OCAD University honours esteemed arts mentors at convocation ceremonies

 

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 6:15pm

This year, two outstanding artists will receive honorary doctorates at OCAD University’s largest convocation ceremony to date: Professor Margaret Priest, artist, educator, and philanthropist; and Winsom Winsom, an arts activist and mentor to young people in marginalized communities.

In a two-ceremony event at Roy Thomson Hall on Thursday, June 11, 650 undergraduate and graduate students will be presented with their diplomas. As the university has become more diversified, with many students being the first generation in their families to complete post-secondary education, more seats are required so that students may invite family and friends to celebrate their success.

“Winsom Winsom’s lectures for OCAD University’s community arts practice courses demonstrated to students the ways that the arts enrich and empower communities in Toronto and in Belize,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD University. “Margaret Priest is one of Canada’s leading Canadian conceptual artists and has created single works, installations and major public commissions. She was deeply engaged with OCAD University as advisor to the Academic Council, active in planning our graduate programs and a passionate Board of Governors member. We are honouring these two artists not only for their creative achievements, but also for what they have brought to this institution.”

The first ceremony, at 10:30 a.m. will recognize graduands from the Faculty of Design, with Priest receiving her honorary doctorate. The second ceremony, at 3 p.m., will honour graduands from the Faculty of Art, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Graduate Studies. Winsom will receive her honorary doctorate at the afternoon ceremony. 

Biographies:

Margaret Priest was educated in England, where she completed an MA at the Royal College of Art and a Dip.A.D (BFA equivalent) at the Maidstone College of Art. She has worked in Canada most of her adult life as an artist and as a Professor at both the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto. She is currently professor emeritus, University of Guelph, and is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Margaret is a former member of the Board of Governors of OCAD University.

Margaret has received many honours and award over the years both as an artist and as an academic. Her art career includes solo exhibitions at public and private galleries as well as inclusion in group exhibition sin institutions as diverse as the Power Plant, RISD, and Plug In ICA in Winnipeg. She is represented in public collections such as the Tate Gallery, London, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture and in corporate collections in Toronto, Montreal, New York and San Francisco. Within the arts community, she is a strong advocate for artists. She regularly participates in selected addresses, panels, workshops and juries. Margaret is deeply engaged in academics. Her contributions to the community through lectures and appearances as a visiting speaker or critic encourages artists to be the best they can be so they can advance their careers. Simulating and mentoring the minds of young, budding artists is Margaret’s pursuit in life.

Margaret played an important role in the recent evolution of OCAD University. She was instrumental in establishing OCAD’s Graduate programs and was deeply engaged with the Academic Council. Margaret played a significant role in OCAD’s transformation from a college to a university, providing advice to the Academic Council and as an advocate of university level curriculum. As well, she was very involved in the creation of the Onsite Professional Gallery. As a Board of Governors members she supported OCAD through fundraising activities at her home.

Over her career, Margaret has played an important role in the arts community within Canada. Margaret is an outstanding individual who continues to enrich the lives of many by her presence in the art and academic world.

Winsom Winsom is a long-standing and well-known Canadian–Jamaican Maroon artist, arts educator and mentor who initiates and develops programs in the arts, arts education and culture to address community needs. She has had a significant and direct impact on the lives of hundreds of young people, first in Jamaica, later in Canada and now in Belize, where she established the Winsom Foundation. Her foundation trains and develops young people in the arts and education, as well as helps them to chart a path of sustainability. Winsom’s efforts and those of her foundation are carried out with few and scarce resources and art infrastructure must be created from scratch. Community cultural enhancement through the arts, the arts in education (as a tool of empowerment, creative collaboration and community development), cross-cultural dialogue and spiritual enrichment are some of the Winsom Foundation’s achievements to date.

Winsom’s position in equity-seeking groups is best assessed when it is understood that most artists from these communities are mentored, as opposed to coming up through art school. By means of her visibility as an artist, Winsom is an inspiration to many people, while her work creates paths and spaces for young people to dream and motivates them to embark on meaningful lives. In Belize, Winsom assists young people to get to and through high school and on to college or university by advocating on their behalf though the education system. She also provides training and other forms of support to a number of local emerging artists in order to help them establish a career in the arts. One of Winsom’s main visions is to help bring art and design education into the Belize school system. In Toronto, her mentorship and teaching in the Fresh Elements and Fresh Arts programs were important contributions to the emergence of several Canadian artists. Winsom’s status as an elder, along with her dedication to the arts as integral to the production of cultural voice, societal engagement and citizenship, has created new spaces for dialogue within and across marginalized communities. She is also tecognized for her ambassadorship in the arts, longstanding work in bridging cultures and providing opportunities for others.

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Photo of artist and academic Margaret Priest
Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 6:15pm

This year, two outstanding artists will receive honorary doctorates at OCAD University’s largest convocation ceremony to date: Professor Margaret Priest, artist, educator, and philanthropist; and Winsom Winsom, an arts activist and mentor to young people in marginalized communities.

In a two-ceremony event at Roy Thomson Hall on Thursday, June 11, 650 undergraduate and graduate students will be presented with their diplomas. As the university has become more diversified, with many students being the first generation in their families to complete post-secondary education, more seats are required so that students may invite family and friends to celebrate their success.

“Winsom Winsom’s lectures for OCAD University’s community arts practice courses demonstrated to students the ways that the arts enrich and empower communities in Toronto and in Belize,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD University. “Margaret Priest is one of Canada’s leading Canadian conceptual artists and has created single works, installations and major public commissions. She was deeply engaged with OCAD University as advisor to the Academic Council, active in planning our graduate programs and a passionate Board of Governors member. We are honouring these two artists not only for their creative achievements, but also for what they have brought to this institution.”

The first ceremony, at 10:30 a.m. will recognize graduands from the Faculty of Design, with Priest receiving her honorary doctorate. The second ceremony, at 3 p.m., will honour graduands from the Faculty of Art, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Graduate Studies. Winsom will receive her honorary doctorate at the afternoon ceremony. 

Biographies:

Margaret Priest was educated in England, where she completed an MA at the Royal College of Art and a Dip.A.D (BFA equivalent) at the Maidstone College of Art. She has worked in Canada most of her adult life as an artist and as a Professor at both the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto. She is currently professor emeritus, University of Guelph, and is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Margaret is a former member of the Board of Governors of OCAD University.

Margaret has received many honours and award over the years both as an artist and as an academic. Her art career includes solo exhibitions at public and private galleries as well as inclusion in group exhibition sin institutions as diverse as the Power Plant, RISD, and Plug In ICA in Winnipeg. She is represented in public collections such as the Tate Gallery, London, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture and in corporate collections in Toronto, Montreal, New York and San Francisco. Within the arts community, she is a strong advocate for artists. She regularly participates in selected addresses, panels, workshops and juries. Margaret is deeply engaged in academics. Her contributions to the community through lectures and appearances as a visiting speaker or critic encourages artists to be the best they can be so they can advance their careers. Simulating and mentoring the minds of young, budding artists is Margaret’s pursuit in life.

Margaret played an important role in the recent evolution of OCAD University. She was instrumental in establishing OCAD’s Graduate programs and was deeply engaged with the Academic Council. Margaret played a significant role in OCAD’s transformation from a college to a university, providing advice to the Academic Council and as an advocate of university level curriculum. As well, she was very involved in the creation of the Onsite Professional Gallery. As a Board of Governors members she supported OCAD through fundraising activities at her home.

Over her career, Margaret has played an important role in the arts community within Canada. Margaret is an outstanding individual who continues to enrich the lives of many by her presence in the art and academic world.

Winsom Winsom is a long-standing and well-known Canadian–Jamaican Maroon artist, arts educator and mentor who initiates and develops programs in the arts, arts education and culture to address community needs. She has had a significant and direct impact on the lives of hundreds of young people, first in Jamaica, later in Canada and now in Belize, where she established the Winsom Foundation. Her foundation trains and develops young people in the arts and education, as well as helps them to chart a path of sustainability. Winsom’s efforts and those of her foundation are carried out with few and scarce resources and art infrastructure must be created from scratch. Community cultural enhancement through the arts, the arts in education (as a tool of empowerment, creative collaboration and community development), cross-cultural dialogue and spiritual enrichment are some of the Winsom Foundation’s achievements to date.

Winsom’s position in equity-seeking groups is best assessed when it is understood that most artists from these communities are mentored, as opposed to coming up through art school. By means of her visibility as an artist, Winsom is an inspiration to many people, while her work creates paths and spaces for young people to dream and motivates them to embark on meaningful lives. In Belize, Winsom assists young people to get to and through high school and on to college or university by advocating on their behalf though the education system. She also provides training and other forms of support to a number of local emerging artists in order to help them establish a career in the arts. One of Winsom’s main visions is to help bring art and design education into the Belize school system. In Toronto, her mentorship and teaching in the Fresh Elements and Fresh Arts programs were important contributions to the emergence of several Canadian artists. Winsom’s status as an elder, along with her dedication to the arts as integral to the production of cultural voice, societal engagement and citizenship, has created new spaces for dialogue within and across marginalized communities. She is also tecognized for her ambassadorship in the arts, longstanding work in bridging cultures and providing opportunities for others.