along with the portrait subjects and their families, Saturday April 2nd from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

In partnership with the Ontario Trillium Gift of Life Network

Regular gallery hours -  Wed to Sat - 1 to 6 pm | or by appointment

For the past year and a half Ilene Sova has been working with the Ontario Trillium Gift of Life Network to create a portrait project around Organ Donation Awareness Month. This show will include 10 large scale portraits of both recipients and donors who's lives are affected by organ donation. Through this unique exhibition the Ontario Trillium Gift of Life Network would like to encourage Canadians to see the human stories behind the people who give and receive organs. To register to be an organ donor online click here.




Venue & Address: 
Walnut Contemporary 201 Niagara Toronto ON

Alumna Jen Mann wins $20,000 prize

Realistic painting of a woman in front of crumpled foil
Monday, November 16, 2015 - 6:45pm

The winner of the 2015 Kingston Prize for Canadian portraiture was announced at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery on Saturday November 14. The $20,000 prize, presented by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, was awarded by the jury to Jen Mann (BFA, Printmaking, 2009) of Mississauga, Ontario for the portrait entitled Self-Portrait as a Reflection.

Excerpt from the artist’s statement:

“The work deals with existential issues, specifically what makes something good or bad, who am I to you, and are we not the same thing inside. The painting from a distance looks hyper realistic, and in a sense it is, this realness is dealing with ideas of ‘what is reality’. When we look up close the painterly lines emerge and the piece looks more abstract, as the tinfoil devolves into geometric shapes.” Winners of the two Honourable Mention awards of $2000 each are Jessie Babin of Dalhousie, New Brunswick, and Leslie Watts of Stratford, Ontario. A total of 414 entries were received from all 10 provinces and one territory.

Jury members:

Stephanie Dickey, Professor, Bader Chair in Northern Baroque Art, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

Glenn Priestley, artist, Fredericton, New Brunswick

Tom Smart, Curator, Peel Art Gallery, Brampton, Ontario

The Kingston Prize has been held every two years beginning in 2005. The mandate of the project is to promote excellence in contemporary portraiture and to raise public understanding and appreciation of the work of Canadian artists.