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Criticism & Curatorial Practice (MFA)

Criticism & Curatorial Practice (MFA)

Offering graduate students an exceptional opportunity to explore and experiment with contemporary art, media and design through engagement with history, theory and criticism within curatorial practice.

There is Bread & Salt Between Us - MFA Exhibition Curated by Valentyna Onisko, MFA 2017


1st Year

Adrienne Huard

Adrienne Huard is a Two-Spirit Anishinaabekwe who is currently based out of Tkarón:to (Toronto). She is a member of Couchiching First Nations, Fort Frances, ON, and was born in raised in so-called Winnipeg. After graduating in 2012 from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in photography, she decided to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Art History at Concordia University in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. After graduating in April 2018, she was selected for the Editorial Residency at Canadian Art magazine for the summer of 2018. Adrienne curated her first program of queer Indigenous/Two-Spirit short films titled Kinship and Closeness, co-presented by, which has been exhibited in Montreal, Calgary, Haida Gwaii, and Winnipeg. Her area of focus for study is to challenge the positioning of Indigenous art and artists within cultural institutions, and explore how to better improve these relationships to facilitate the process of resurgence.

Cierra Frances

CIERRA FRANCES is a visual artist, arts administrator and aspiring curator. Her artist practice focuses on biracial identity and "Eurasian" culture found in her Filipino ancestry while exploring various media including photography, painting and printmaking. 

Cierra graduated from Concordia University with a BFA in Art Education specializing in community-based practices. She recently obtained an Ontario Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration & Cultural Management with Honours from Humber College. Since then she has worked with the Toronto School of Art, Art Gallery of Mississauga and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in aspects of arts administration and community engaged initiatives and events.

Through the CRCP program at OCAD, she hopes to broaden her understanding of curatorial and critical practices while considering of the climate of Toronto's arts and culture sector. She seeks to educate and work closely with emerging artists and arts professionals to encourage them to seize opportunities and, in-turn, help them to further develop their own practices.

Courtney Miller

Courtney Miller has a background in visual arts, and is currently pursuing a career as a curator. Her research interests involve considering alternate epistemologies as institutional critique, and decolonial approaches to curating. Originally from BC, Courtney completed a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of the Fraser Valley in 2014. Before commencing studies at OCAD, she developed practical experience with the Vancouver Biennale, the ACT Art Gallery, as well as a freelance calligraphy instructor. Within the CRCP program at OCAD, Courtney intends to strengthen her critical writing and research to inform her curatorial practice.


Valérie Frappier


Valérie Frappier is a cultural worker and emerging writer and curator currently based in Toronto. She was Canadian Art's 2017-18 editorial intern, and has worked within different art organizations in Montreal, Quebec and Cork, Ireland. She previously completed a BFA in Art History/Studio Arts at Concordia University and a BA in Gender and Women's Studies at York University. As an MFA candidate in the Criticism and Curatorial Practice program at OCADU, her research will focus on questions of gender, race and nationhood within Canadian cultural production, and explore what structures support the reframing of dominant narratives. 

Zoe Dion-Van Royen

Zoé dion-van royen is an emerging writer, curator and artist. in 2017, she obtained a BFA in art history from concordia university with great distinction. she focuses her practice on the everyday and the representation and reception of the real through videos and photography theories. as an MFA candidate at OCADU, she aims to develop a curatorial practice that encourages the embodiment of inclusivity and the engagement of communities through cultural interventions.


Iman Bhatti

Iman Bhatti is a Pakistani born, Canadian based artist currently perusing her MFA in Criticism and Curation from OCAD University. Working in painting and mixed media techniques, Bhatti explores themes of identity, gender roles, orientalism, and resistance in order to emphasize the way in which exposure to images shapes perception.

Irene Achterbergh

Irene Achterbergh is a curator from Amsterdam, with an academic background in Media studies (BA) and Sociology of the Arts (MA). Her professional experience includes digital curation at WeTransfer, and more traditional curation-practices at a public gallery of a design-driven innovation studio. Within the Criticism and Curatorial Practice program at OCAD U, she’s exploring ways in which to fully align her theoretical interests with her practical experience, which extend to new media art, the physical space versus the virtual space, and how exploration of its intersections can contribute to wide public engagement and democratic arts participation.


Mattia Zylak


Emily Dickson


2nd Year

Panya Clark Espinal

PANYA CLARK ESPINAL is a multi-media installation artist who investigates the mechanisms of cultural representation and their silent influence over our perceptions of the world. Through site-specific installations, exhibitions and public commissions, she brings renewed intimacy to the act of looking while raising questions about issues of authenticity, appropriation, reproduction, collection, and display.

Panya Clark Espinal lives and works in Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1988, receiving the Governor General’s Award for her work in Experimental Art and Sculpture Installation. Solo exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canadian Embassy (Tokyo), the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the National Gallery of Canada, Oakville Galleries, and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery. She has also exhibited in England, Italy, and Spain. As an active producer of public art commissions, she has created pieces for the Toronto Transit Commission, the City of Mississauga, Covenant House, and various community institutions in and around Toronto. Her work is included in private and public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada.


Erica Cristobal

Erica Cristobal is a Toronto-based writer and curator. She takes an interest in the intersection of space, pedagogy, and the senses within contemporary art and curation. Her research explores feminist and affect theory to question the phenomenon of the exhibition and ethics of care. Working at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, she facilitates outreach programs in the Education department, specifically for the Power Kids program.


Liz Ikiriko

Liz Ikiriko has been immersed in the media arts community in Toronto as a photo director/editor in print publishing, and as an independent curator. She is biracial Nigerian Canadian, born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan. She is currently the art director of the online arts media journal - The Ethnic Aisle. Liz recently curated Light Grows The Tree - a portrait series of over 50 Black visual artists in Toronto; exhibited at BAND gallery. As an OCADU graduate student in the Criticism and Curatorial Practice program, her research is centred on migration, homelands and geographic histories for African and Diasporic artists.


Elizabeth Handley-Derry

Keiko Hart




2018-19 Criticism and Curatorial Practice Graduate Program Committee

Gabby Moser
Johanna Householder
Gerald McMaster
Amish Morrell
Suzanne Morrissette
Julian Haladyn
Andrea Fatona (On Leave)
Dot Tuer
Irene Achterbergh
Elizabeth Handley- Derry