OCAD University

OCAD announces medal winners

(Toronto—May 6, 2009) The Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) proudly announces its medal winners — the top students from each of the university’s 12 undergraduate programs. This year’s winners will be honoured at a special gala dinner tonight, in celebration of the university’s 94th annual Graduate Exhibition, which opens to the public on Thursday, May 7, at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re extremely proud of our medal-winning students and of our entire class of graduating students,” said OCAD President Sara Diamond. “Their thesis works showcase the transformative power of creative and critical thinking and reflect the issues of contemporary society — ideas of cultural and self-identity, conflict and social ills, health and wellness, and art and design for the digital realm, to name but a few.”

The 2009 medal winners are:

Faculty of Art:
Teresa Aversa (Criticism & Curatorial Practice)
Amanda Clyne (Drawing & Painting)
Michelle Galletta (Printmaking)
Marino Imperio (Photography)
Faye Mullen (Sculpture/Installation)
Stephen Shaddick (Integrated Media)

Faculty of Design:
Arnaud Brassard (Graphic Design)
Danielle Dengerink (Material Art & Design)
Victoria Kouvchinova (Advertising)
Christopher Kuzma (Illustration)
Heidi Mok (Industrial Design)
Ryan Panos (Environmental Design)

Over 500 graduating students are showcasing their work to the public during the Graduate Exhibition, which runs Thursday, May 7 to Sunday, May 10. For details, visit www.ocad.ca.

The 12 winners will receive their medals at OCAD’s Convocation Ceremony on Thursday, June 4, at Roy Thomson Hall.

Background Information: 2009 OCAD Medal Winners

Faculty of Art:

20090506_TAversaTeresa Aversa (Criticism & Curatorial Practice)
A curator and artist, Aversa draws inspiration from the rich dialogue found in North American consumer culture. Her work Teresa Aversa's Catholic Goods Sale examines the relationship between organized religion and commodity, while drawing attention to the aesthetics of mass-produced Catholic devotional products.

20090506_AClyneAmanda Clyne (Drawing & Painting)
Clyne’s paintings explore the complex and seductive nature of the image. Images have become an increasingly integral part of the way we experience the world, and technology has allowed the image to serve as memory’s surrogate with unprecedented ease. Clyne confronts the constant transience of the image in reality and in memory, exploring the multiple lives the image carries within the cycle of creation, display, viewing, recording and remembering.

20090506_MGallettaMichelle Galletta (Printmaking)
The journey into Galletta’s body of work entitled The Penitent Flesh began in a small church on a Sicilian hillside, as she searched for the wedding gown her mother had left as a votive offering 40 years earlier. Instead of the dress, Galletta discovered ex-votos: ornamental, silver plaques of eyes, breasts, mouths and appendages hung on the walls of the chapel, asking for God's grace or giving thanks for a healing miracle. Galletta recognized the timid yearning of people looking to reconnect with — and perhaps celebrate — the body. Galletta’s work is a reaction to both the Catholic denigration of the flesh and the folk movements that found ways of bringing the body back into the Church, albeit through twisted forms of gratification.

20090506_MImperioMarino Imperio (Photography)
Imperio uses experimental digital post-production techniques in his work A Condition of Possibility in the Field of Uncertainty, to address uncertainty not only pertaining to narrative contentions, but also the crisis in representation with the rise of digitalization. “The intermingling of analog and digital technological media has threatened our assurance in the veracity of the representations of our cultural products,” says Imperio. “I aim to bring to our attention, however subtly, the ways in which notions of truth are impacted in this dilemma.”

20090506_FMullenFaye Mullen (Sculpture/Installation)
Mullen’s series of work entitled all or nothing : when i grow up represents the artist’s attempt to build an intimate relationship with her work. Through empathy and physical engagement she becomes part of the sculpture and therefore, part of space. The series calls into question the cultural dichotomies of public versus private, here versus there, and absence versus presence. Through the personification of elements in architecture, Mullen aspires to draw the viewer’s attention, as well as her own, to the subtle characteristics an architectural space may have.

20090506_SSHaddickStephen Shaddick (Integrated Media)
Shaddick’s work addresses perception and representation of time. Specifically, he is interested in processes that help us understand how one moment moves to the next. Subtly changing these processes in a live setting creates an experience of anticipation or expectation, where one is aware of his or her own patience in waiting for something to happen.

Faculty of Design:

20090506_ABrassardArnaud Brassard (Graphic Design)
Brassard’s thesis work Touching Digital; A Graphic Designer's Search for the Digital Artifact is an experimental journey into the world of digital craft. By fostering a holistic approach to design, the designer strives to maintain a sense of materiality and craft in the digital design process, ensuring that the digital artifact still retains vestiges of human work, and its accompanying sensibilities of gratitude, mindfulness, and wonder.

20090506_DDengerinDanielle Dengerink (Material Art & Design)
Dengerink’s textile designs draw from traditional stained glass and contemporary architectural glass design. Depicting representational motifs using a combination of hand-painting and digital-generation technologies, Dengerink has created a collection of digitally printed pattern designs for application in fashion. Her work is a celebration of craft and new technologies, traditional and contemporary, and of the past and the future of textile design.

20090506_VKouvchinovaVictoria Kouvchinova (Advertising)
Kouvchinova’s thesis work introduces the public to an exercise program for improving eyesight without glasses, contact lenses or laser eye surgery. Her transit shelter ads, magazine ads and a promotional piece showcase the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s (CNIB) Sharp Eye Fitness program, which aims to empower individuals in improving their own eyesight naturally.

20090506_CKuzmaChristopher Kuzma (Illustration)
Kuzma’s thesis work depicts the immortal Greek Gods as they would be today, living out their unending years within the dilapidated walls of Motel Olympus. Their virtues have become vice, and all their truths have become contradictions. This modern world has chewed them up and spit them out, leaving only the dregs.

20090506_HMokHeidi Mok (Industrial Design)
Mok has created T.A.G. (Take. Act. Give.), a clothing donation system concept for the Salvation Army, which promotes awareness and personal action by enabling people to donate their used clothing in an easy, dependable, and socially-minded way, while at the same time addressing both local and global issues (collection bin vandalism, theft, quality of goods donated) tied to clothing donation.

20090506_RPanosRyan Panos (Environmental Design)
For his thesis work, Panos has created Soundscape, a concept for a museum/science centre devoted to understanding our acoustic environment. Soundscape is designed to facilitate discovery and interaction with sound, and includes a performance hall designed to take visitors on a sound experience journey. “All sounds are music, noise and silence included,” says Panos. “Understanding our environments is dependent upon sound. Without it we will never truly comprehend the spaces we work, live and play in.”

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information or images, please contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

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