OCAD University

OCAD launches speaker series with talk

by artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan

(Toronto—January 15, 2010) The Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) Faculty of Art launches its Art Creates Change speaker series, this year presented in memory of faculty member Kym Pruesse, with a performance and talk by artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan on Tuesday, January 26, at 6:30 p.m.

“Kym [Pruesse] was complex, complicated and often challenged those around her to think profoundly and creatively.” — The Globe and Mail, December 8, 2010

An artist, educator, writer and theorist, Kym Pruesse is celebrated as an expert in popular culture, art and design history, visual activism, art criticism and curatorial practice. A part of the OCAD community since 1994, Kym taught courses in media and cultural studies, contemporary theory, women in art, art criticism, popular culture and studio. She believed in a cross-disciplinary perspective and taught in both the Faculty of Art and the Faculty of Liberal Studies at OCAD. She passed away suddenly in June, 2009. This year’s Art Creates Change series commemorates Kym’s work at OCAD as well as her contribution to the Toronto art community.

Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan
Tuesday, January 26, at 6:30 p.m.
In their presentation Talking Back, Dempsey and Millan discuss the power of art and stories as resistance to violence, war and various stupidities that comprise the modern era. Talking Back includes live performance and video excerpts of recent works.

Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, otherwise known as Finger in the Dyke Productions, are internationally celebrated for their strident, irreverent and humourous performances. Collaborators since 1989, this Winnipeg-based duo gained national attention with the controversial performance piece We’re Talking Vulva. Since then, they have toured extensively having screened in venues as far-ranging as women's centres in Sri Lanka to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Their most recent concerns include fragile lesbian ecosystems as evidenced in their recent publication Lesbian National Parks & Services Field Guide to North America.

Art Creates Change: The Kym Pruesse Speaker Series continues in 2010 with the following guests:

Ian Connacher
Wednesday, February 3, 6:30 p.m.
Film Screening: Addicted to Plastic
For more than 10 years, filmmaker Ian Connacher has been documenting solutions to environmental issues. He has written for the magazines Shift and Canadian Geographic as well as co-founding Earth Change Productions. Addicted to Plastic is an award winning film and a global journey to investigate the material of a thousand uses and its toxic legacy, as well as the men and women dedicated to cleaning it up and finding alternatives.

Jamelie Hassan
Wednesday, February 17, 6:30 p.m.
Jamelie Hassan is a visual artist and activist based in London, Ontario. Since the 1970s she has created a body of work that is intensely driven by international engagement in politics and culture. Her interdisciplinary installations, writing and curatorial projects explore personal and public histories, cultural diversity, and modes of communication and representation. Her works are in numerous public collections and she is a recipient of the Governor General's Award.

Ryan Rice
Tuesday, March 9, 7 p.m.
Talk and Panel Discussion
Artist Ryan Rice is Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is also a co-founder and chair of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective. In 2009, Rice toured his exhibitions ANTHEM: Perspectives on Home and Native Land, Oh So Iroquois, and Scout’s Honour; and he opened Hochelaga Revisited in Montreal and ALTERNATION in Toronto. His artwork has been exhibited internationally, most recently in the group exhibition Izhizkawe: To Leave Tracks to a Certain Place in Montreal.

All lectures will be presented in OCAD’s Auditorium (Rm 190), 100 McCaul Street, Toronto. All are welcome; admission is free. Limited seating available; guests are advised to arrive early. For more information call 416-977-6000 or visit www.ocad.ca.

Art Creates Change: The Kym Pruesse Speaker Series is generously sponsored by
TD Insurance Meloche Monnex

The Kym Pruesse Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a student in excellent standing who shows a demonstrated interest in curatorial practice, art and design activism and/or popular culture. If you would like to make a donation in support of the scholarship, please contact Adria Miller, Manager, Individual Giving & Alumni Relations, at 416.977.6000 ext. 485 or amiller@ocad.ca.

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 and images please contact:

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

© OCAD University