OCAD University

Heather Nicol to launch Art School {Dismissed} publication

November 29, 2011

Art School DismissedFirst-year Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design student Heather Nicol will launch her new book Art School {Dismissed} next month, following the critically acclaimed exhibition by the same name in May 2010 at the historic, decommissioned Shaw Street Public School in Toronto.

Nicol curated the exhibition which featured work by many OCAD University faculty members, including Debbie Adams, Barbara Astman, Barbara Balfour, Ian Carr-Harris, Nicole Collins, Tara Cooper, Johanna Householder, Michelle Irving, Stan Krzyzanowski Colette Laliberté, Lewis Nicholson, Luke Painter, Paulette Phillips, Ed Pien, Lyla Rye, Fiona Smyth, Michèle White and Gwen McGregor. Faculty from the University of Toronto, York University, Sheridan / UTM, The University of Guelph, U of T Scarborough, Centennial College, George Brown College, Humber College and other educational institutions, such as the TDSB, The Toronto School of Art, and gallery / musical ensemble education programs were also included in the exhibit.

The exhibition celebrated artists who extend their creative practices into the realm of education.

The Shaw Street Public School, built in 1914, was decommissioned in 2000, and stood frozen in time, making it a prime site for the exhibition, which explored the "rich interface between teaching and learning with wide ranging projects that were complex, witty, irreverent, nostalgic, haunting, and sweet." The school's breezy classrooms and wide hallways served as the context for new works in the fields of site specific installation, sculpture, video and new media, drawing, painting, performance, as well as many hybrid forms that blend and cross boundaries.

Nicol's publication was designed by OCAD U Professor Debbie Adams and has a written contribution by Professor Ian Carr-Harris. The book will be launched at No One Writes to the Colonel, 460 College Street in Toronto on Wednesday, December 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Congratulations Heather!

Heather Nicol is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Toronto. Her practice includes creating hybrid audio-sculptures, sound and light installation works, as well as independent curating. She has worked as an arts educator in museums and in public and alternative schools and has developed curricula and training for teachers. An underlying interest in communication and connection link all of these threads. Nicol's work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the US and France. She will have a solo show at KWT Contemporary, Toronto, in October 2011. Her recent curatorial practice has involved seizing unoccupied urban spaces in Toronto for large scale, temporary interventions, including MakingROOM (2006) and Art School {Dismissed} (2010), featuring scores of site specific works. For over twenty years, Nicol lived in New York City. She obtained her BFA (honours) from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and her Masters in Art Education from New York University.

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