OCAD University

OCAD presents medals to its top students


(Toronto—May 5, 2010) This generation of young talent hopes to make the world around us a better place. With art and design that tackles tough issues — sustainability, diversity, cultural policy, socio-political concerns, spirituality and morality, 12 Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) graduates have been honoured with the university’s top accolades this week. In addition to being celebrated at a special gala dinner tonight, this year’s medal winners will showcase their thesis works alongside that of more than 500 of their peers as part of Enter OCAD, the 95th annual Graduate Exhibition, which opens to the public on Thursday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m.

“Our annual graduate exhibition is a time when OCAD gives back to the community that has supported our students and our university. This is a power-packed show that reveals our newly minted art and design talent to the world,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD President. “Please, Enter OCAD!

The 2010 medal winners are:

Faculty of Art:
James Gauvreau (Printmaking)
Marissa Neave (Criticism & Curatorial Practice)
Vanessa Maltese (Drawing & Painting)
Tim Manalo (Sculpture/Installation)
Meryl McMaster (Photography)
Reena Katz (Integrated Media)

Faculty of Design:
Lauren Dynes (Environmental Design)
Adrian Forrow (Illustration)
Catalina Navarro (Industrial Design)
Patrice Pollack (Advertising)
Setsuko Sanagawa (Material Art & Design)
Markus Uran (Graphic Design)

Enter OCAD, the 95th annual Graduate Exhibition, runs Thursday, May 6 to Sunday, May 9. For details, visit www.ocad.ca.

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

Background Information: 2010 OCAD Medal Winners

Faculty of Art:

James Gauvreau (Printmaking)
Working across disciplines, James Gauvreau’s thesis work Really Long Lake is an installation representative of a temple, covered with digital photographs of the textures and shapes of large bodies of water. Gauvreau calls Really Long Lake the “remains of a ruined temple from a religion that has yet to be formed. It has been buried for centuries under glacial ice and was recently revealed to archeologists as the ice flow receded.” Playing off “Long Lake,” a common name given to many bodies of water in North America, the work explores the notion of “the great escape” while attacking the indoctrination of the spirituality of nature.

Marissa Neave (Criticism & Curatorial Practice)
For her undergraduate thesis work, Neave put into motion an experimental microfunding model in order to explore the relationships between cultural policy and cultural production. In December 2009, tinygrants distributed four small grants to Toronto-based artists for their creative intervention projects. While facilitating participatory, collaborative and playful artworks that were visible in public and non-traditional spaces, this experimental microgranting model concurrently addressed issues of cultural policy and arts funding in Canada by asking the questions: What if an artist has a $300 project but does not have $300? What kinds of $300 projects can be conceived if an opportunity for funding arises? tinygrants considers the current state of arts funding in Canada and highlights the diversity of creative intervention practice. Neave will pursue her Masters in Art History at Concordia University in the fall, and will continue her research into the relationships between art, space and audience.

Vanessa Maltese (Drawing & Painting)
Vanessa Maltese’s series In Limbo investigates the “curious state of the in-between” through explorations of materials and abstract visual language. “I’m interested in the dialogue between the concrete nature of sculpture and the illusory space of painting,” explains Maltese. Her works emanate a sense of displacement, where unknown objects float in vacant grounds, or are anchored to fabricated spaces referencing landscapes. Her works also challenge the act of seeing, subverting simplicity with highly complex “Modernist alien playgrounds.”

Tim Manalo (Sculpture/Installation)
Tim Manalo is interested in the hidden concepts and ideas communicated by objects, which he likens to the way symbols and signs have meaning in language. His sculptural works attempt to re-present objects in a neutral state, creating conflicting or opposing readings to change the way viewers experience them. With his work High Praise, Manalo shares his fascination with the terrible beauty of mushroom clouds, while with his work Shift and Sniff, he envisions a dog’s snout as a security scanner.

Meryl McMaster (Photography)
Meryl McMaster’s series In-Between Worlds is an expression of her bicultural heritage —Aboriginal/European — as a strategic way of thinking and an examination of the connections between the two. In the development of the series, McMaster delved into the ancient practice of the vision quest, a search for meaning. The resulting portrait works, in which McMaster uses talismans as extensions of her body, suggest a collaging of cultural and personal identities and a state of suspended belief.

Reena Katz (Integrated Media)
For her thesis work, Reena Katz has created a wood, electronics and audio installation that plays off the poetics and physicality of walls: exile, separation, dispossession, enemies and reconciliation. With w2w, Katz inverts architectures of repression into structures of promise, empowerment, return, and unification. Using OCAD as a microcosm to discuss opportunities for political transformation in the world outside the university, Katz highlights the “humanness” of the diverse people who work there by involving them in the process of art production. w2w is comprised of three “anti‐walls,” which trigger sounds as viewers approach. Two of the walls play chants of resistance and songs of liberation, recorded from OCAD staff, administrators and security personnel. The third wall acts as a proposal to members of the public, inviting them to erect it using the instructions provided.

Faculty of Design:

Lauren Dynes (Environmental Design)
Lauren Dynes has designed a concept to revitalize Pier 4 of Toronto’s waterfront, located at 245 Queens Quay West, into a health and wellness centre, featuring a community market. The centre is designed to accommodate farmers, nutrition classes, spaces for social interaction, bathing facilities and massage therapy and treatment rooms. The project explores the balance between program spaces, public and private spaces and new versus old building structures.

Adrian Forrow (Illustration)
Adrian Forrow’s thesis illustrations are allegorical images about moral behaviour. His imagery speaks not only to adolescents, but also as “a refresher for those who have forgotten.”

Catalina Navarro (Industrial Design)
In exploring ways to reduce the amount of packaging that ends up in landfills, Catalina Navarro has designed cosmetics packaging that in and of itself has a use, and entirely bypasses the waste stream. Second Life Zero Waste is a packaging system that becomes a clean-burning candle in its “second life.” Instead of petroleum-based paraffin, Navarro’s packaging uses beeswax, with no artificial colours or damaging inks. Navarro studied several brands in the development of her design, such as Dove, Olay, United Colors of Benetton and The Body Shop, and incorporated the emotional and core values of the companies into the packaging system.

Patrice Pollack (Advertising)
As an aspiring copywriter, Patrice Pollack uses copy and type as the main elements in most of her work. “I believe that, when used properly, type can be more provocative and more powerful than any photo.” Pollack’s thesis uses type to educate the public on the dangers of commercial dog foods and the benefits of feeding raw.

Setsuko Sanagawa (Material Art & Design)
In her jewellery designs, collectively titled Venerable Spirit, Setsuko Sanagawa explores the Japanese folklore and traditional literature that has shaped her identity and sense of values. Her narrative pieces, created in silver and other precious materials, are wearable moral life lessons, some joyful, some tragic, and some entertaining flights of fantasy.

Markus Uran (Graphic Design)
A clothing designer before coming to OCAD, Markus Uran created the Metsa brand (www.metsadesign.com), a men’s clothing line constructed from carefully considered materials and practices. Uran’s goal is to deepen the attachment to — and longevity of — a garment by enhancing the client’s overall experience. By drawing on the rituals of gifting and taking advantage of the ubiquitous use of online shopping, Uran has developed packaging that creates an emotional attachment for its recipient. Wrapped to conceal its contents, each package is like a surprise self-gift, strengthening the user’s relationship with the object and enhancing the product’s sustainability. Metsa has already experienced market success, and is available through Nomad, at 431 Richmond St. West in Toronto.

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 to request images, contact:

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

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