Alumni profiles: 1960s

Stuart Ash (AOCA, Graphic Design, 1963)

Ash drew some of his inspiration from Allan Fleming and Carl Dair's approach and international outlook. As an apprentice to Tony Mann at Cooper & Beatty Ltd., he benefited not only from the practical experience but philosophical discussion. There, he designed the highly stylized and geometric maple leaf as the symbol of Canada's Centennial. It was to prove wildly popular, appearing across the country in a wide variety of applications, from flower beds to civic monuments. Beginning to work with Swiss-born Fritz Gottschalk in Montreal, Ash suddenly found himself in charge of a major project for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and an important partnership was born. The firm of Gottschalk+Ash were leading exponents of the remarkable sensitivity and clarity of modernist typography, developing an effective philosophy of design, healthy internal competition to produce the best design, and as a result, developed an admirable client list. As the firm expanded, it developed offices in several cities, and Ash returned to Toronto where his company has recently joined DW+Partners, a network of companies that will continue to actively shape design in Canada.

David Blackwood (AOCA, Drawing & Painting, 1963)

Best known for his stark blue/black etchings of his life in the sea-faring towns of Newfoundland, David Blackwood is considered one of Canada’s premier printmakers and enjoys international acclaim for his work. He is an enormously prolific artist. One of his best known images is “Fire Down on the Labrador”, 1980. Blackwood has been the subject of many books. His work is exhibited across Canada and his art can be found in many public and private collections around the world including, the National Gallery of Australia, the Uffizi Museum in Florence and in the collection of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth in England. In 1993 he received the Order of Canada and was honoured with the Order of Ontario in 2004. Blackwood holds honorary doctorates from several Universities. In 1967, a National Film Board production “Blackwood” was nominated for an Academy Award and has since been translated into sever languages worldwide. A major retrospective of Blackwood’s prints was presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2011.

Ken Danby (AOCA, Fine Arts Drawing & Painting, 1960)

As one of the world’s foremost realist painters, the late Ken Danby explored figurative painting and abstraction while a student, but soon abandoned these styles in favour of realism. As a painter and printmaker, Danby produced portraits and landscapes but is most recognized for his realistic portrayals of sporting subjects such as “The Goalie”, “At the Crease” and his series of Olympic athletes. He was awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario for his contributions to art and art advocacy. His work is found in the collections of such institutions as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The National Gallery of Canada, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Montreal Museum of Fine Art, to name a few, as well as numerous corporate and private collections internationally.

Garry Neill Kennedy (AOCA, 1960)

Halifax-based artist and educator Garry Neill Kennedy is best known for his highly conceptual paintings, using a wide range of materials in his work. As an educator, he was instrumental in transforming the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) from a small art school into an internationally recognized institution, during his 23 years as President. Kennedy has also taught and lectured throughout Canada, the US and Europe, and was in 2004 was awarded the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts, one of Canada’s top artistic honours. Kennedy was awarded the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) inaugural Visual Art Book Award (2007) for his monograph Garry Neill Kennedy: Superstar Shadow (1984-2005), co-published by collaborating galleries Museum London, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Owens Art Gallery.

Donald Stuart (AOCA, Textiles, 1967)

Donald Stuart is one of Canada’s leading gold and silversmiths. His unique designs, handcrafted from precious stones and metals, combined with other materials like wood and stainless steel, are sought after in Canada and abroad. Stuart is the founder of Pangnirtung Weaving Studio in Baffin Island, the largest of its kind in Canada and one of the region’s main sources of employment. He is also recognized for being the founder of the weaving, jewellery and metals programs at Georgian College of Applied Art and Technology. Stuart is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2004.

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