Top row, left to right: Rosalie Favell, Michael Fukushima and Anne (Annie) Koyama. Bottom row, left to right: Judy Matthews and Norman Triplett White.
This year’s honorands include a Métis artist who has influenced Indigenous contemporary art, an Oscar-nominated producer, a publisher and philanthropist who has launched the careers of visual artists, a city-builder who has revitalized Toronto’s urban spaces, and Canada’s leading visionary in the field of electronic and robotic art.
On June 17, OCAD University will award honorary doctorates to five outstanding and deserving individuals during its first in-person Convocation ceremony to be held since 2019.
“We are excited to recognize a group of exceptional individuals who have been catalysts in leading change in their respective domains. They are innovative thinkers who have challenged the status quo and inspired others to excel and pursue their passions,” says OCAD U’s President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano.
The honorands will join 750 students from OCAD U’s three faculties and Graduate Studies who will be receiving their diplomas at Roy Thomson Hall. The morning ceremony will feature the installation Ana Serrano as the University’s first BIPOC President and Vice-Chancellor and Jaime Watt as Chancellor.
Meet the 2022 honorary doctorate recipients:
- Rosalie Favell is a distinguished Métis artist with a creative practice that spans over 40 years who has achieved national and international acclaim. Favell has used photography, portraiture and painting to understand and represent her ancestry and identity in works that have been exhibited and collected nationally and internationally. Her major body of work, Facing the Camera (2008-18), is an extended project that celebrates the strength, resilience and talent of the Indigenous arts community. She is the recipient of the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award, Chalmers Arts Fellowship, Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award and Karsh Award.
- Michael Fukushima has produced more than 200 films, including three Oscar-nominated animation shorts during his 30-year career at the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada. He is being recognized for his immense impact on Canadian cinema, which includes co-founding Hothouse, the NFB’s flagship apprenticeship program for emerging filmmakers. An avid storyteller and relentless advocate for Asian and other marginalized filmmakers, Fukushima played a key role in diversifying animation by helping to make the NFB one of the first animation organizations to achieve gender parity.
- Anne (Annie) Koyama has played an instrumental role in launching the careers of visual artists as a publisher and as a philanthropist through Koyama Provides. By publishing a wide variety of publications, including comic books and larger graphic novels, she has nurtured the talent and advanced the careers of visual artists such as Fiona Smyth, Team Macho, Walter Scott, Yannick Desranleau & Choë Lum and Rokudenashiko. Her numerous achievements have been recognized by the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association (Joe Shuster Award) and the Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame (Doug Wright Award).
- Judy Matthews is an urban planner, activist and philanthropist. A seasoned expert and invaluable resource in public private partnerships, she strongly believes in the role not-for-profit organizations play in civic life. She is being recognized for her outstanding leadership in realizing an impressive variety of urban renewal projects that have enriched Toronto and the lives of many Torontonians.
- Norman Triplett White is Canada’s leading visionary in the field of electronic and robotic art. Since exhibiting his first groundbreaking electronically-based work in 1969, the internationally celebrated media artist has helped to establish Toronto as a world leader in media art production. Norman Triplett White has influenced and inspired generations of media artists, in part through his involvement in developing the Integrated Media program at OCAD University, which teaches electronics, mechanics and computer programming. He received the 2018 Digifest Pioneer Award in recognition of his lifetime achievement of innovation in art. In 1990, he was the recipient of an award of distinction at the Prix Ars Electronica, the world’s most time-honoured media arts competition.
MEET OCAD U’S HONORARY DOCTORATE RECIPIENTS
Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa
Rosalie Favell is a distinguished Métis artist who has achieved national and international acclaim. Through photography and more recently painting, Favell explores cultural entanglements, the challenges of representation and themes of empowerment and identity. Her work focuses on her lived experience as a Métis woman, merging aspects of Métis identity, gender, heritage and elements of popular culture. As someone who has influenced generations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, she is a leading figure in contemporary Indigenous art and photography.
A major body of work, Facing the Camera (2008-18) started what became a visual document of the Indigenous arts community. These 500 portraits depict proud, strong, diverse and dynamic professionals, artists and curators.
For Wrapped in Culture, Favell invited Aboriginal Australian artists to work collaboratively with Indigenous Canadian artists on two hides – a possum skin cloak and buffalo robe. The experience of working cross-culturally and collaboratively produced a powerful reclamation project grounded in community engagement.
Her work has been shown extensively in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and internationally. Testaments to the high esteem to which her contributions have been celebrated within the art community include the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award, the Chalmers Arts Fellowship, the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award and the Karsh Award.
Favell’s contributions to Canada’s artistic community also extend into the classroom, where she has nurtured the minds and aspirations of emerging creative artists as a teacher and mentor.
Favell will address the Faculty of Arts and Science, Faculty of Arts and Graduate Studies on Friday, June 17 at 3:30 p.m.
Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa
Michael Fukushima is a renowned animator and filmmaker who was a producer and studio head for 25 years and filmmaker for five at the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada. He has had an immense impact on the landscape of Canadian cinema through his many contributions while at the NFB where he produced more than 200 films. These included producing three Oscar-nominated animation shorts, most recently the Joanna Quinn and Les Mills film, Affairs of the Art. Fukushima is a winner of the Hot Docs Best Short Documentary award, co-founder of Hothouse, the NFB’s flagship emerging filmmaker program, and a member of the AMPAS®.
He has also played a key role in diversifying the field of animation. In 2018, he was awarded the Diversity Award from Women in Animation for helping make the NFB one of the first animation organizations to reach gender parity. His last years at the NFB focused on the celebration of Indigenous artists. Upon his retirement, the Reel Asian International Film Festival renamed the AnimAsian award after him to honour his legacy of advocacy for Asian and marginalized filmmakers.
Now mostly retired, Fukushima skis, cycles and cherry-picks projects that interest him from filmmakers he admires.
Fukushima will address the Faculty of Arts and Science, Faculty of Arts and Graduate Studies on Friday, June 17 at 3:30 p.m.
ANNE (ANNIE) KOYAMA
Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa
As a publisher, community builder and philanthropist, Anne (Annie) Koyama has had an extraordinary impact on the Canadian comic book scene. Her immense passion for seeking out and cultivating new talent has helped to advance the careers of hundreds of visual artists both nationally and internationally.
Born and raised in Toronto, Koyama is a third-generation Japanese Canadian who studied painting, art history, languages and criminology at the University of Toronto. She began her career as a coordinator for the National Film Board of Canada where she fell in love with film production. She then worked for Asterisk Films and later became a partner at Skywork Studios, making films about women and labour issues. After working on a couple of feature films, she produced commercials at Partners Film and later served as manager of operations.
In 2007, she started supporting artists by funding small projects, which led to publishing the book Trio Magnus: Equally Superior. Though she had no background in publishing, she operated Koyama Press successfully for 13 years.
Koyama has dedicated her life to supporting a diverse range of artistic voices through hundreds of publications and exhibitions. While Koyama Press closed in 2021, Koyama has initiated a new project, Koyama Provides, a grant project that supports artist project productions, publications and exhibitions.
Her numerous achievements have been recognized by the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association (Joe Shuster Award) and the Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame (Doug Wright Award).
Koyama will address the Faculty of Design on Friday, June 17 at 10:30 a.m.
Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa
Judy Matthews is an urban planner, activist and philanthropist. A seasoned expert and invaluable resource in public private partnerships, Matthews strongly believes in the role not-for-profit organizations play in civic life. She has leveraged her professional planning expertise to help realize an impressive variety of urban renewal projects that have enriched Toronto and the lives of many Torontonians.
Her catalytic leadership has benefitted projects ranging from the anti-Spadina Expressway campaign (1960s), to the award-winning revitalization of St. George Street (mid-1990s), to the development of the Open Space Master Plan at the University of Toronto (late-1990s), to the creation of a pedestrian piazza and the Music Garden at Harbourfront (1990s and 2000s) and more recently, the establishment of The Bentway, Toronto’s most innovative public space and programming platform under the Gardiner Expressway.
Currently, Matthews is focused on a variety of cultural and city-building organizations, including Evergreen, Park People, Luminato Festival, Council for Canadian American Relations and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her infectious enthusiasm, generous personal donations, and voluntary work have significantly expanded the confidence and resilience of the organizations with which she works.
Matthews has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2014 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the 2016 Canadian Urban Institute Award. In 2020, Matthews was appointed a member of the Order of Canada for her groundbreaking contributions to Toronto’s cultural and urban landscapes.
Matthews will address the Faculty of Design on Friday, June 17 at 10:30 a.m.
NORMAN TRIPLETT WHITE
Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa
Norman Triplett White has worked for over 50 years at the intersection of art, science, robotics and technology. Widely recognized as the originator of physical computing as manifested in artwork, Norman Triplett White has encouraged, influenced and inspired media artists since his arrival in Canada in 1967.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Norman Triplett White grew up in and around Boston,
Massachusetts. He majored in Biology at Harvard University with the intention of becoming a fisheries biologist. By graduation, however, he had shifted his attention to art. After experimenting with a wide-ranging assortment of jobs and painting styles, he happened upon work as an electrician's helper at the Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco, California where he was given the job of wiring a ship's telephone switchboard. The task proved to be as satisfying as painting. Subsequent travel in the Middle East brought White into contact with Islamic art and architecture. Its logical/biological sensibility struck another resonant chord. Upon settling in London, England, he began painting in a careful and strongly logical style, drawing upon his memories of the ship's wiring for visual references.
Within a year, immersed in a culture which was itself just discovering digital electronics, he abandoned his paints altogether in favor of DIY electrical circuits. In so doing, he discovered a medium with which he could express all his diverse obsessions, from ciphers and aquatic organisms to robotics and Islamic design.
Norman Triplett White moved to Canada in 1967, drawn by the greater accessibility of technical materials, and embarked upon an intense self-education in electronics. In the decades that followed, he created a series of logic-based "machines," which expressed themselves through light, sound and motion. A number of his works are now part of the permanent collections of museums across Canada, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario. The Canadian Art Bank also owns eight of his artworks.
In 1978, while at the Ontario College of Art (before it became OCAD U), he helped to develop a program dedicated to teaching electronics, mechanics and computer programming to artists. His generous and accessible approach to complex scientific and technological material led many students into the new media field when it was just gaining traction. The Integrated Media Program continues to thrive and inspire to this day.
Norman Triplett White will address the Faculty of Arts and Science, Faculty of Arts and Graduate Studies on Friday, June 17 at 3:30 p.m.