Meet IAMD students and alumni: video interviews available here
Aylan Couchie is an Anishinaabe artist hailing from Nipissing First Nation in Northern Ontario. She received her Fine Arts Advanced diploma from Georgian College and went on to complete her BFA at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She's been the recipient of several awards including "2015 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture" through the International Sculpture Center and the Inaugural Barbara Laronde Award (2015) from the Native Women in the Arts organization. Aylan has exhibited throughout Ontario, Halifax, New Jersey, Ireland, and Serbia and in 2018 will see her first large scale public art commission, H.I.O Big Chiefs , raised 70 feet to permanently overlook the City of Barrie, Ontario. While at OCAD University, her interdisciplinary research in the IAMD program will involve an analysis of the concept and materiality of monuments from an Indigenous perspective in Canada. This research will consider how the monument translates between Western and Anishinaabe epistemologies, and think through how monument then relates to colonization and perceptions that settler Canadians have towards Indigenous cultures.
Laura Dawe is a painter, filmmaker and writer. She made a feature film called Light is the Day in 2010 which she paid for by throwing parties and selling paintings. She attended the Canadian Film Centre's Directors Lab in 2011 where she made a short called Dreemer. She has an ongoing performance/video series called Poetic Mixology. She is the host of Akimbo TV's Artland.
Thom Jeffrey Garcia
The value of reciprocal learning through interdisciplinary discourse is what inspires T. Jeffrey Garcia’s connection with Architecture and Design. He maintains two primary research interests that are different but not irreconcilable: curation as a cultural index and the implication of phenomenology as a spatial tectonic. Both are tethered to the contention that alchemy through innovation is precipitated by the critical synthesis of research, disparate knowledge, and lateral thinking. He proposes that a paradigm shift needs to occur where curators and designers are no longer custodians of certainty, rather, they need to become fluent cultural interpreters that can creatively parse the inundation of content and information that contextualizes our milieu.
From 2002 to 2016, Jeffrey was a sessional instructor at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba. Additional to teaching in the undergraduate Environmental Design Program, he instructed at the graduate level in the Interior Design Department. From 2011 to 2015, He was a collaborator at STUFF (Studio for Transformative Urban Forms and Fields), an innovative network practice and think-tank. His focus was on design development, curation, and exhibition. Jeffrey worked for the radical industrial design firm Plastic Buddha Design Inc. from 2000 to 2004, assigned to research projects and special commissions.
Tara Krebs is a Toronto-based artist and curator whose surreal paintings combine themes of adolescence, feminism, and nature. As narratives are an important element in Tara’s work, she will be focusing her MFA research on the many vehicles through which we share and receive stories, and how these traditions have evolved throughout history.Having worked predominantly in her career as a 2D artist, Tara is looking forward to expanding her technique to incorporate new media and installation-based elements to create a modern, interactive storytelling experience.
A graduate of OCA class of 1980, Bernard Leroux is an award winning documentary and commercial filmmaker, photographer and art practitioner with assignments and exhibitions to his credit throughout Canada, U.S. Italy, Scandinavia, Japan and Africa.
For the past 8 years Northlight Pictures, Leroux’s production company has produced national broadcast spots, online digital content, documentaries, marketing materials, and corporate communications for various Canadian clients and NGOs working in Rwanda Africa. He also teaches part time at Durham College School of Media Art and Design in Oshawa Ontario.
An active leader in the Métis community in Ontario since 2003, Leroux was founding Vice President of the Métis Artists’ Collective and the founding President of the Oshawa and Durham Region Métis Council.
Community engagement and uncovering his indigenous roots are familiar themes in his personal work since Leroux’s emergence into the native community in the late 90s. In recent years, exploring the question of identity as an indigenous person, how traditional indigenous knowledge finds relevancy and context in a contemporary world and ways in which that knowledge or practice can manifest itself, have been among his main themes.
Bernard’s MFA research will focus thematically on indigenous culture, the resistance of transition and the concept of blood memory as explorations to fully realizing one’s own indigenous nature, in Leroux’s case his Métissage stemming from his Algonquin / French roots.
Pam Nelson is a designer and artist from northern Ontario who, inspired by local geology, works with themes of edge condition, creating work that sits at the edge of beauty and ugliness. As a Master’s student, Pam’s research interest lies in combining artisanal methods and digital manufacturing as a way to explore the shifting nature of identity as influenced by societal notions of "Values" versus "Valuable".
Brianne Service is a fine artist from Hamilton Ontario, currently residing in Toronto. She is a graduate of the Fine Arts program at OCAD University, where she will continue her studies in the Interdisciplinary Arts Media and Design Program (MFA). She completed the final year of her BFA in Florence, Italy where she continued to live and paint for five years. She also holds a diploma in Illustration from the Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Brianne has exhibited her work internationally throughout Canada, Italy and France. Her oil paintings explore the relationship between nature and architecture, symbolizing the transitional phases of growth and transformation. Her research interest is to examine both conflict and harmony of nature with architecture by integrating Biomimicry, design and sculpture. Her series of architectural paintings will extend into sharper, more pronounced interventions of the natural world into human-made spaces. www.brianneservice.com
Michael M Simon is a practicing artist and designer currently pursuing an MFA in the Interdisciplinary Masters of Art, Media & Design program at OCAD University. He holds a bachelors degree in Architecture from Carleton University and has more than a decade of professional experience in design, lighting, and fabrication - all of which he draws upon to inform his interdisciplinary installation and sculpture based practice. His work re-contextualizes common, labour related, objects, tools and materials in site-specific installations and explores the complex relationships between people and objects in the built environment.
Dasha Valakhanovitch earned her B.F.A in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University. Since graduating, she has continued her practice while volunteering as an assistant instructor in printmaking at Concordia University. She has worked over a decade in the film industry where she acquired her versatilty and skill as a prop-maker. Dasha Valakhanovitch has an agile practice ranging between painting, drawing and print. The manufactured landscape is the center of her investigation. With a minimalist and abstract approach, she studies the boundaries of culturally constructed land in junction with the traditional views of what landscape is. She has exhibited in Toronto and Montreal, most notably at the FOFA Gallery where she won the prestigious Concordia University Alumni Association Prize in 2014. Her work can be found in the Art Gallery of Ontario's Art Rental & Sales Gallery and AIMIA art collection.
Justyna Werbel works both as an active visual artist and curator. She received her BDes in Industrual Design from OCADU and is currently perusing her masters in the IDAM program in Toronto. Werbel's works dance between social practice, film, performance, installation, drawing and photography, and have been made and presented in Poland, Germany, Israel the Czech Republic, Uruguay, Brazil, India and Canada. Werbel creates interdisciplinary projects that require participation from an audience and involve social engagement as a method of research. Werbel was the head of the productions department in Poland's newest Centre for Contemporary art TRAFO, where she also spear headed the Plug In Project Room, an experimental space dedicated to supporting both local and international emerging artists. Werbel has been the recipient of numerous grants, including support from Adama mickiewicz institute, the Polish Institute New Delhi, the Polish Institute in Tel Aviv as well as the outstanding scholastic achievement grant from the Polonia Centre in Canada.
After graduating OCADU in 1996 from the New Media/Integrated Media program, where Holography and Film were her focus, Wendy went on to spend the next 20 years in the Visual Effects Industry in various roles including VFX Supervisor, Artistic Advisor and Stereoscopic Advisor. Wendy has worked in London England, LA, Quebec, Vancouver, Toronto… for companies including IMAX, Cinesite UK, Relativity Media, and Digital Domain. Wendy has diverged from the film industry to explore the creation of works that use biofeedback and visualization to help ease chronic pain and suffering. Her practice uses depth, perspective, and light both physically and metaphorically as both concepts and media.
Tal Sofia Braniss
Sarah Carlson, b. 1987, Bitburg Germany, is a Canadian artist working mainly in paint and installation practices. She earned her honours BFA (2009) from the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University. Carlson has been featured in Idea Couture's MISC Magazine, interviewed by Feminist Art Conference Toronto and reviewed by Artoronto. She was the spring 2016 artist in residence at Algonquin Provincial Park and has attended residencies at Artscape Gibraltar Point, The Canadian Wilderness Artist Residency in Yukon and Can Serrat International Art Centre in Barcelona Spain.
As an artist my work aims to tell stories, mostly of what is not revealed to the eye but lives within our everyday reality. Specially those emotions, events and situations that are been kept hidden or secret because of social norms and conditioning. In my art I explore secrecy, silence and how art may become a tool for revealing, and therefore, making the audience and the artist aware.
Born in Souther Spain in 1979, at age 19 I moved to Paris (France) where I became involved in feminist, queer and anarchist movements. After having obtained my degree in Comparative Literature at University Paris VIII, I pursued a BA in Studio Arts at Ecole Nationale de Beaux-Arts in Toulouse (France). Since 2008 I have been living in Canada, where I have worked as a visual artists for different artist-run spaces, social justice organizations, art education institutions. I am also the founder with Paulie McDermid of theatre collective Colectivo Pez Luna / Moonfish Collective
My work has been exhibited across Canada (Montreal - La Centrale Powerhouse, MAI -, Toronto - A Space, Textile Museum of Canada, AGO - , St. Jonh's - Eastern Edge -, London - The Forest City -) as well as in the International Biennial of Quebec City (2017). Internationally, my work has been shown in several locations in Spain (including CentroCentro Madrid), South Korea, the Netherlands, Germany and Costa Rica.
As a professional visual artist I have received the support of Canada
Council for the Arts (2017, 2013, 2012), Ontario Arts Council (2016, 2015),
Toronto Arts Council (2017) and Quebec Arts Council (2012).
In 2017, I was awarded the Finalist Artist Prize by the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts.
Adrienne Matheuszik is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto, Ontario. Focusing in Installation and video art, she uses elements of photo, sculpture, interactive projection and performance art to create immersive artworks. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Ottawa and a Graduate Certificate in Digital Technologies in Design Art Practice. She has exhibited in Canada and the United States.
Kristi Poole-Adler's work is influenced by her perceptions of and experiences with a family member’s diagnosis of schizophrenia. The images she creates investigate the surreal to show a place that borders on delusion and reality. Her work may be viewed as a social commentary regarding health care, homelessness and the stigma towards mental illness. Kristi holds a BFA with honours from the University of Alberta, specializing in Painting and Printmaking. Her work is a part of the University of Alberta’s Printmaking teaching collection, and has been exhibited in group shows provincially and internationally. She volunteered with Friends of University Hospitals in Edmonton as a part of the Artist on the Wards Program helping patients and family members relieve stress through the process of making artwork. Her work has been presented at World Suicide Prevention Day conferences and community Mental Health workshops taking place throughout the Howe Sound Corridor in BC. Kristi regularly volunteers for the Audain Art Museum in Whistler assisting their educational programs department and acting as a docent for their permanent collection, as well as their rotating exhibitions. Most notably, her work was included in the Show Your World exhibition at Gallery MC, New York, NY. As well, she received the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant to assist with her studies while working towards her Interdisciplinary Masters in Art and Design at OCAD University. Kristi’s work examines the excess, deterioration and falsity of society. It presents scenes of invasion, where the detritus of our everyday begins to seep out of the cracks of ordinary cityscapes, confronting us with the things that we try to hide, both privately and in an organized societal way. The imagery she uses draws from found photography of deconstructed tent cities, abandoned homes, neglected spaces, family photos, and memorabilia celebrating our nation’s pride. By collaging this material together, Kristi is presenting a spectacle as if it's a voyage into the secrets of the psyche. By unveiling these truths, she hopes to facilitate more conversation surrounding mental illness and to challenge the negative stigmas people still hold.
Randa Reda Mahmoud
Ellen Snowball is a visual artist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Working within the realm of photography and videography, her process often explores themes of identity, illness, and loss.
Half of One and Six of the Other is a series that began as her Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis project at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2015. The project is a series of images and videos that document illness within a personal context; Marie-Louise Snowball, Ellen's mother, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease in the fall of 2013.
In an appointment with Louise's neurologist, it was proposed by the doctor that she would only have four years left before her disease would finally devour her body, leaving her estranged to reality and ultimately lead to her passing. The progression of her terminal illness was on an aggressive route, effecting both her cognitive abilities as well as her physical mobility. Ellen's series boldly copes with Louise's battle against her degenerative illness, and facilitates discussions surrounding universal conflicts with illness, death, loss, and pain that circulate within family structures. Louise passed away in February of 2017.
During her MFA studies, Ellen has continued to advocate awareness surrounding Alzheimer's disease. She creates work that challenges traditional Western concepts of identity and memory as cognitive functions that are inextricably linked to a persons subjective existence. In addition, Ellen's work explores personal narratives that cope with illness and loss of a loved one.
Lingxiang Wu | lingxiangwu.weebly.com
Born in Fujian, China, Lingxiang Wu is a photography-based visual artist living and working in Toront. He studied Photography and Film/ Video Production at SUNY – Buffalo where he received his BA in Media Studies and Studio Art. Wu creates experimental videos, abstract photographs, and photographic collages that are influenced by a diverse range of references from the modernist avantgarde. Cenceptually, Wu's artistic research focuses on comprehending the senseless and dull digital obscurity and its effect on social behaviors.
My background is in commercial photography and film working mainly in the world of advertising. 15 years into my commercial practice, I have intuitively moved into work that embraces technological advances in the hope of better understanding the human state.
As a social practice artist, I am interested in gender and ethnicity, focusing on perception issues as faced by the demands of popular homogenized culture. My current focus has been the investigation of the dynamic relationship between identity and technology through still and moving images and now Augmented Reality. I create aestheticized work that questions our sense of self and perceived realities.
Alda is a graduate of the Fine Arts program at York University where she specialized in printmaking. It was during her time there that her love for multiples was born. Her interdisciplinary practice explores the hidden rituals embedded in even the most banal routines of everyday life. These are often echoed in the repetitive, laborious processes of making art. Alda’s process often imitates industrial methods to generate large editions; this requires transforming the creative process into a one-person assembly line. This way of making art creates distance between her and the individual pieces that are produced, while completely immersing her in every aspect of the fabrication. Her current work explores ways of further increasing her making capacity through the use of new technologies as well as questions around the consumption and functionality of art. When she’s not making things, Alda works for Toronto-based NGO IFEX.
Elizabeth Lopez is a multidisciplinary artist, a sculptural painter who uses juxtapositions of materials to evoke ideas and experiences. Her art practice has developed during many years immersed in technical environments. She recently completed her BFA in Drawing and Painting at OCADU, and holds a Bachelor of Engineering from McGill University, Montreal.
Intrigued by the flip sides of time - impermanence and the moment – much of her work is characterized by the re-combinations of disparate materials, disrupting the pull of the screen. She plans to further explore digital processes, melding them with analog processes, and to continue combining new products with traditional materials.
Elizabeth is presently an inaugural artist in the Creative Space Residency in the Toronto Beach neighbourhood.
bekky O'Neil is a multidisciplinary artist, animator & director based between Northumberland County and Toronto, Ontario. She is a graduate of Concordia University and holds a BFA in Playwrighting and a second BFA in Film Animation from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. bekky is the co-founder of Cardboard Reality Farm & Studio where she collaborates with her partner Keith Del Principe on producing sustainably created goods and media.
Her films have been part of the official selection of the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Les Sommets Du Cinema D’Animation in Montreal, Monstra in Lisbon, and the 18th Animation Show of Shows, currently touring cinemas across the U.S.A.
bekky is currently pursuing postgraduate studies in Animated Documentary & Sustainable Agriculture in the Interdisciplinary Masters in Art, Media & Design at OCAD University. She is passionate about ecology, preserving biodiversity, and believes that good art can inspire positive social change. www.bekky.ca