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power Human Library

human library graphic - power, works by Rocky Dobey, Natalie King, Khadijah Morley, Ekow Nimako, Rajni Perera, Fiona Smyth

power Human Library 

Friday, February 16, 2024, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

In-Person at Onsite Gallery 

In co-presentation and partnership with RBC Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers (CEAD), registered participants have an opportunity to borrow and engage in a meaningful conversation with power Human Books (power artists).  

The Human Library is an interactive event where power artists become "living books," sharing their personal stories, experiences, and unique perspectives. It serves as a platform for engaging in meaningful dialogue and learning. During this 3-hour event, students and alumni can "borrow" a book, represented by one of the power artists, and engage in a meaningful one-on-one conversation. 

The power Human Library offers an exceptional opportunity for OCAD U students and recent alumni to directly interact with power artists and gain valuable insights into what it means to work in the arts.

Spaces are limited with priority given to OCAD U students and recent alumni.

To Register, please email Susan Jama (


About the Artists

A headshot image of a older man with grey hair with a silver dark beard smiling at the camera. He is wearing a black shirt.
Rocky Dobey. Photo by Dean Tomlinson Photography

Rocky Dobey (he/him) has been installing street art in Toronto and other Canadian cities for five decades, beginning with xeroxed posters in the mid-1970s and numerous anonymous agitprop billboards, concrete sculptures, lacquered books, and political plaques in the ’80s and ’90s. He has been bolting etched copper memorial plaques to telephone poles throughout this time and making posters for Anti-Globalization, Reclaim the Streets, Prison Justice, Harm Reduction, and many more progressive political causes. 

Over the past twenty years, Dobey has developed a more formal public practice of intaglio prints, copper sculptures, and more recently large etched works in copper, enhanced with porcelain paint, tar, and other materials. The new works address many of the same concerns as the early street art, but applied to a much larger scale, and use techniques derived from printmaking and sculptural traditions. 


A person posing and surrounded by artwork. A woman with black hair, wearing hot pink dress.
Natalie King. Photo by Samuel Engelking

Natalie King (she/her) is a queer interdisciplinary Anishinaabe (Algonquin) artist, facilitator, and member of Timiskaming First Nation. King's arts practice ranges from video, painting, sculpture, and installation as well as community engagement, curation, and arts administration. King is currently a Programming Coordinator at Xpace Cultural Centre in Tkaronto. 

Often involving portrayals of queer femmes, King’s works are about embracing the ambiguity and multiplicities of identity within the Anishinaabe queer femme experience(s). King's practice operates from a firmly critical, anti-colonial, non-oppressive, and future-bound perspective, reclaiming the realities of lived lives through frameworks of desire and survivance.

King’s recent exhibitions include Come and Get Your Love at Arsenal Contemporary, Toronto (2022), Proud Joy at Nuit Blanche Toronto (2022), Bursting with Love at Harbourfront Centre (2021) PAGEANT curated by Ryan Rice at Centre[3] in Hamilton (2021), and (Re)membering and (Re)imagining: the Joyous Star Peoples of Turtle Island at Hearth Garage (2021). King has an extensive mural making practice that includes a permanent mural currently on at the Art Gallery of Burlington. King holds a BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD University (2018). King is currently GalleryTPW’s 2023 Curatorial Research Fellow.


A full body image of a woman with arms crossed in front of her, wearing a black and white bandana, apron, black t-shirt. Behind her is her artwork, prints depicting a black person staring up in the sky, with a yellow sun and green leaves.
Khadijah Morley

Khadijah Morley (she/her) is a Toronto-based artist and educator with a BFA in Drawing and Painting and minor in Printmaking from OCAD University.  

Morley's work is autobiographical, informed by her lived experience as a Black woman in Canada born of Jamaican immigrants. She creates work from a Black-feminist framework; prioritizing subjectivity as a counter-narrative. Through the process of etching and relief printing, she depicts Afro-surrealist themes where dreams, magic, and reality converge.  

Morley has been featured on CBC Arts and has been a recipient of the Fellowship Program at KALA Art Institute in Berkeley, California. 


A full body image of man wearing sunglass, black blazer, black pants and shoes. On his left a black lego sculptural piece and on his right side, another all black lego sculptural piece .
Ekow Nimako. Photo by Samuel Engelking.

Ekow Nimako (he/him) is a Ghanaian-Canadian internationally exhibiting artist who crafts futuristic and whimsical sculptures using LEGO®. Combining a multidisciplinary and formal arts program, Nimako explores Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and Black narratives through an unmistakable figurative aesthetic that transcends the iconic medium. Nimako has exhibited works in Canada, the United States, Germany, Korea, United Arab Emirates, Austria, and the United Kingdom.  


A black and white picture of a full body image of a woman wearing overalls smiling at the camera.
Rajni Perera

Rajni Perera (she/her) was born in Sri Lanka and lives and works in Toronto. She explores issues of hybridity, sacrilege, irreverence, the indexical sciences, ethnography, gender, sexuality, popular culture, deities, monsters, and dream worlds. These themes marry in a newly objectified realm of mythical symbioses and counteract oppressive discourses. Her art has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Phi Foundation (Montreal), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Toronto), The National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Gwangju Biennale (South Korea), Colomboscope (Sri Lanka), and Eastside Projects (United Kingdom) among others. She is in numerous collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, the Museé des Beaux-Arts, the McMicheal Gallery, and the Sobey Foundation. 


A woman with wearing a orange and black pattern head band, with grey hair pulled up into a bun. She is wearing black eyeglasses, has blue eyes and wearing a yellow hoodie with black t-shirt under
Fiona Smyth

Toronto feminist painter, illustrator, cartoonist, and comics educator Fiona Smyth (she/her) collaborated with sex educator Cory Silverberg on the award-winning kids’ books What Makes A Baby, Sex Is A Funny Word, and You Know, Sex (Seven Stories Press) released in 2022. Somnambulance, a thirty-year collection of her comics, was published by Koyama Press in 2018. Smyth was inducted into the Doug Wright Awards’ Giants of The North Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame in 2019. She was the General Programming Artistic Curator for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in 2023 and will continue in the role for one more year in 2024. She teaches cartooning at OCAD University. 


Onsite Gallery is generously supported by The Delaney Family. 

We acknowledge the support of this exhibition from the Canada Council for the Arts