Alumni profiles: 1970s


Ian Carr-Harris (AOCA, Sculpture/Installation, 1971)

An internationally-exhibited sculptor, Ian Carr-Harris is also a writer and educator. His work constantly re-examines the boundaries of sculptural production. His work is included in the collections of the National Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario among others. He has published extensively on art throughout his career, contributing to such publications as Parachute, Vanguard and C Magazine. He has exhibited at the Venice Beinnale, 1984, Documenta, 1987, and the Syndney Biennale, 1990. Carr-Harris has been on the faculty at OCAD U since 1964. In 2007, Carr-Harris was awarded the Governor General’s Award in Visual & Media Arts.

Kai Chan (AOCA, Interior Design, 1970)

An acclaimed artist and designer, Chan has exhibited his work internationally, and designed exhibitions for many Canadian institutions. He has received numerous grants from the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council as well as several prestigious awards including the Jean A.Chalmers National Crafts Award (1998), and the Prix Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in the Crafts (2002). His work is in many prominent collections including the Museum London, London, ON; the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Musée des Arts Decoratifs de Montréal, QC; the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau, QC; the Library and Gallery, Cambridge, ON; the Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, ON and the Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum, Trondheim, Norway. In 2010, the Textile Museum of Canada and the Varley Art Gallery of Markham jointly presented a 35 year retrospective of Chan’s work called "A Spider’s Logic".

Sunny Choi (AOCA, Communication & Design, 1976)

Now working full-time as a painter, Choi is highly regarded as one of North America's leading designers of women's clothing. She has establishing her brand in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Barney's and Nordstrom dressing celebrities such as Alison Krauss, Susan Sarandon, Daryl Hannah, and Sharon Stone. After graduating from the Seoul National University with a Fine Arts Degree, Choi continued to study communication and design at OCAD U (then OCA). As a freelance illustrator, she worked for high-end boutiques and advertising agencies, and as an OCAD U illustration instructor.

Mike Close (AOCA, Experimental Arts, 1977)

Close was production designer for the short film "The Road to the World", which received the 2006 People’s Choice Award in the National Film Board’s Make Shorts Not War competition. The film was one of 150 entries from across Canada. "The Road of the World" is a narrative film about a family man called to duty during WWI. In addition to making films, Close is an artist who has had over seventy solo shows and numerous group exhibitions.

Louis Fishauf (AOCA, Communication & Design, 1972)

Fishauf began his career with an apprenticeship under Les Usherwood at Typesettra and then worked as an editorial designer and art director at a succession of Canadian publications including Chatelaine, The City (a supplement to the Toronto Star), City Woman, Executive, T.O. magazine and Saturday Night. During thirteen years in magazine publishing, he won numerous awards, including five gold National Magazine Awards for art direction and cover design. In 1982, he co-founded Reactor Art and Design, where he was Creative Director for 12 years. Principal of Louis Fishauf Design Ltd. since 1994, he divides his time between art direction, design and illustration assignments. He has served as acting art director of Toronto Life magazine, consulting Design Director of adbeast inc., and a part-time instructor at OCAD U.

John Hardy (AOCA, General Studies, 1974)

Hardy recently gave a TED talk in the UK about his extraordinary Green School project in Bali, Indonesia. Founded by Hardy and his wife Cynthia, the Green School is inspired by the Three Springs design concept. Created by Alan Wagstaff, it envisions a village containing all the ecological, biological, and sociological elements needed to promote a sustainable, holistic and quality lifestyle. The Green School is located in an undeveloped jungle, bisected by the Ayung River, where the site is farmed and landscaped with involvement from its students and the surrounding community. The school structures are all built primarily from bamboo, a local, natural, renewable resource. The school combines a traditional curriculum, including such subjects as English, mathematics and science, with a sustainable, holistic approach that has made it a model of sustainable education.

Anita Kunz (AOCA, Illustration, 1978)

The illustrations of Anita Kunz have graced the covers of Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The New York Times and The Washington Post magazines. In 2003/2004,the Library of Congress presented "Canadian Counterpoint: Illustrations by Anita Kunz", an exhibition of 15 paintings by the internationally-recognized Canadian artist. The exhibition celebrated Kunz’s generous gift to the library of 22 paintings, which became part of its permanent collection in the Prints and Photographs division. Kunz is the first Canadian artist to be honoured with a solo exhibition in the Swann Gallery and is also among the few living artists to have had an exhibition mounted at the Library of Congress. In 2006, Kunz’s work was chosen by American Illustration for its silver anniversary traveling exhibition, which included a symposium and book launch in New York. In 2009, Kunz was appointed as Officer of the Order of Canada.

John McEwen (AOCA, Drawing & Painting, 1970)

John McEwen is one of Canada’s foremost sculptors creating commissioned works for public and private spaces. One of his best known works include "Search Light, Star Light, Spot Light", installed at the entrance of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. McEwen has also created outdoor, site-specific works for the McMichael gallery, the Banff School of Fine Arts, and many others. McEwen created Victory/Peace, a World War II memorial in Coronation Park, Toronto, as well as the Royal Canadian Air Force Hall of Tribute at the National Museum of Aviation in Ottawa. His work is held in Canada’s most celebrated collections and has been exhibited internationally.

Laurie McGaw (AOCA, Communication & Design, 1977)

A former instructor at OCAD University, Laurie McGaw is a celebrated painter, illustrator, designer and educator. She is known for her vibrant portraits, including those of Oscar Peterson and Norman Jewison, as well as for her award-winning illustrated books. Polar the Titanic Bear was nominated for a Governor General’s Award, while African Princess was honoured by the NAACP and well received by critics, including the New York Times. Her most recent accomplishment was a commission by the Royal Canadian Mint to create a commemorative $20 coin to commemorate the marriage of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton. McGaw’s work is widely sought after both by both private and corporate collections.

Phil Richards (AOCA, Drawing & Painting, 1973)

Richards has worked full time as a visual artist for more than 35 years, with numerous solo and group shows. He has created everything from intimate portraits to large-scale murals for facilities such as the Congress Centre in Ottawa and the Eaton Centre in Toronto. Portrait commissions have included a former premier of Ontario for Queen's Park, the former president of the University of Toronto, chancellors of the University of Western Ontario, and the CEOs of Scotiabank and London Life. In 2010, The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced that the Government of Canada would commission a new portrait by Richards of Her Majesty The Queen to be unveiled during the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Joanne Tod (AOCA, 1974)

Tod is a Toronto-based artist and lecturer whose work has been exhibited internationally. She is best known for her distinctive, unsettling large-scale paintings, which can be found in the country’s most prominent public and private collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the House of Commons, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Musée d’art contemporain, Montreal, and others. In recent years she has completed numerous official portraits.

George Whiteside (AOCA, Photo Electric Arts, 1979)

Award-winning commercial photographer George Whiteside’s images have appeared in LIFE magazine, Vogue, Chatelaine, and many others. He has received numerous gold medals at the National Magazine Awards. His corporate clients include Holt Renfrew, Fairmont Hotels and Harry Rosen. In addition to his commercial work in fashion, advertising and portraiture, Whiteside has exhibited his work extensively.

Brent Wickes (AOCA, 1977)

Wickes graduated in 1977 with top honours as a recipient of the Governor General's Medal. He was immediately hired as an Art Director by the highly esteemed Ogilvy & Mather advertising agency. His first television commercial won a certificate from Cannes for Shell Canada. After leaving Ogilvy as Associate Creative Director Wickes moved to Saatchi & Saatchi in Toronto and at 29 years old became the youngest Vice President and Group Creative Director in Saatchi's history. His awards are international and numerous including a Bronze Lion from Cannes. After several years he shifted focus to film production working as a commercial Film Director for Boardwalk Pictures and Portside Films. Wickes became BBDO’s Creative Head in their Calgary location for a 1 year contract before moving on to Parallel Strategies as VP Advertising Creative Director and then to opening his own venture; Creative Storm, specializing in creative advisory and commercial film production for 5 years. Brent began traveling the world, now in Jakarta, Indonesia where he heads a creative agency and entertainment company.

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