Alumni profiles: 1990s

Lisa Deanne Smith (AOCA, Sculpture/Installation, 1993)

Smith is an MFA graduate from Cranbrook Academy of Art with the class of ’95. She is engaged in a cultural practice that moves between mediums: art, curating, writing and community events, exploring issues of voice, experience and power. Selected exhibitions of her work include White Columns (NY), The New Museum (NY) and Mercer Union (Toronto). Recent curatorial projects include Generations of Queer: Robert Flack, John Greyson, Elisha Lim and Kiley May; Biological Urbanism: Terreform ONE; No Dull Affairs: Karen Lofgren, Vanessa Maltese and Jillian McDonald; Ads for People: Selling Ethics in the Digital Age and I Wonder: Marian Bantjes. Smith is the curator of Onsite Gallery, OCAD University's professional gallery.

Myfanwy Ashmore (AOCA, Sculpture/Installation, 1996)

Ashmore’s one-minute video work "Gameover Zombienation" screened on Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square pedestrian-level screen situated across from the Eaton Centre in March 2006. Ashmore’s work was a hacked version of a video game dumped to single channel video. The screening was part of an initiative called TRANSMEDIA 29:59, by media collective Year Zero One, to bring media art into public urban spaces. She exhibited in "Controller: Artists Crack the Game Code" at InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre and teaches at OCAD U.

Cali Balles (AOCAD, Material Art & Design, 1999)

In 2009 Balles was awarded $7,000 in the second annual RBC Award for Glass, a nationally awarded prize to assist artists in pursuing independent research and professional development. Balles’s work was also selected to show in the "Unity and Diversity" exhibition at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea, which took place from September to November 2009.

Mary Anne Barkhouse (AOCA, Integrated Media, 1991)

Through her sculptural/installation work, artist Mary Anne Barkhouse explores issues of environmental concerns and indigenous culture. Barkhouse is a member of the Nimpkish band, Kwakiutl First Nation and is a descendant of a long line of internationally recognized artists, which includes Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin and Charlie James. A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, Barkhouse’s work can be found in the collections of the Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts, UBC Musuem of Anthropology, Banff Centre for the Arts and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. In addition she has public art installations at Thunder Bay Art Gallery, University of Western Ontario in London, McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the Millennium Walkway in Peterborough, Ontario.

Shary Boyle (AOCA, Experimental Arts, 1994)

Boyle is a Toronto-based artist whose practice includes drawing, painting, sculpture and live “projected light” performance. In 2005, she presented a celebrated art/music collaboration with Feist at the Olympia Theatre in Paris, researched the origins of European porcelain in eastern Germany, performed “live drawing” for the Sonar Festival in Barcelona and maintained a painting studio in Tampere, Finland. Boyle was named winner of the win of the $25,000 Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award in 2010.

Chandra Bulucon (AOCAD, Sculpture & Installation, 1999)

Bulucon was awarded the 2006 Untitled Art Award for Best Solo or Group Exhibition in an Artist-Run Space for her exhibition "THIS IS ME" at YYZ Artists’ Outlet. Her installation presented twelve copies of Matthew Collings’s text This is Modern Art, reconstructed into elaborate personal fictions. Throughout the exhibition, ten people were recruited to discreetly place a copy of the book on the shelves of local bookstores, with hopes that they would travel around the world.

Marcos Chin (AOCAD, Illustration, 1999)

Chin is one of the most sought-after illustration talents in the world. He operates a studio in New York City working for such clients as Globe and Mail, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, New York Times, Sports Illustrated, LavaLife, and many others. In 2006, his work was chosen from 6,500 international submissions to be featured in American Illustration 25, a prestigious traveling exhibition, which included a book launch and symposium in New York.

Gary Clement (Class of 1991)

Clement is a writer, illustrator and is Editorial Cartoonist for the National Post. In addition to his studies at OCAD U, Clement has received his BFA and a Master's of Environmental Studies at York University. In addition to the National Post, Clement’s work has been published by Saturday Night, Chatelaine, The New York Times, How, Yale Medal Journal, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Time, Fortune, Civilization, House & Garden, The Chicago Tribune, Courrier International and The Guardian. Clement’s work is widely exhibited, and he has received many prestigious awards including the 1999 Governor General's Award for Children's illustration.

Shannon Cochrane (AOCA, Interdisciplinary Studies, 1996)

Cochrane is a Toronto-based artist and performer whose work has been presented in gallery settings, in theatre and performance festivals in Toronto, Montréal, Halifax, UK, USA, Switzerland, Poland, Chilé and Germany. She is an active participant in the national and local art community working with and fororganizations like YYZ Artists Outlet, Rehab Film Festival, Images Festival and others, and is one of the founding members and organizers of the 7a*11d International Performance Art Festival (established in 1997) in Toronto.

Matthew Donovan (AOCAD, Sculpture/Installation, 1999)

Donovan is working as an artist, industrial designer, and conservator of kinetic artworks. Trained in art but with an innate understanding of engineering, Donovan has built a career in which design and art are inseparable. Both in his personal and professional work Donovan skirts the line between art and engineering. Highlights include a series of works with Hallie Siegel called "'History Machines: the mechanical design of Max Dean's and Raffaello D'Andrea's The Robotic Chair and The Table."

Alexandra Flood (AOCA, Fine Arts, Drawing & Painting, 1992)

Flood is an internationally exhibited artist who was named as a Sobey Art Award finalist in 2009. In 2008, she mounted an extensive survey solo show at the New Brunswick Museum. Flood’s paintings have been exhibited at the Aqua Miami Art Fair, Bridge Miami Art Fair, and Scope Hamptons, and she has received numerous awards including the Canada Council for the Arts and the Delphina Studios Trust, London, England. Her work is in numerous private and public collections across Canada. Flood was included in the national group show "Carte Blache Vol II" — Painting held at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art in Toronto, and she presented a solo exhibition at the Wyer Gallery in London England in Fall 2009.

Yechel Gagnon (AOCAD, Drawing & Painting, 1998)

Montreal-based artist Yechel Gagnon creates sculptural relief work using plywood. One of her installations was "Hoarding," in which she used the barriers around a construction site in Vieux-Longueuil as a canvas and a place for public contemplation. She transformed the site hoarding with carvings suggestive of erosion and topographical forms, created using routers, sanders, grinders and chisel knives. In addition to engaging the public in the tactile experience of the wall, viewers could peer through portholes into the work going on behind the scene. Gagnon also recently exhibited at Moore Gallery in Toronto.

Christine Germano (AOCA, General Studies, 1994)

Germano is a photographer, bookmaker, educator and founder and Executive Director of the Constant Arts Society. She has been documenting the world of First Nations communities for the past 10 years. She spent her third year at OCAD U studying as part of OCAD’s Florence program. Germano supplemented her education at Ryerson University and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In 2010, the Canada Council of the Arts named Germano one of two recipients of the John Hobday Awards in Arts Management, a $10,000 prize celebrating established and mid-career arts managers.

Maggie Habieda Nowakowski (AOCA, Illustration, 1996)

Nowakowski is an award winning photographer. She often incorporates both photographic and illustrative elements using digital tools to create rich images. Her numerous awards include being named the "Wedding Photographer of the Month" by Wedding & Portrait Photographers International, and Judge’s Choice and Wedding Portrait awards from the Professional Photographers of Canada.

Gordon Halloran (Industrial Design, 1994)

Halloran’s uniquely executed ice paintings were featured as a major installation called "Paintings Below Zero" during Toronto’s 2007 WinterCity Festival, at Nathan Phillips Square. His work was installed as three dimensional sculptural pieces in The Ice Gallery, as well as directly embedded into the Square’s skating rink. Halloran has also mounted his frozen works in Turin for the Winter Olympics in 2006, and has participated in many other festivals, like the Niagara Ice Wine Festival.

Catherine Heard (AOCA, 1990)

Heard has exhibited extensively in Canada, the US and internationally. Her major exhibitions include "Dark Cloth" (2004) at the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto, "Effigies" (2003) at Cambridge Galleries, "Efflorescence" (1997) at the Power Plant in Toronto and in Copenhagen, as well as in 2001 at the Medicine Hat Gallery & Museum and Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, and in 2002 at the Moosejaw Gallery and Museum. Her exhibition "Proverbs of Hell" (2001) exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto and she was part of the exhibition "Anatomical Permutations" (1999) at the Centro Nationale de las Artes, Mexico City.

Kristan Horton (AOCA, Sculpture & Installation, 1996)

Kristan Horton was awarded the 2006 Untitled Art Award for Emerging Artist. Horton has exhibited internationally in France, Germany, Finland and Tokyo, and locally at Art Metropole and Wynick/Tuck Gallery, and Diaz Contemporary. In 2010, Horton was recognized with the $50,000 Grange Prize for Canadian and international contemporary photography.

Dany Lyne (AOCA, 1990)

Theatre designer Dany Lyne was awarded The Siminovitch Prize, Canada’s top theatre award, in 2006, worth $100,000. At a young age, Lyne had worked in interior decoration, graphic design and typography. An introduction to theatre course at OCAD U pointed her in the direction she works in today, in set and costume design. Her name is attached to 72 productions in Canada, the US and Europe, including shows at the Canadian Opera Company, the Stratford Festival and Soulpepper Theatre. 

Elspeth Lynn (Communications & Design, 1990)

Lorraine Tao (Communications & Design, 1992)

Lynn and Tao co-founded the acclaimed advertising firm Zig with Andy Macaulay in 1999. In June 2004, Zig was one of three finalists in contention for the Grand Prix at the Cannes International Advertising Festival, the most prestigious advertising competition in the world. Zig’s client list has included Unilever Canada, IKEA Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart, W Network, Greenpeace and Mr. Sub. In addition to a myriad of awards from the London International Advertising Awards, the Obies and the NYC Art Directors Club, Zig won a gold Lion at Cannes for their work for Unilever. In 2002, Marketing Magazine named Zig "Agency of the Year." Lynn and Tao appeared on the cover of Report on Business and were named by Maclean's magazine as one of "100 Canadians to Watch.” Lynn left Zig in 2008 to move to the UK.

Rory MacDonald (Material Art & Design, 1996)

MacDonald is Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of Regina. He holds an MFA from Alfred University in New York, in addition to a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. MacDonald was awarded the 2007 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramists, a prize worth $10,000, which aims to award achievement and invests in the future. MacDonald plans to create multiple public art interventions and a database and curatorial proposal concentrating on Canadian emerging ceramics.

Lisa Myers (AOCA, 1992, BFA, 2008, MFA, 2011)

As an artist, a musician and a Red Seal chef, Myers’s art practice and research focus are an inventive exploration, revolving around the politics of food. Myers is of Anishnaabe (Ojibwe) ancestry. After receiving her BFA, Myers earned her Red Seal certification at the Stratford Chefs School. She also designed and edited This Food is Good for You, the Enaahtig community cookbook. Myers then worked as a facilitator at the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre and the Seventh Fire Education Centre in Midland, leading a community food and arts program aimed at urban Métis, Inuit and First Nations youth. Her sculptural installation "Miijim" (meaning “food” in Ojibwe), exhibited in 2007 at the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, and used traditional aboriginal imagery to evoke thoughts about the relationship between processed and indigenous food.

Nick Ostoff (AOCAD, Drawing & Painting, 1999)

Ostoff was featured as one of Canada’s top mid-career painters in Carte Blanche Vol. 2: Painting published by Magenta Publishing for the Arts. Ostoff has presented solo exhibitions at Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, Bus Gallery and Diaz Contemporary.

Louis Palu (AOCA, Photography, 1991)

After graduation Palu relocated to New York City, on a scholarship, where he interned with documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark. He later returned to Toronto where he worked for six years as a staff photographer at the Globe and Mail. In 1991 he began what would result in 12-years of field-work documenting the working lives of miners. In collaboration with writer Charlie Angus he published the critically acclaimed body of work Cage Call: Life and Death in the Hard Rock Mining Belt, which was a finalist in the Leica European Book Publisher's Award and won a Critical Mass Book Publishing Award. Palu was recognized in the 2007 Applied Arts’ Photography & Illustration Annual with both Photojournalism Single and Series prizes for his Globe and Mail published “Kandahar City Suicide Bombing” image and his “Teenage Sewer Cleaners” series of images.

Sabaa Quao (Communications & Design, 1993)

Quao lives and works in London, UK, as President and Creative Director of XCorporation, a strategic creativity firm with clients like the CN Tower, Playdium Entertainment, Roots and the Toronto Raptors. In September 2006 he launched Filminute, an international festival of one-minute films screening around the world online, on mobile phones, television screens and theatres, as well as digital installations. The Directors Guild of Canada, the Writers Guild of Canada and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London were on board as participants and the festival was anchored in cities like London (UK), Toronto, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Ian Sandler (AOCAD, Drawing & Painting, 1997)

Sandler has shown his sculptures, installations, and videos internationally and has completed public art commissions in Toronto, St. Louis, Philadelphia and Busan, South Korea. His most recent permanent public sculpture, "A Departure", was installed in Lethbridge in October 2009. He also produced two large public art works, "The Vessel" for the City of Toronto and "What's Your Name?" for North Toronto Collegiate Institute. He has received numerous awards, including grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Nova Scotia Department of Culture and was named as a 2009 Sobey Art Award finalist.

Gary Taxali (Communications & Design, 1991)

In 2006, alumnus and OCAD U Illustration faculty member Gary Taxali received the prestigious Gold Medal in the Advertising category for the 48th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Illustrators of New York. As part of the award, his illustration was exhibited at the Museum of American Illustration. Also in 2006, Taxali was awarded the Gold ADDY Award in the world’s largest advertising competition, conducted by the American Advertising Federation.

Christina Zeidler (AOCAD, Integrated Media, 1997)

Zeidler is a film and video artist with over twenty titles in distribution, which have shown internationally at festivals and appeared on television. In 2003 she was named one of Toronto's 10 best filmmakers by Cameron Bailey, and she won the Best Canadian Media Award at the 2004 Images Film Festival for her films "Machine Guts" and "Kill Road." Her video and photo installations have shown at Lennox Contemporary, Katherine Mulherin Art Projects, and Zsa- Zsa, and she has participated in the Toronto Alternative Art Fair International (TAAFI), and the Albright Knox Beyond/In Western New York Biennial. Her curatorial work includes the "Come Up To My Room" alternative design event with Pamila Matharu (at the Gladstone Hotel) and a series of collaborative films called Queen St. By Numbers (2003) and House Call (2004). Zeidler is currently develops programming at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto.

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