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Celebrating OCAD University’s 2022 Medal Winners

A group of OCAD University graduates standing on stage outside, smiling.

Image: OCAD University's 2022 Medal Winners pictured on stage at the Celebrate Excellence reception on May 11. 
 

Celebrating OCAD University’s 2022 Medal Winners

On the evening of May 11, President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano announced this year’s OCAD University Medal Winners at the Celebrate Excellence reception, a beautiful outdoor event that recognized 23 top graduating students, held in Butterfield Park. 

Annually, one graduating student from each of the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs is recognized with a medal, in honour of their creativity, innovation and technical mastery in their chosen discipline.  

“Tonight is very special – not only because we’re here together in person after two years – but because we’re going to recognize a group of exceptional students who have gone above and beyond expectations in completing their OCAD U degrees – and during a very challenging time,” President Serrano expressed. 

The reception also included a blessing by Elder Dr. Duke Redbird and speeches by medal winners, Emerald Repard-Denniston from the Drawing and Painting undergraduate program and Walter Yim from the Design for Health graduate program. 

“I have so much to be thankful for," remarked Repard-Denniston. "Here at OCAD U we have received a great education thanks to our talented and supportive faculty. We are prepared to move on and to take on whatever challenges and successes come next in our lives,” she continued. 

The bustling party also marked the launch of GradEx 107, OCAD U’s annual graduate exhibition, which showcases the works of over 600 emerging artists, designers and digital media makers across the University’s campus.  

The evening included live art making by three OCAD University undergraduate students, a musical performance by violinist Dr. Draw and his band, a DJ set by OCAD U student Paper Skies and a welcome from Mitch Gillin, Vice-President, Asset Development at Hullmark, representing presenting sponsors Hullmark and BentallGreenOak. 

All this activity took place amidst a crowd of OCAD U community members, many of whom were reconnecting in person for the first time in two years. More than 6,500 visitors attended the opening night festivities.  

The work of all medal recipients are on view during GradEx, May 11 to 15.  

Meet the 2022 OCAD U Medal Winners 
Undergraduate Programs

Advertising 
Maria Naqvi’s South Asian-Canadian background allows her to bridge gaps and think critically when solving issues that address minority communities. Naqvi thrives on challenges and always tries to implement new strategies for communicating stories that go against the status quo. Naqvi believes the future of advertising relies on new perspectives, diversity and inclusion and is excited to be part of it! 

Criticism & Curatorial Practice 
Fabiyino Germain-Bajowa is a Nigerian-Canadian writer, curator and interdisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto. Her writing engages Afro-diasporic archives of thought and memory, passed down through oral history, food and acts of care. Her art practice and research centre Afro-diasporic experience to build an understanding of the ways archives of physical and immaterial knowledge are constructed in the Black community through the lenses of care theory, Afro-futurism, and archival studies. Her practice emphasizes community building and support, and her work is often based on her lived experiences as a Black queer woman.  
 
Cross-Disciplinary Art 
Parastoo Mahmoudi is a Canadian-Iranian visual artist currently living in Toronto. She studied human anatomy and portraits by drawing and sculpting life models and experimenting with different mediums and techniques. Mahmoudi's work is in collections worldwide, including in Tehran, Dubai and Toronto. Currently, she is working on immersive installations, performances, drawings and paintings to explore the relationship between her life experiences and how she became who she is. 
 
Digital Futures 
Sam Kingston is a designer exploring the relationship between humans and code, building robots that attempt to interpret and imitate thoughtful human interaction. His specialty involves identifying the subtleties in our built environments that are often overlooked during everyday interactions. He uses various 3D printing technologies to build mechanisms that interact with and automate objects which have been designed with people, not robots, as their intended user. 

Drawing & Painting 
Emerald Repard-Denniston is a queer Chinese-Canadian contemporary artist. She is committed to anti-colonial, anti-capitalist politics and activist work. Based in Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam/Vancouver and Tkaronto/Toronto, her practice focuses on the diasporic-Canadian experience through drawing, painting and digital media.  

Environmental Design 
Timothy Soribello is a designer who believes that rethinking the already built environment can unlock powerful possibilities in designing solutions. Soribello's thesis criticizes post-industrial ruins as culprits to the devastation of our environment. Rethinking these ruins, he used the abandoned Hearn Generating Station to magnify his argument's credibility. 
 
Graphic Design 
Maham Momin is a graphic designer and creative from Tkaronto/Toronto, with a specialization in expressive design. She's particularly interested in editorial and publication design that is speculative, critical and experimental. 

Illustration  
Toko Hosoya creates narrative-based images and objects. Originally hailing from Japan, her practice is currently based in Toronto, Canada. 

Indigenous Visual Culture 
Bert Whitecrow is a Two Spirited, multidisciplinary artist from Seine River First Nation. Their work explores methods of storytelling, through preserving and practicing ancestral knowledge. Indigenous futurisms, the belief of the inherent queerness in nature and their relationship to place are points of exploration throughout Whitecrow’s practice. 
 
Industrial Design  
Max Fine is a Toronto-based industrial designer student who is interested in the connection between sustainable technology and human behaviour. 

Integrated Media 
Marcella Driver-Moliner is a Toronto-based bilingual new media artist who hails from the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Driver-Moliner's practice is the joy of investigating the process of creating different visual languages and aesthetics to decipher unclear emotions such as loneliness, belonging, grief, self-depreciation and isolation.

Material Art & Design  
Aleena Derohanian is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the intersection of alien and UFO folklore, pop culture and the sublime. Her style can be identified through her use of bright colours, organic forms and an amalgam of materials. With a background in jewellery and silversmithing, Derohanian expertly incorporates semi-precious metals and stones into her mixed media sculptures. Currently she is exploring lamp and lighting fixture design with her unique aesthetic. 

Photography 
Tizzi Tan was born in Yunnan, China. Her works are mostly lens-based, but are not confined to any specific medium. She focuses on the subtle perceptions of human activities and explores the meanings of existence under current social conditions.  

Printmaking & Publications 
Laur Flom is a multidisciplinary artist working mainly in printmaking and book arts. Based in Tkaronto/Toronto, their practice is largely conceptual, exploring themes surrounding identity, queerness and trans masculinity. 

Sculpture/Installation 
Evgenia Mikhaylova is an interdisciplinary artist working in installation, video, sound, drawing and performance. Her work examines the complexities of perception, communication systems, language and epistemology through interdisciplinary research-based practice that investigates parallels between the ways we experience the world through our senses and the ways we interpret the knowledge we acquire. 

Visual & Critical Studies 
Nadia Spaziani is a Toronto-based researcher and writer. Her area of study is Ancient Greek material culture, specializing in building on existing theories of the period with contemporary ideas of psychoanalysis and feminist theories. Spaziani’s practice is based in the mythology of the Greeks and how the characters shaped societal values. 
 

Graduate Programs  

Contemporary Art, Design & New Media Art 
Maya Burns is an emerging writer and researcher based in Toronto. Her work explores the critical and pedagogical potential of quotation and appropriation in contemporary art.  

Criticism & Curatorial Practice 
Kalina Nedelcheva is a multimedia artist-researcher, emerging curator and musician, based in Tkaronto/Toronto. She explores the ways in which human consciousness engages in the process of meaning-making and has an interest in writing and film as mediums for theoretical storytelling. 

Design for Health 
Walter Yim has been a practicing dentist in Toronto for more than 30 years. His most recent design work explores how we might innovate healthcare through the lens of compassion, by exploring patient-centred methodologies. 

Digital Futures 
Candide Uyanze is a multimedia, multidisciplinary and multi-hyphenate doer of things based in Tkaronto/Toronto and Anishinābe Akì territory. Her practice explores diasporic storytelling, immersive web experiences, open-source tools, accessible media production, African languages and speech recognition.  

Inclusive Design 
Josephine Guan is a Chinese-Canadian artist that has worked as an illustrator, graphic designer and arts instructor. Her thesis research focuses on using arts-based methods like drawing and writing with brain injury survivors. Throughout all of her work, she’s most interested in facilitating conversations and using multiple ways of communicating. 

Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media & Design 
Juka Almeida 

Strategic Foresight & Innovation 
Carly Benson explores new frontiers in disaster risk reduction through human-centered design and foresight