2016 Sculpture/Installation Thesis Exhibitions' Series: Spolia by Rouzbeh Akhbari

Image of a building
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 5:00am to Saturday, March 12, 2016 - 5:00am

Spolia: Rouzbeh Akhbari
March 2 to March 12, 2016
Opening: Thursday, March 3, 6 - 9pm
Wed to Fri, 10 am – 6 p.m.
Sat, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Within the domain of architecture, Spolia refers to the practice of repurposing ancient building stones for new construction or monuments. Similarly, In the field of forensics, Spoliation refers to the destruction or material alteration of evidence, or to the failure to preserve property for another’s use as evidence, in pending or reasonably foreseeable litigation. This exhibition aims to bear witness and trace the declaration and demise of twenty nine shipping skids as vernacular institutional stabilizers for the Art Gallery of Ontario and Bank of Nova Scotia.

OCAD University's Sculpture/Installation Program is presenting a series of seventeen exhibitions featuring the multi-media artworks of its 4th-year Thesis students in professional galleries in Toronto. This series is made possible by the generous support of the Nora Vaughan Bequest to the Sculpture/Installation program and of the Faculty of Art Innovation Fund.


Venue & Address: 
BIRCH CONTEMPORARY 129 Tecumseth Street
Image of a building
Image of a building
"All at Once" text on grey background

University community mourns the passing of developer Al Green

Monday, February 22, 2016 - 7:15pm

The passing on January 21 of businessman, philanthropist and artist Al Green was met with sadness by the OCAD U community, made bittersweet recently with news of increased support for this year’s Al and Malka Green Award. The award was established in 2000 to fund a top graduating student in OCAD U’s Sculpture/Installation program. Mr. Green was himself a sculptor, opening the Al Green Sculpture Studio School (also in 2000) and donating studio space over the years to struggling artists. That the award will increase in amount for Spring 2016 is incredibly meaningful, and allows the university to celebrate the legacy of a man described by Rabbi Michael Dolgin as “a force of nature.” For more on the remarkable life of Al Green, read the Toronto Star obituary.


Environmental Design team creates Beaches Winter Station

Rendering of a wooden installation on a snowy beach
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 9:15pm

OCAD University professor Mark Tholen and a team of students are building an installation for the city’s whimsical Winter Stations exhibition in the east-end Beach neighbourhood. This is the second year lifeguard stations will be transformed into interactive, sculptural shelters for winter beach-goers.

The OCAD U installation, called The Steam Canoe, is made of laminated wood panels that evoke the shape of the prow of a canoe. Solar tubes at the rear of the shelter will convert snow into steam which will flow from the structure while warming the occupants inside. 

Team members:

  • Mark Tholen, Assistant Professor, Environmental Design
  • Curtis Ho
  • Jungyun Lee
  • Monifa Onca Charles
  • Reila Park
  • Hamid Shahi
  • Lambert St‐Cyr
  • Jaewon Kim
  • Jason Wong 

Ryerson University and Laurentian University are also participating, with another four designs chosen from 378 submissions.

The exhibition opens February 15 and runs through March 20 at the Balmy, Kew and Ashbridge’s Bay beaches.



artpark Residency - June 2015 - Ryan Pechnick (MFA '16)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 4:00am

Ryan Pechnick (MFA '16) was selected as the representative for OCAD U at the WARP program. During his time in Lewiston he created a large sculptural project with scorched wooden timbers arranged in a semi-circle, in addition to several “wrapped” boulders with burlap and rope throughout the park. The projects created by Ryan and the other WARP student-artists will remain on-view through to Fall 2015 and possibly beyond. Reflecting on his work at the closing, Ryan remarked that the project was “the best thing [he’s] ever made”.

Founded in 1974 in honour of Robert Smithson, Artpark is a 150-acre parkland which features year-round arts programming. The WARP program was initiated in 2015, allowing 5 MFA candidates from Yale, SUNY Buffalo, Virginia Commonwealth University, OCAD University, and RISD to take part in an immersive 3-week residency where the student-artists lived in the community and created public projects on the Artpark grounds. This was a fully-funded program, with room/board, transportation, materials, artist assistant/technician support fully covered.

Incoming IAMD graduate student wins First Capital Realty Public Art competition

Image sculpture by David C. Salazar titled One-and-All, squirrel with giant acorn
Image sculpture by David C. Salazar titled One-and-All, tower of acorns
Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 4:00am

David Constantino Salazar (BFA, 2007), a graduate of OCAD University’s Sculpture & Installation program, is the winner of the 2015 First Capital Realty Public Art Competition.

Salazar’s sculpture, One-and-All, is intended to be cast in bronze and will be installed in Georgetown, Ontario. Situated on the Credit River and part of the Niagara Escarpment, Georgetown has a thriving wildlife ecosystem. Salazar says he chose to represent the community conservation areas and diverse businesses by using symbols of local wildlife, a squirrel and dove alongside an enormous acorn (representing prosperity).

Twenty-one proposals were received from students in the Faculty of Art, the Faculty of Design, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies, as well as submissions from recent OCAD U graduates. All of the shortlisted submissions will be on display in the Transit space for the duration of OCAD U’s 100th Annual Graduate Exhibition (April 29 to May 3, 2015).

Members of the jury:

  • Anda Kubis, Associate Dean, Outreach & Innovation, Faculty of Art
  • Alex Correia, Corporate Administrator, First Capital Realty
  • Erica Segal, owner of the Julie M. Gallery
  • Colette Whiten, Sculpture & Installation faculty, OCAD U (retired)
  • David Pelletier, Sculpture & Installation faculty, OCAD U (retired)

Associate Professor Francis LeBouthillier was the faculty coordinator for the competition, while Professor Eldon Garnet integrated this initiative into the curriculum of the Sculpture & Installation Public Art course.

In September, Salazar will begin his studies towards a Master’s of Fine Art in the Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design (IAMD) program in September 2015.

First Capital Realty, Canada’s leading owner, developer and operator of supermarket- and drugstore-anchored neighbourhood and community shopping centres, has made a substantial commitment to sponsoring this public sculpture competition which is open to third- and fourth-year OCAD U students as well as recent graduates. As this year’s winner, Salazar will receive a $5000 prize and First Capital Realty will cover the cost of fabrication, site preparation, transportation and installation of his sculpture. In addition, each of the shortlisted finalists will be awarded $350 for the production of a model, plus assistance from an OCAD U digital technician to create a professional 3D rendering of their models in situ for presentation.



Work by Hazel Meyer
Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 5:00am to Thursday, January 8, 2015 - 5:00am

RBC Emerging Artists Project, Featuring work by:

  • Michelle Forsyth, Associate Professor, Faculty of Art
  • Anda Kubis, Associate Dean, Outreach and Innovation, Faculty of Art
  • Hazel Meyer (MFA, Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media & Desgn, 2010)
  • Lisa Myers (MFA, Cricitism & Curatorial Practice, 2011) and Writing and Learning Consultant (Aboriginal Student Support)
  • Alex McLeod (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2007)
  • Franco Arcieri, thesis student in Sculpture & Installation
  • Rebecca Ladds (BFA, Printmaking, 2014)

Gallery Hours: Thursday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Image: Hazel Meyer
Photo: Janick Laurent

Venue & Address: 
The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre (Gallery Level) 189 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1M4
<p>(416) 314-2901</p>

Janet Bellotto: Oscillating Between Waves & Reflections

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 6:00pm to 7:15pm

A Contemporary Sculpture/Installation Shortlist Public Lecture

Janet Bellotto is an artist and educator from Toronto who splits her time between teaching in Dubai as an Associate Professor and Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises at Zayed University, United Arab Emirates. She is also the Artistic Director for the 20th International Symposium on Electronic Art.

Her practice encompasses sculpture, installation, photographic processes, video, and performance, which she also uses to engage in projects that promote cultural exchange. Water, documented events and personal narratives are elements that have shaped Bellotto’s work. Her work has been exhibited in a variety of collective, group, and solo exhibitions, as well as in international art fairs. Select exhibitions include: Residuals of Gravity, CDA Projects, Istanbul, Turkey; Nile Blue, Red Head Gallery, Toronto; Aquatica, Harvey Nichols, Dubai; The Lure, De Luca Fine Art Gallery, Toronto; 2010 – 12th Cairo Biennale, Cairo, Egypt; and Drowning Ophelia, Stratford Gallery, Stratford, ON.

Venue & Address: 
Room 1525 113 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario


Shannon Lea Doyle at Grad Ex 2013. Photo by Christina Gapic.
Video image still from Shannon Lea Doyle's project, Crowds and Collisions. Image by Shannon Lea Doyle.

Shannon Lea Doyle’s medal award-winning project, Crowds and Collisions is a multimedia work that explores moments of connection and distance between individuals. Here’s how she describes it:

My thesis is a series called Crowds and Collisions that includes performance, collage, and beaded sculptures. The work centres on the role mediation and memory play in the perception of events, both removed and intimately experienced. I argue for the multiplicity of truth. A sense of suspension permeates the work. I never pin down an answer, instead the work illuminates the ways in which we don’t know. Images of groups are the connective tissue of my work — I see in them as an opportunity to consider oppositions such as merger and distance, cohesion and fragmentation. My thesis aims to engage the viewer by prompting doubt.

What inspired you and motivated you to do this project?

Images from the newspaper as well as amateur video footage of “breaking news” became the roots of this series. Specifically images of protest, disaster and football motivated my thinking. 

What part of the process of creating this project did you learn the most from?

I learned continuously during the past year, but an awareness of that knowledge came after exhibiting the work. 

What part of the process of creating this project are you the most proud of?

I am proud that the process is not over for me. 

How did you react to the news that you won a medal for your work?

I was disoriented. I got lost on my way to the Faculty of Art Office to pick up information about Grad Ex.

What’s your fondest memory from your studies at OCAD U, and what will you miss the most?

My fondest memories are of my wickedly smart classmates, I will miss working alongside them so often. 

What are you planning to do next? 

I am preparing work for a couple of shows this summer and working in the design stream of Soulpepper Theatre Company’s Academy. 

Find out more about Shannon Lea Doyle:



Alex Beriault at GradEx 2014. Photo by Christina Gapic.
Images from Alex Beriault's "Head Study" work from The Study Series.

Alex Beriault’s medal award-winning work combines performance and sculpture in unconventional yet inviting installations to create an often confrontational experience she shares with audiences. Here’s how she describes it:

For my thesis, I produced a body of work entitled The Study Series. Often using myself as a subject of study, these works consisted of two performative installations, a video installation and a photographic series.

My final work, "Head Study," was a durational performance that entailed a kinetic sculpture attached by a harness to my head. The motor of the sculptural apparatus generated slow, repetitious movements that were echoed through the direct connection to my body. "Portrait Study" became a photographic continuation of "Head Study," placing myself into the role of the photographer while taking long exposure portraits of different individuals within the machine.

What inspired you and motivated you to do this project?

One of the books I read for my thesis research included Craig Owens’ The Anti Aesthetic: The Discourse of Others. In it, Owens states that “suddenly it becomes possible that there are just others, that we ourselves are an ‘other’ among others.” I thought this was beautiful.

For the past few years I have been working as a professional art model, and this job as a study also positioned me as a very blatant other. The vulnerable nature of a model’s nakedness usually operates in tandem with a physical proximity: this socially shields the model from the artists, and vice versa. It is this precarious situation between intimacy and distance that I believe to be applicable to all human relationships. I wanted for my work to expose the viewer’s awareness to this, forcing them to re-evaluate their behaviours within the space my performance dominates.

What part of the process of creating this project did you learn the most from?

There were several new processes that I embarked on this year, such as video, photography and mechanics, all of which were heavily equipped with their own unique technical challenges.

That being said, because my work is performative in the final outcome, very significant realizations occurred during my performances, mostly within the moments shared between the viewer and myself. Depending on the situation, these experiences felt collaborative, almost like a choreography between two dancers who were meeting for the first time.

What aspect of this project are you the most proud of?

I experienced the very rewarding opportunity to perform my piece, "Head Study" in my solo thesis exhibition at Katharine Mulherin’s No Foundation Gallery. That was my very first solo show, and I was lucky enough to have it happen at such a wonderful and reputable Toronto gallery. The opening performance night was a big landmark for me in a way that I will never forget.

How did you react to the news that you won a medal for your work?

The news was told to me by my new faculty guardian angel, Wrik Mead. When he gave me the piece of paper acknowledging me as “Dear Medal Winner,” I really couldn’t read past that first statement.

I should note that I made a decisions to finish my undergrad in six years, and my parents were always a little (understandably) apprehensive about this length. After receiving the medal, I immediately phoned them both. Even though it was a joy telling them what happened, admittedly, there was also a very subtle and satisfying undertone of “Ha, I told ya so!”

What’s your fondest memory from your studies at OCAD U, and what will you miss the most?

Finding a new daytime apartment in the form of the Sculpture Thesis Studio.
Nerd nights with Doug Back and Simone Jones dude!
$5 Pitchers weekly between Monday and Sunday nights.
Conversations outside of the main building entrance as a non-smoking smoker.
Those short two-minute walks between point A and point B that mysteriously end up taking half an hour.
The tremendously supportive faculty of the Sculpture & Installation program.

What are you planning to do next?

Upon graduating, I have been working on a new contract gig with the Luminato festival while working an awesome job as an artist’s assistant. It is my intention to continue to make work, apply for residencies and to show, but it would be fantastic in a year or two’s time to work my way towards grad school, either in the United States or in Europe.

You never want to plan things too tightly though, because (if I may end on an optimistic note) things find their own ways of working out. Even in rejection, there can be opportunity.

Find out more about Alex Beriault

Alex Beriault at Cargo Collective

Georgia Dickie wins Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Artist Prize

Work from Georgia Dickie's thesis series, Findings, 2011.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 4:15pm

Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts announced this year’s prize winners, offering a range of prizes recognizing achievement and supporting projects. Among this year’s recipients is 2011 Sculpture/Installation medal winner Georgia Dickie, who will receive $10,000.

“Georgia Dickie’s practice seems to transcend time and ordinary language and therefore propels us towards a future, where everything is malleable, where transformation is the only constant,” said the TFVA news release.