Alumni profiles: 2000s
Nicholas Di Genova(AOCAD, Drawing & Painting, 2005)
Drawing on the influence of anime, comic books, Otaku culture, and animal compendiums, the work of Nicholas Di Genova features an encyclopaedic range of constructed creatures ranging from soft and nurturing to calculating and military. Di Genova has garnered all levels of press in Canada, featuring reviews in Canadian Art magazine, Globe and Mail, National Post, numerous online forums, NOW Magazine and EYE Magazine. Nicholas Di Genova is represented in Toronto by LE gallery, in New York by Fredericks Freiser Gallery and has been featured in New York's Armory Show and in Future Species, curated by David Liss at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. Di Genova has been included in exhibitions in New York, Singapore, London and Berlin and appears in publications from Austria, Australia, Canada, Germany, and the United States. Di Genova was featured in Carte Blanche Vol. 2: Painting published by Magenta Publishing for the Arts.
Keesic Douglas (BFA, Photography, 2007)
Douglas, an Ojibway from Mnjikaning First Nation, creates work which explores the misrepresentation of First Nations people in contemporary Canadian society. In 2007 Douglas was awarded the Gallery TPW "Emerging Artists Award", as well as the Best Short Documentary award for his film "The Vanishing Trace," presented as part of the 2007 imagineNATIVE Film Festival. Douglas’ film was also presented at the Alaska Native Heritage Center’s Indigenous World Film Festival 2008, in January. In 2008, the Art Bank, a program of the Canada Council for the Arts, announced the acquisition of Douglas’s photographic work "Split Rock Gap, 2007". Douglas’s film "War Pony" was shown in 2009 at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Yotam Dor (BFA, Integrated Media, 2007)
"A Modest Proposal: To Solve Tomorrow’s Energy Crisis, Today", a film by Integrated Media graduate Dor, premiered at the Young Cuts Film Festival in Montreal, where it received an honourable mention for the “Best Short, Short” category. The film was also shown at the Milano Film Festival in Milan, Italy, and at the ECOBahia International Festival of AudioVisual, in Brazil. Dor studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia for his MFA in Film and Television.
Katherine Dynes (BFA, Printmaking, 2007)
2007 OCAD U Printmaking Medal Winner Dynes’s work investigates how memories are played out through the physical experience of the body. She screen prints images of her own body onto translucent fabric to give her work an ethereal quality. Memories are represented with images of objects, revealing an internal narrative. Because the printing surface is translucent, the objects simultaneously become internal and external, a metaphor describing the paradox of how what we experience externally can substantially impact our internal selves. Dynes was hired to assist with the production of "The Time Traveler’s Wife", the film version of the beloved 2003 novel by Audrey Niffenegger.
Jennifer Hardy (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2008)
At the age of fourteen, Hardy suffered a stroke that caused her to struggle in school, as she had trouble reading and speaking. After several years of speech therapy, she improved and regained her speech but was unable to follow through with her goal of becoming a doctor or an accountant. Instead, Hardy developed her skills in the visual arts, and studied in the Drawing & Painting and Integrated Media programs at OCAD U. Hardy has since received numerous awards for her film works "The Reincarnation of Emily" and "WSIM: What Suffered Inside Me", which she has shown at numerous festivals in Canada and the USA.
Min Hyung (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2009)
Hyung was featured in Toronto Life for her solo exhibition at Angell Gallery "Uniformitarian Principle", that ran from November 28 until January 3, 2009. The article partly read, “…Hyung has matured considerably over a short period of time. She populates her works with little multi-coloured blobs of acrylic — think Skittles — which in recent shows have, as groupings in front of broader strokes, come to resemble outer space phenomena. Her new effort showcases these globules in a dramatically new light: as patina on dream-like views of contemporary luxury architecture.”
Wil Kucey (BFA, Criticism & Curatorial Practice, 2005)
Kucey is an independent curator based in Toronto. Owner and curator of Le Gallery, Kucey’s practice focuses on the promotion and exposure of emerging artists in critical contemporary practice with stress on the exploration of the porous discourse of art/design production. Kucey was named “Best Young Curator” for his “uncanny knack for ferreting out a diverse range of the best young up-and-coming artists in the Toronto area”.
Patrick Kyle (BDes, Illustration, 2009)
Kyle is an illustrator and comic book artist who lives and works in Toronto. He is the co-founder and editor of Wowee Zonk, a comic book anthology featuring contemporary comic strips by up and coming artists from Toronto.
Jenna MacLellan (BFA, 2007)
Through OCAD U's Mobility Exchange program, MacLellan collaborated with Ryan Easter, recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute in Chicago to create (faut art), a community arts organization for social change. By joining 20 art and design students from OCAD U and the Art Institute together, (faut art) had created the Recycling Intervention Committee (RIC) Project which aims to improve the City of Chicago's current recycling program. RIC started at OCAD U, where students worked together to develop and create "snuggle bins", which strapped onto existing Chicago public garbage bins.
Alex McLeod (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2007)
McLeod constructs hyper-realistic 3D environments filled with crystalline mountains, fiery lakes, and rotund clouds, rendered in candy-colored palettes. Recalling the wide-open vistas of Romantic landscape painting while at the same time staging otherworldly dystopias, McLeod’s CGI prints act as hybrid spaces that imply an almost infinite recombination of the past and present, the real and virtual. Alex McLeod lives and works in Toronto, and has exhibited in New York, Philadelphia, San Jose, Denver, Sao Paulo, Barcelona, Toronto and Sweden. In 2011 he was invited as a guest lecturer to the University of Waikato in New Zealand.
Agnes Niewiadomski (BFA, Sculpture/Installation, 2008)
Niewiadomski creates site-specific installations of work informed by the notion that identity is shaped by the defining moments of one’s life. In her thesis work, Niewiadomski explores her own, most significant defining moment — her father’s car accident which cause him to suffer significant brain damage — a moment which created a paradigm shift in her home and family life. Niewiadomski’s cathartic installations explore the preservation of memory and desire for “the way things once were”. As part of Luminato 2008, Niewiadomski was invited to participate in Toronto's Mille Femmes, a photo installation project by French artist Pierre Maraval, meant as a tribute to the women who enrich the city's flourishing cultural scene.
Kat O'Shaughnessy (BDes, Material Art & Design, 2008)
O'Shaughnessy is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer who specializes in textile innovation, but also works in ceramics, jewellery, printmaking, photography, electronics, digital media and book arts. She has worked with and for many established and internationally exhibited artists, including Joanna Berzowska, Ann Hamilton, Annie Thompson and Anne Fautaux. She was awarded honourable mention for Best Student in Show at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in 2008. O'Shaughnessy headlined the 2009 Toronto Alternative Arts & Fashion Week with her fashion collection Salvation.
Philip Rae (BDes, Graphic Design, 2008)
Since graduating, Rae has forged a very successful career, both with Corus Entertainment, one of Canada’s most successful integrated media and entertainment companies, and with Uomo Studio, an international design firm in which he is a partner. During his thesis year he investigated how design can influence one’s well-being. His project, “The Living Room” is a concept for a hospital room of the future. His design encourages patient contentment and comfort, and expedites the recovery process for patients in medical care through the use of light, image, colour, air and sound. Rae’s work helped him to win the medal in Graphic Design for top-performing student. At Corus, Rae creates motion graphics for broadcast for networks such as YTV, Viva TV, the W Network, CosmoTV and Movie Central. At Uomo, he creates music videos and designs for independent films, including the videos for “Search,” by Vancouver-based hip hop artist Moka Only, and “Heaven’s Gates & Hell’s Flames,” by Scarborough duo The Carps, as well as the documentary film The Eye of Egypt by Toronto-based Fantom Power Film.
Andrea Raymond (BFA, Photography, 2008)
In August 2007, Raymond was named the Ontario winner of the BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition, which runs across Canada. Raymond began documenting her younger brother’s successful fight against cancer as a way to artistically address issues of illness, pain and healing. The result is a complex series of works that not only show her brother’s steps to recovery, but also her own emotions and feelings about his illness. In addition to the $2500 prize Raymond received for her submission, her works were added to the BMO collection, to be showcased in offices across Canada. Her work joins aprestigious corporate art collection that includes historical and contemporary Canadian masters such as Kenojuak Ashevak, Emily Carr, Tom Forestall, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Lawren Harris and others.
Lorena Salom (BFA, Integrated Media, 2006)
Prior to moving to Toronto, Lorena Salomé studied electrical engineering for two years in Argentina. Her focus subsequently shifted to investigations of the image through photography and film at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires. During her studies at OCAD U, she explored various fabrication processes, mechanics and electronics. Her video work has been presented in Canada, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Germany and the United States. She has exhibited in Press Play, the emerging artists show at InterAccess in 2006 and at the XPACE Gallery in Toronto. More recently, she exhibited her piece Solenoids at the Pure Data Convention in Montreal in August 2007.
Nadja Sayej (AOCAD, Drawing & Painting, 2004)
In 2009, Sayej co-launched the acclaimed ArtStars* video blog about the Toronto art scene. “ArtStars* delves into the Toronto art world to capture the buzz the newspaper reviews and magazine previews often miss out on,” says Sayej. “From messy art openings to thoughtful studio visits, we chat with the rising stars, the groupies and fashionistas to reveal that yes, if those white walls could talk they’d say that everyone is having a hell of a time.” ArtStars* videos have covered the C Magazine spring auction at Birch Libralato gallery, The Powerplant’s Power Ball, the Pleasure Addicts performance work by alumnaBrenda Goldstein at Toronto Free Gallery. Sayej has even managed to interview the ever elusive Douglas Coupland.
Walter Segers (BFA, Photography, 2008)
Segers has exhibited his photo-based works both nationally and internationally, including at Spin Gallery, the Gladstone Hotel, Gallery 1313, the John B. Aird Gallery and recently in Prague, Czech Republic in Galerie AMU. He has received numerous awards and grants including the M.C. McCain Post-Graduate Photography Residency Artist at OCAD U where he worked on his most recent body of work "Forbidden Spaces".
Stacey Sproule (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2007)
2007 graduate Stacey Sproule was named the winner of a competition held amongst students in Professor Colette Laliberté’s “Painting in the Expanded Field” course, in cooperation with Wynick/Tuck Gallery in Toronto. Sproule’s proposal for the exhibit, "The Blue", was considered to be the best combination of aesthetic and innovative use of the space. The work makes use of Wynick/Tuck’s aquarium-like Project Room, employing interior and exterior light as well as the architecture of the space.
Stacey Tyrell (AOCAD, Photography, 2002)
New York City-based Stacey Tyrell was chosen as one of the top emerging Canadian photographers by Gallery 44 in Toronto in 2003. Her work has appeared in such shows as "Photography NOW 2009" at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY and "Position As Desired: Contemporary African Canadian Photography" at the Royal Ontario Museum. Her images are part of Heritage Canada’s permanent collection and has appeared in such publications are Prefix Photo and Applied Arts magazine.
Ruth Jing Wang (BDes, Illustration, 2007)
In March 2009, Wang was named among the top 100 female graphic design and illustration artists by YEN, Australia's top independent publication for women. The competition drew 1600 submissions from women in 40 countries around the world. Curvy 6 showcased works by the winners in its 6th annual issue, published as a limited edition book in April. The publication was complemented by a national event tour of Australia. Wang’s work is centred in the world of haute couture and the dramatic lives of those who wear it.
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