The Language of Flowers: Artist Talk & Workshop with Karen Azoulay

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 6:30pm

The Language of Flowers: Workshop with Karen Azoulay
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
6:30 p.m.

Onsite Gallery
199 Richmond St. West

Two-part event:
The artist talk starts at 6:30 p.m.—no registration required
Workshop will begin at approximately 7:15 p.m.—limited availability; advance registration required

Tickets for the workshop are available on Onsite Gallery’s Facebook page as of Wednesday, June 5 at noon

Free event as part of Onsite Gallery's public event program for T.M. Glass: The Audible Language of Flowers.

Join Brooklyn-based artist Karen Azoulay for a talk and interactive experience that will explore the symbolism of flowers.

This two-part event starts with an artist talk by Karen Azoulay, focused on the influence that flower symbology has played in her practice. Floriography, also known as the language of flowers, is a form of communication that was popular in Victorian times. Botanical species were assigned sentimental meanings that were collected in exhaustive dictionaries, the blooms’ symbolism varying in tone from the sweet (Ivy Geranium conveying the gallant request “Your hand for the next dance?”) to the melodramatic (Vibernum declaring “I die if neglected”) and the downright combative (a dried white rose indicating “death before dishonor”). A thoughtfully curated bouquet could thus deliver a layered poetic memo, which the recipient would be required to decipher.

Following the artist talk is a hands-on zine-making workshop with the artist. Participants will work from a custom deck of cards designed by Karen Azoulay. The random assortment of cards drawn by each participant will create a “flower bouquet” which will guide the composition of a poem. Each poem will be combined to create a zine that participants can take home.

The artist talk starts at 6:30 p.m.—no registration required
Workshop will begin at approximately 7:15 p.m.—limited availability; advance registration required

Tickets for the workshop are available on Onsite Gallery’s Facebook page as of Wednesday, June 5 at noon


Karen Azoulay is an interdisciplinary artist who works within the intersection of performance and sculpture in order to explore earth-elements and the female form. Solo exhibitions include CUE Art Foundation in New York (curated by Glenn Ligon); Four Gallery in Dublin; Mercer Union in Toronto, Primetime in Brooklyn, Dose Projects in Brooklyn and Drew University in Madison, NJ. Her work has been featured and reviewed in publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, C Magazine, ReadyMade and Vogue. Her installations and performances include commissions for institutions such as The Art Gallery of Ontario, Canadian Art Magazine, and The Power Plant in Toronto as well as Art in General in New York. Recent exhibitions include Simone DeSousa Gallery in Detroit and Erin Stump Projects in Toronto. Her publication 'Flowers and Their Meanings, a guide for deciphering' was launched at The Perennial, a group show that she curated within The Grecian Shelter in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.


T.M. Glass: The Audible Language of Flowers
May 8 to August 18, 2019

Curated by Francisco Alvarez, Dorene & Peter Milligan Executive Director, OCAD U Galleries

T.M. Glass: The Audible Language of Flowers presents recent series of images by lens-based artist T.M. Glass that feature blooms and vessels from unique gardens across the globe. Glass' distinct photographic style is characterized by extensive digital embellishment of textures and colours to enhance the emotion and geometry of flowers. Recently, the artist’s large-scale flower images expanded into the third dimension through advanced 3-D printing technology. Inspired by 17th century European flower paintings, the artist contends that contemporary digital photographers are also painters who work with pixels instead of oils.

Onsite Gallery is the flagship professional gallery of OCAD U and an experimental curatorial platform for art, design and new media. Visit our website for upcoming public events. The gallery is located at 199 Richmond St. W, Toronto, ON, M5V 0H4. Telephone: 416-977-6000, ext. 265. Opening hours are: Wednesdays from noon to 8 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Free admission.

Onsite Gallery acknowledges that the gallery construction project 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 and Aspen Ridge Homes; with gallery furniture by Nienkämper. Onsite Gallery logo by Dean Martin Design.


Image: Karen Azoulay, Absence, Poverty, I Have Lost All, 2015, pigment print, 40" x 32". Courtesy of the artist.

Venue & Address: 
Onsite Gallery (199 Richmond St. West)
416-977-6000 x456
Image: Karen Azoulay, Absence, Poverty, I Have Lost All, 2015, pigment print, 40" x 32". Courtesy of the artist.

TODAY: Barry Ace - Nigig Open Studio

Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Indigenous Visual Culture’s Nigig Visiting Artist Resident Barry Ace will open his studio to the public and present his new work “How can you expect me to reconcile when I know the truth?” made during the residency. His ‘work in progress’ will be exhibited this spring at Supermarket Art Fair 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden. Be among the first to see this important work!

The Nigig Visiting Artist Residency provides an opportunity for an Indigenous artist to visit OCAD University to focus on a short-term project and explore in a collaborative environment, issues impacting their work.

For Information, please contact:


About the artist

Barry Ace is a practicing visual artist and currently lives in Ottawa. He is a band member of M’Chigeeng First Nation, Manitoulin Island, Ontario. His mixed media paintings and assemblage textile works explore various aspects of cultural continuity and the confluence of the historical and contemporary.

Image: Courtesy of the artist.

The Nigig Artist In Residence Program is supported through the Ministry of Advance Education and Skills Development Targeted Initiative Fund.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, Room 718, 7th Floor, 205 Richmond St.
Image: Courtesy of the artist.

Visiting Artist: Chantal Gibson

Between Friends/Entre Amis. National Film Board of Canada,
Monday, October 30, 2017 - 2:00pm to Friday, November 3, 2017 - 5:00pm

Between Friends is an interactive, altered book installation. It is also the name of a large, hardcover, photography book that was gifted to the United States by Canada in 1976 to commemorate the American bicentennial. The preface is written and signed by then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. The book functions as a map, an atlas, a tourist guide and a diplomatic agreement. Over 250 pages document and represent the US/Canada border from west to east, including maps of the regions from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Together with images of people, places and landscapes it provides a portrait of both countries and the friendly relationship between them—there is no evidence of the ethnic and cultural diversity of the countries, no signs of a history of struggle, conflict and violence.

To "commemorate" Canada 150 in the time of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and directly engage conversations with the AGO/Massey Hall and other institutions, Between Friends is an intervention, a meditation on the present relationship between Canada and the US in the time of Reconciliation and Trump. It exploits the erasure of erasure, by rewriting the past as it envisions the future. The Canada/US border is 8891 kilometers or 5525 miles. The book will be rewritten, the pages redacted—knotted, twisted, braided—with 8891 yards of black cotton yarn. One yard of thread for every kilometer, because irony and humour are also tightly woven in our border narratives.

Participants' hands will be recorded as they work with thread in collaboration with others to create a new edition that speaks to contemporary experience of the border.

Staged in the OCAD U Learning Zone, Between Friends will be “written” by the facilitating artist, as well as students, faculty and library visitors. The artist will be on site throughout the day, and participants can join in at any time.

Faculty wanting to book a class visit to the installation, please contact Stephanie Dayes, Coordinator, Writing and Learning Services (


Chantal Gibson ( is A Historical In(ter)ventionist, an artist-educator living in Vancouver. Interests in race, gender and history are evident across her altered texts that challenge the cultural production and historic consumption of knowledge. Her work explores power, exploiting colonial mechanisms of oppression—myths, tropes, metaphors—persistent across writings and representations of African/Canadian history. Her current altered book installations encourage public participation—Re(d)action as activism. Her work aims to create new spaces—to use historic silences and omissions—to include alternative voices. She teaches writing and design communication in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University. 


Image citation: Between Friends/Entre Amis. National Film Board of Canada, Still Photography Division, Ottawa, Canada, 1976. McClelland and Stewart Limited, Toronto.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University Learning Zone, First floor, 113 McCaul St.

Medrie MacPhee: Visiting Artist:

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 12:00pm

DRPT Visiting Artist: Medrie MacPhee

Join us in Room 230, 100 McCaul St.

Tuesday, October 3rd at noon

Artist Website: 

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University Room 230, 100 McCaul St. Toronto, ON
Woman standing alongside large abstract painting

SIMON POPE: Visiting Artist coming to the Florence Studio

An arrangement of chairs around a table
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 5:00am


Simon Pope’s (b. 1966, Exeter, UK) recent art practice is preoccupied with participatory art's engagement with new materialism and concepts of the more-than-human, asking “who else takes part?” This question formed the basis of his practice-led doctoral study at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford (2012-15). Formerly a member of the Net.Art group I/O/D, he represented Wales at the Venice Biennale in 2003. Pope was a NESTA Fellowship awardee (2002-05), a Reader (tenured-Professor) in Fine Art (2005-10) and is currently an Associate Research Fellow of both Birkbeck and Queen Mary, University of London (2014-) and visiting faculty member and supervisor for Transart Institute's MFA in New York City and Berlin. He currently lives near Castiglione di Garfagnana, researching a new project with his partner, (and OCADU alumna) Sarah Cullen.

Venue & Address: 
OCADU Florence Studio

Sarah Alford Lecture (visiting artist)

Image by Sarah Alford
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

Visiting artist Sarah Alford will present a lecture entitled: View and Barrier at OCAD University on March 1.

Sarah's expertise and experience span concepts relating to jewellery, materials, craft and design history and the spaces we inhabit. Everyone is welcome.

The talk takes place at 12 p.m. in Room 264 of 100 McCaul St.


Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Room 264
Poster for Sarah Alford