TORONTO, June 3, 2008—On Thursday, June 5, the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) will formally install the Honourable James K. Bartleman as Chancellor at a convocation ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. The Chancellor will join artist Daphne Odjig and industrial designer Claude Gidman in receiving honorary doctorates from the university.
“More than 500 students will be graduating on Thursday and I know that the installation of Chancellor Bartleman and the presentation of honorary doctorates to Daphne Odjig and Claude Gidman will add extra meaning to their big day,” said OCAD President Sara Diamond.
Mr. Bartleman is the second person to hold the office of Chancellor in OCAD’s 132-year history. He succeeds Rosalie Sharp, who was installed in November 2004. Chancellor Bartleman served as Ontario’s 27th Lieutenant Governor from March 2002 to September 2007. A member of the Mnjikaning First Nation, he served for more than 35 years in the Canadian Foreign Service, a distinguished career that included postings as Canada’s ambassador to the European Union, the North Atlantic Council of NATO, Israel and Cuba, and as high commissioner to Australia, South Africa and Cyprus. Promoting OCAD’s Aboriginal Visual Culture Program — the first comprehensive program of its kind in Canada — will be a priority of his chancellorship.
A painter, activist and educator, Daphne Odjig was appointed Member of the Order of Canada in 1986. Her work, which fuses indigenous and Western art histories into a unique vision that bridges Native and non-Native cultures with elegant narratives, has been exhibited around the world. Over the course of her career, Odjig, who is of Potawatomi, Odawa, and English descent, has developed a distinct style based on the abstracted human form. The visual motif central to her work is the circle, which to the Ojibwa signifies completion and perfection, and is symbolic of women. Now a resident of British Columbia, she continues to revolutionize painting and creative practice through her commitment to exploring and communicating the continuity between tradition and contemporary practice.
Claude Gidman is a leading Canadian industrial designer and educator well known for his work in transportation and product design. By emphasizing a multidisciplinary team approach to design (involving input from engineers, architects, interior designers, manufacturers and marketing professionals, among others), Gidman is renowned for creating meaningful, user-centred designs. He is possibly most recognized for his contribution to Toronto’s public transit landscape: the Toronto streetcar. He also oversaw the production of the Orion II low-floor bus, designed to make transit more accessible for disabled people. Among his better-known product designs is the Brita® water filter carafe. As the former head of OCAD’s Industrial Design program, Gidman’s collaborative spirit and dedication to his practice have influenced generations of designers and consumers.
Since 2003, OCAD has conferred honorary doctorates to such luminaries as Bill Buxton, the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Karim Rashid, Will Alsop and Burton Kramer. Prior to this, OCAD named honorary fellows, including A. J. Casson, Don Watt, Betty Goodwin, Atom Egoyan and Bruce Mau, among many others.
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.
© OCAD University