Onsite Gallery wins two prestigious OAAG awards

Eight people in group portrait
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Onsite Gallery took home two awards at the Ontario Association of Art Galleries gala on November 19. These juried awards recognize artistic merit and excellence in exhibitions, publications, programs, and community partnerships produced by Ontario's art galleries.

Onsite Gallery won in the following categories:

Innovation in a Collections-Based Exhibition
raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000-2015)

Education Award
raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000-2015) Education Guide

Congratulations to exhibition curator Ryan Rice, Associate Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Francisco Alvarez, Dorene & Peter Milligan Executive Director, OCAD U galleries, and the team at Onsite Gallery for their tremendous work in bringing the exhibition to life.

raise a flag encompassed works from a national heritage collection representing First Nations, Inuit and Métis art. Housed in Ottawa, managed by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the Indigenous Art Collection is one of the most important and comprehensive art collections of contemporary Indigenous art in Canada and beyond. The exhibition focused on recent acquisitions to the collection, obtained from 2000 to 2015, which chronicle recent significant national narratives reflecting upon Canadian heritage, diversity and collective memory.

OAAG received 177 nominations from 34 galleries and art institutions. This is the 41st edition of the awards program highlighting the key achievements of the year among OAAG members, curators, art professionals, collectors, and the entire visual arts community.

Onsite Gallery is OCAD University’s professional gallery and experimental curatorial platform for art, design and digital media. Serving the OCAD U community and the general public, Onsite Gallery aims to foster social and cultural transformations. 


Robert Sangster (designer), Lisa Deanne Smith (Curator, Onsite Gallery) Linda Columbus (Programs Coordinator, Onsite Gallery), Jason Baerg (artist and faculty member), Caroline Langill (interim Vice-President, Academic), Farah Yusuf (writer), Francisco Alvarez (Executive Director, Galleries System), Ryan Rice (Curator, raise a flag)



You're Welcome

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 11:00am to Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 5:00pm

A Space Gallery
401 Richmond St. West Suite 110
November 6th-December 9th, 2018

Opening reception: Friday, November 9th 6pm-8pm

The welcome mat, a rug that is placed on the ground in front of one's home, is repurposed by Indigenous artists, Jason Baerg, Ange Loft, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, and Logan MacDonald as a metaphorical device to innitate and locate narratives to place. For You're Welcome, the mat becomes the site of contemplation to address shared spaces, Indigenous presence, the colonial affect and personal/collective relationships to land. Each artist activates their mat as a means to contemplate and illustrate the discourse around land acknowledgement and protocols, which recognizes stewardship, ownership and hints of hospitality. 

Drawn from creative expression and curatorial practise bearing in mind mediative actions, Land is Where Your Feet Touch the Ground (#LIWYFTTG) is a curatorial investigation led by Ryan Rice to examine forms of visual literacy to place through lived experience and collective mappings. You're Welcome is framed as a tangible collective work developed for #LIWYFTTG and is about listening, lookinh, imagining and locating the stories the land will tell us through interpretations by Indigenous artists who navigate Tkaronto on a daily basis.

Communal Biography

Ange Loft, Jason Baerg, Logan MacDonald, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, and Ryan Rice are creative minds who embody the diversity Indigeneity offers. Individually and collectively, they activate and centre themselves on the land - in life, love, creation, and community. 

#LIWYFTTG is supported by the Toronto Arts Council with funding from the City of Toronto.

Venue & Address: 
A Space Gallery 401 Richmond St. West Suite 110
Close up shot of Porcupine Quills sticking out of a brown door mat

OCAD U’s INVC program hosts Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership meet-and-greet

Ryan Rice, Associate Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School with participants. Photo by Martin Iskander.
Friday, November 9, 2018

OCAD U’s Ryan Rice, Associate Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, formerly Delaney Chair, along with The Inuit Art Quarterly/Inuit Art Foundation (IAF), hosted a meet-and-greet with partners of the Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq/Pijariuqsarniq Project.

The project is a partnered research training initiative (PRTI) that will support Inuit students studying to become academics and cultural leaders working to build capacity for Inuit to work in the arts.

INVC/OCAD U and IAF are the Toronto partners in the project. Two Master of Arts Indigenous students from OCAD University  ̶  Emma Steen and Adrienne Huard  ̶  have been hired as research assistants for the project.

Led by a group of Inuit advisers, this project seeks to address the longstanding absence of Inuit leadership across the humanities by establishing a culturally, socially and geographically relevant PRTI to provide meaningful opportunities for education and advancement. Pilimmaksarniq/ Pijariuqsarniq are the Inuit societal values of developing skills and knowledge through "observation, mentoring, practice, and effort."

The meet-and-greet included all of the partners working on the research project and upper administration, deans, chairs and Indigenous faculty.

Participants at INVC meet-and-greet. Photo by Martin Iskander.

Camille Isaacs and Ryan Rice receive 2018 BLG Faculty Equity Awards

Dr. Gillian Siddall and Eric Roher presenting Camille Isaacs and Ryan Rice with the BLG Faculty Equity Award
Monday, June 18, 2018

OCAD University is proud to announce that Assistant Professor Camille Isaacs and Ryan Rice, Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture are this year’s co-recipients of the BLG Faculty Equity Award.

The BLG Faculty Equity Award, sponsored by Borden, Ladner & Gervais (BLG), recognizes distinctive and outstanding work in teaching, pedagogy, research or creative work and service in advancing OCAD U’s mandate in fostering an inclusive, equitable and diverse learning environment inside and/or outside the classroom.

Dr. Camille Isaacs teaches in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Her teaching load regularly includes courses in Postcolonial Literature, Diasporic Literature and Caribbean Literature where she “privileges the margins” to allow students to pair their own life-experiences and cultures with the literary material under discussion. This directly corresponds to her own significant research practice focusing on the Black Atlantic Region, as well as her work as the chair of Black History Month festivities, where she actively supports students’ success as they prepare for exhibits, workshops and conferences each February.

As the co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Under-representation of Indigenous and Racialized Faculty and Staff, Dr. Isaacs has been instrumental in ensuring the implementation of a ground-breaking initiative. In the words of one nominator: “It is significant that Dr. Isaacs has a 360-degree commitment to her work of increasing visibility and facilitating inclusion of black, Indigenous and racialized faculty [and her] overarching commitment to seeing equity enacted at OCAD University through her service, research and teaching makes her a strong candidate for the BLG Faculty Equity award.”

Ryan Rice is serving his second three-year term as Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture (INVC), which includes teaching, administration, management and researching responsibilities. He has made great strides in strengthening and advancing the INVC BFA program, while establishing an inclusive Indigenous Students Centre for support and services while also contributing to committees, consultations and development opportunities. These have included the Presidential Task Force on Underrepresented Racialized and Indigenous Faculties, the Education and Employment Equity Committee and OCAD U search committees. Throughout the year, Ryan continued to program documentary series Culture Shiftsand hosted the final two Nigig Artists-in-Residence, while also participating in the Provost’s Indigenous Learning Task-Force and the hiring of the university’s Indigenous cluster hire.

As a leader within the field of Indigenous art and curatorial practice, Ryan recently curated an exhibition entitled raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000-2015)at Onsite Gallery. Intended to create a discourse that spoke to equity through the visual voices held within a national collection, Ryan held workshops, hosted artist talks, conducted forty-one group tours and created a corresponding Education Guide. One nominator wrote, “The impact of Ryan’s research and creative work in curating raise a flagand its public program were imperative to contributing new knowledge of human rights, equity and social justice issues.” 

The pair were publicly celebrated for their achievements by BLG representative Eric Rohrer and OCAD University President Dr. Sara Diamond at Convocation on Tuesday June 12, 2018 at Roy Thomson Hall.

Couzyn van Heuvelen chosen for George Reid House project

Portrait of a young bearded man, Couzyn van Heuvelen
Monday, April 30, 2018 - 12:45pm

OCAD University is pleased to announce that it has commissioned artist Couzyn van Heuvelen to create permanent artwork that will embed Indigenous presence within the historic George Reid House.

Recently longlisted for the Sobey Art Award, van Heuvelen is an Inuk artist born in Iqaluit, Nunavut, living in southern Ontario. His work explores Inuit culture and identity, new and old technologies, and personal narratives. He holds a BFA from York University and an MFA from NSCAD University.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with OCAD U,” says van Heuvelen. “I will be creating a series of carved stone slabs which respond to Inuit stonecut printmaking and will highlight the associated studio processes. The work will call attention to Inuit art making, and contribute to making an Indigenous presence visible at the university."

“Van Heuvelen’s work will draw from the rich cultural history born from the establishment of printmaking co-ops in the North that catapulted Inuit art into global appreciation,” says Ryan Rice, Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD U. “The work acknowledges Inuit art history, a significant component of Canada’s national identity, and represents the unique studio process and practice that OCAD University affords.”

In February, the university issued a call to Indigenous artists and designers to submit proposals for artwork to be permanently installed in the refurbished George Reid House, the first campus for what was then the Ontario College of Art. The building is undergoing renewal as part of the university’s Creative City Campus project, and funded by the Government of Ontario (through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development Capital Support Program and the Government of Canada through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (through the Federal Development Agency for Southern Ontario).

A jury of six reviewed the submissions:

  • Ryan Rice – Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture
  • Bonnie Devine – Associate Professor
  • Gerald McMaster – Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice
  • Brian Porter –Two Row Architect
  • Duke Redbird – Elder
  • Aylan Couchie – IAMD Graduate student

Van Heuvelen will work with members of the jury throughout the summer, with the final artwork set to be officially unveiled in Fall 2018.








NOW Magazine calls raise a flag one of 2017’s 10 best art shows

Woman looking at a photo of a woman lying down with fringes on her back
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The inaugural exhibition in Onsite Gallery’s luminous new space at 199 Richmond St. W. has been declared one of Toronto’s top ten exhibitions this year:

“Raise A Flag: Works From The Indigenous Art Collection (2000-2015), Onsite Gallery at OCADU (September 16-December 10) In the refurbished gallery, OCADU Indigenous visual culture chair Ryan Rice brought together selections from the federal government’s Indigenous art collection, a 50-year-old program at Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development that hires First Nations curators to acquire artworks that are rarely exhibited. The show highlighted the ongoing cultural strategies Indigenous artists have used in a variety of media to insert their stories into the colonial narrative and keep their creative spirits alive.”

– Fran Schechter, NOW Magazine







Raise a Flag

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 1:30pm

Barry Ace, Sonny Assu, Carl Beam, Christi Belcourt, Rebecca Belmore, Christian Chapman, Dana Claxton, Ruth Cuthand, Wally Dion, David Garneau, Tanya Harnett, Faye HeavyShield, Greg A. Hill, Mark Igloliorte, Jimmy Iqaluq, Elisapee Ishulutaq, Alex Janvier, Piona Keyuakjuk, Myra Kukiiyaut, Rachelle Lafond, Jim Logan, Kayley Mackay, Qavavau Manumie, Ohotaq Mikkigak, Lisa Myers, Nadia Myre, Marianne Nicolson, Lionel Peyachew, Tim Pitsiulak, Annie Pootoogook, Barry Pottle, Pitaloosie Saila and Tania Willard.


raise a flag presents selected works from a national heritage collection representing First Nations, Inuit and Métis art. Housed in Ottawa, managed by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the Indigenous Art Collection is one of the most important and comprehensive art collections of contemporary Indigenous art in Canada and beyond. In light of and in tandem with Canada’s 150 commemorations, raise a flag represents alternative discourses and uncovers missing narratives from the framework of a national identity. The works in raise a flag focus on recent acquisitions, obtained from 2000 to 2015, which chronicle recent significant national narratives reflecting upon Canadian heritage, diversity and collective memory.


Also on view is For This Land: Inside Elemental featuring Jackson 2bears and Janet Rogers.


Education Guide

An Education Guide to accompany raise a flag is available online as a free PDF. This interpretive document is written and developed by Farah Yusuf and has been designed to enrich the visitor's experience of the artworks in the exhibition, and aid in interpreting the meaning of Indigenous art forms in the context of tradition, contemporary art and today’s society. The Guide is available online here.



Venue & Address: 
Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond Street W.

Onsite Gallery Opening draws more than 1000!

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in front of gallery
Monday, September 18, 2017

On Saturday, Sept. 16, OCAD University’s flagship professional gallery, Onsite, threw its doors open to the public for the first time at its new location, 199 Richmond St. W. Over a thousand visitors toured the gallery and celebrated at the outdoor street party, featuring Indigenous performers including Long Branch, Charlena Russell and DJ Classic Roots. The party was MC’d by Amanda Parris, host of CBC Arts program Exhibitionists.

The gallery’s two powerful inaugural exhibitions are raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000-2015) curated by Ryan Rice, Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD U, and For This Land: Inside Elemental featuring 2Ro Media: Jackson 2bears and Janet Rogers. The exhibitions are on display through December 10, 2017.

Elder Duke Redbird opened the event with an Indigenous land acknowledgement. Member of Parliament Adam Vaughan (Spadina-Fort York) and City Councillor Joe Cressy made remarks before the ribbon-cutting, joining President Sara Diamond and Francisco Alvarez, the Dorene and Peter Milligan Executive Director of OCAD U’s Galleries System, who spoke about the importance of Onsite both to the OCAD U community and to the residents of Toronto.  

Onsite Gallery gratefully acknowledges that its construction is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Canada Cultural Spaces Fund at Canadian Heritage; the City of Toronto through a Section 37 agreement with Aspen Ridge Homes. Gallery furniture is provided by Nienkämper.

raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000 – 2015) is produced with the support of the Collection of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, courtesy of the Indigenous Art Centre; Our Children's Medicine program and its HigherMe youth hiring platform; the Canada Council for the Arts; the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council; the Indigenous Visual Culture Program at OCAD University; and the Delaney Family Foundation.

For This Land: Inside Elemental is presented with community partner imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and supported by Nexus Investment Management.




Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 6:45pm

Indigenous Visual Culture at OCADU in partnership with Culture Shifts (OCAD U’s Documentary Series) and Vertical Features (Ryerson University) present a screening of;

[it shines a certain way. to a certain place/it flies. falls./]

Wednesday, September 27
6:45 – 9pm
Room 190 (Auditorium), 100 McCaul, Toronto, ON

The free public screening will be followed by a Q&A with the directors in conversation with artist Bonnie Devine, INVC program founder and OCAD U Faculty.

Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil’s new film re-imagines an ancient Ojibway story, the Seven Fires Prophecy, which both predates and predicts first contact with Europeans. A kaleidoscopic experience blending documentary, narrative, and experi...mental forms, INAATE/SE/ transcends linear colonized history to explore how the prophecy resonates through the generations in their indigenous community within Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With acute geographic specificity, and grand historical scope, the film fixes its lens between the sacred and the profane to pry open the construction of contemporary indigenous identity.

INAATE/SE/ premiered at the closing night of MoMA's Doc Fortnight last February and has been playing at festivals across N. America. We're planning a tour of the film this fall at universities, micro-cinemas, and community organizations in and around the Great Lakes. 

“OCAD’s Culture Shifts presents documentary media as a catalyst for critical discussions and community action for social change”

“Vertical Features is a film series at Ryerson U with hopes to promote vital non-fiction film and video that has had little or no Toronto exposure, including documentary, essay films, hybrid experiments, and artists’ moving image, placing contemporary films in dialogue with historical rediscoveries.”

trailer: http://www.inaatese.com/trailer/

The program is supported though the Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD U.

Venue & Address: 
Room 190 (Auditorium), 100 McCaul, Toronto, ON