Alumni profiles: 1980s

Joseph Muscat (AOCA, Fine Arts, 1981)

Joseph Muscat is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design (1981), York University and the University of Toronto.  He has also studied at l’Universite d’Aix Marseilles and L’Atelier des réalisations graphiques de Québec. He has exhibited his work in Canada, USA, Europe and South America and his work is widely collected in public, corporate and private collections including the Canada Council Art Bank. He has received numerous Ontario Arts Council grants and his work has been reproduced on book and magazine covers.Mr. Muscat has lectured at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Architecture and has taught Visual Arts part-time with the Toronto District School Board. He is Partnerships Chair at Propeller Gallery, Toronto, a founding member of Le Labo d'art and a past board director of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and BRAVO.  He has sat on a number of arts' juries locally and nationally and is a member of Padejo, a three-artist collective. Although Mr. Muscat’s primary medium is painting and mixed-media, he has also worked in serigraphy, lithography, photography, installation and video. The subject matter in his work often draws from a repertoire of symbols and historical archetypes; his style fuses the representational with the abstract. Mr. Muscat is represented by David Kaye Gallery in Toronto and Danielle Wohl Fine Arts in Orinda, California.

Rebecca Belmore (AOCA, Experimental Arts, 1988)

Belmore is an Anishinabekwe artist working in sculpture, installation, video and performance art. Her powerful work explores issues of place and identity, and confronts challenges for First Nations People. Belmore was selected to represent Canada at the 2005 Venice Biennale of Visual Art, the oldest and most prestigious event for the exhibition of international contemporary art. At the forefront of a renaissance in native North American art for close to 20 years, Belmore has exhibited her work across Canada, in the United States, Mexico, Cuba and Australia. In 2005, OCAD U conferred an honorary doctorate on Belmore in recognition of her extraordinary artistic career.

George Bures Miller (AOCA, Photo Electric Arts, 1986)

Bures Miller learned the ins-and-outs of robotics and sculpture from OCAD U faculty members Norman White (since retired) and Doug Back, pioneering artists in their fields. With his partner Janet Cardiff, George has presented award-winning, groundbreaking electro-acoustic installations around the world, including representing Canada at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest and most prestigious venue for contemporary art.

Carl Jones (AOCA, Advertising Design, 1984)

Carl Jones is the Vice President Executive Creative Director at GREY Canada. Jones began his creative career at Toronto’s Vickers & Benson and MacLaren before moving to Mexico City in 1993. There he worked on an Alka-Seltzer campaign that became the country's most awarded of all time. In 2003, Jones created the advertising campaign for the Dali Lama's visit, and his 2004 campaign for Frito-Lay was the first Latin American commercial ever shown during the Super Bowl, and was later voted as one of the year's top five commercials in a USA Today public poll. BBDO Mexico became the most awarded Mexican agency during Jones’s 10 years there, and four-time "Agency of the Year" award winner. During his tenure as General Creative Director, he also helped Y&R Mexico become "Agency of the Year." As the country’s first art director to be elected president of the Mexican Circulo Creativo, he also led Y&R to win its first Gran Prix in the Circulo Creativo as well as its first Cannes lion.

Simone Jones (AOCA, Experimental Art, 1989)

Jones received her MFA in Sculpture Installation from York University in Toronto in 1996. Jones has been making kinetic sculpture since 1989. Most recently, her work has expanded to include film, video and performance. Recent exhibitions include "Resonance: The Electromagnetic Bodies Project" (toured Spain, France, Holland, Hungary); "Machine Life" at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston; Points of Entry, (toured New Zealand and Australia); "Displacement", at the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery, Pittsburgh and "Sculpture Now", at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh.

Jeremy Kramer (AOCA, Communications & Design, 1987)

In 2006, Kramer, Principle and Creative Director for Kramer Design Associates (KDA), with Astral Media, received a prestigious international award from the Society of Environmental Graphic Designers (SEGD) for their collaborative INFOTOGO Pillars, the City of Toronto's interactive, stylized street-level furniture. The award recognizes the excellence and functionality in environmental graphic design from top designers worldwide. Kramer’s INFOTOGO Pillars are inspired by the acclaimed architecture of Toronto’s City Hall and incorporates practical elements including a coin-operated system that dispenses pocket-sized maps, as well as an automated hands-free system that offers municipal, cultural and commercial information such as what to do and see in Toronto. Kramer’s Pillars are an expansion on KDA's Toronto Transit Shelter design, creating an integrated street furniture program for Toronto.

Scot Laughton (AOCA, Industrial Design, 1987)

Laughton designs furniture and products for the residential and commercial markets, with clients including Keilhauer, Nienkämper, Pure Design, Du Verre and Umbra. In 2003, he became design director of Lolah. His Swell table designed for Lolah received an ICFF Editors Award at New York's 2002 International Contemporary Furniture Fair. His work has been selected for ID magazine's Annual Design Review and has appeared in many other publications, including Metropolis, Azure, Intramuros, FRAME and Ottagono. The Royal Ontario Museum and the Design Exchange in Toronto have acquired his work for their permanent collection. In 2003, he was named "Designer of the Year" by the Interior Design Show, Toronto.

Jay McClennen (AOCA, Sculpture, 1989)

McClennen has worked as a prosthetic artist for major films such as the "X-Men" series, "The Long Kiss Goodnight," "Truman," "Nixon" and many others. Now a freelance anaplastologist, he creates realistic replacement body parts for cancer patients. Also trained as a forensic artist, he recently did a facial reconstruction for the Ontario Coroners Office and the Ontario Provincial Police.

David McClyment (AOCA, Drawing & Painting, 1980)

McClyment graduated from OCAD U with numerous awards and scholarships, including the Medal in Fine Arts. He regularly exhibits across Canada, and has exhibited internationally in northern Italy, Sicily and Germany. He is represented by the David Kaye Gallery in Toronto. McClyment is Program Coordinator at the Fine Arts Studio, School of Communications, Media and Design at Centennial College, and was nominated as a TVO Best Lecturer in 2010.

Floria Sigismondi (Communications & Design, 1988)

Sigismondi embarked on a successful career as a fashion photographer and within a year expanded into directing music videos. Her multidisciplinary work encompasses film, video, photography and sculpture. She has directed videos for such notable artists as David Bowie, Marilyn Manson and Leonard Cohen. Her most recent projects are photography and sculpture installation exhibitions (New York and Toronto), book publications of her photographs (New York, Germany, and Italy) and directing her first film. At the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards, Sigismondi received the Best Video award for her direction of "Untitled, #1" by Sigur Ros.

Rirkrit Tiravanija (AOCA, Experimental Arts, 1984)

Tiravanija was awarded the prestigious 2004 biennial Hugo Boss prize, administered by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The prize, which is juried by an illustrious international panel of museum directors, curators and critics, is given to an artist whose work represents a significant development in contemporary art. Tiravanija was awarded $50,000, along with a 2005 spring exhibition of his work at the Guggenheim Museum. According to the jury, “Rirkrit Tiravanija emerged as a key figure during the 1990s, introducing a new paradigm of interactivity that has redefined the direction of much recent contemporary art. Tiravanija has exhibited widely at museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, and many others.

Penelope Umbrico (AOCA, Experimental Arts, 1980)

Born in Philadelphia, Penelope Umbrico received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York. She has participated extensively in solo and group exhibitions, including at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York. Umbrico is core faculty in the School of Visual Arts MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Program. She lives in New York City. In 2011 she was named as a Guggenheim Fellowship Award winner. A monograph of her works was published in 2011 by the Aperture Foundation.

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