Creative Professionals-In-Residence Program

Creative Professionals-In-Residence program

There are a number of ways the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers (CEAD) facilitates professional connections for students both in and outside of OCAD U, including a professional dinner series, employer information sessions, online social platforms, or individual opportunities for mentorship, such as the new Creative Professionals-In-Residence program.

The new OCAD U Creative Professionals-In-Residence program is a mentorship initiative created to support the career success of current OCAD U students and recent alumni. It is also an opportunity to facilitate community and relationship building for emerging artists and designers. The Creative Professionals-In-Residence program sees invited professional guests, from a variety of art and design-related disciplines, present on a regularly scheduled basis over the course of the academic semester, in the new Rosalie Sharp Pavilion for Experiential Learning at 115 McCaul Street.

Visiting creative professionals are alumni and collaborators of OCAD University, invited to provide mentorship to current OCAD U students and recent alumni. We invite students to schedule meetings with the current Creative Professionals-In-Residence to engage in activities such as portfolio reviews, career advising, informational conversations, and on-campus studio visits.


Current Creative Professionals-In-Residence


On campus Winter 2020: Wednesdays 10am – 5pm (starting January 22, 2020)

Liz Ikiriko

Liz Ikiriko is an artist, independent curator and photo editor. Her knowledge as a prairie-born researcher, writer, photographer, teacher and mother inform her practice which is focused on contemporary and historic African and diasporic narratives. She is devoted to the creation of experiential, embodied experiences that utilize accessible platforms to share moments of vulnerability and care for all of us on the margins. Her independent curatorial projects include: The Break, The Wake, The Hold, The Breath (Circuit Gallery at Prefix ICA, 2019), An Archive, But Not An Atlas (Critical Distance Centre for Curators, 2019), and upcoming ___a lineage of transgression___(Artspace Peterborough, 2020). Her writing has been published in Public Journal, MICE Magazine, Akimbo and The Ethnic Aisle. She holds an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University (2019).


On campus Winter 2020: Fridays 10am – 5pm (starting January 31, 2020)

Michael Madjus

Michael has over 10 years of experience in design, marketing, and social media. With a degree in Industrial Design (OCAD University), and having worked with George Brown College, IMM Living, the Children’s Own Museum, and the CN Tower, he helps businesses increase their presence online and IRL in creative ways.

Currently, Michael is working to help advance design culture in Canada as Head of Marketing for DesignTO, Canada's largest cultural celebration of design. Through the Festival, Michael and the DesignTO team turn the City of Toronto into a hub for creativity, making a platform for over 600 artists and designers every January.

Book an Appointment

Current students and grads can use the OCAD U Talent Network to book appointments with our Creative Professionals-in-Residence. To book an appointment using the Talent Network, please follow these four steps:

  • Log in at
  • Complete your personal and academic profile - you will not be able to book an appointment otherwise.
  • Under the "Events & Advising" tab select "Workshops & Advising" and RSVP for a date/timeslot with your resident of choice that fits your schedule. The timeslot you select will no longer be available to others once you choose it.
  • Come to 115 McCaul St, 3rd Floor at the time of your appointment.

Past Creative Professionals-In-Residence


On campus: Fall 2019

Danielle Greer

Danielle Greer is a Toronto-based cultural producer specializing in exhibition design, construction and consultation on best practices pertaining to the production of artwork and installations for various artists and arts institutions. Greer graduated from OCAD in 2006 with a BFA in photography. Shortly after graduating, she began working as an installation technician where she honed her expertise as a cultural producer and has been working in this capacity for over 10 years. She has worked on a wide range of projects with artists and institutions, some of which include Mercer Union, TIFF, Oakville Galleries, AGYU, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, The Power Plant, ReMai Modern, and 80WSE NYU.


On campus: Fall 2019

Nadia Galati

Nadia is a Toronto based urban planner and designer passionate about applying creative methods to address urban issues through research, analysis, action, and recommendations for decision makers in government, private and nonprofit sectors. She graduated from OCAD University in 2010 with a focus on Environmental Design. Nadia's practice includes cultural and land use planning, design, stakeholder engagement, qualitative and quantitative research, data visualization, placemaking, evaluation, policy and development approvals. Her studio, PROCESS, has worked on a myriad of projects for the City of Toronto, City of Kingston, City of Markham, Evergreen Brick Works, First Gulf, Gladstone Hotel, Kensington Market BIA, The Bentway, The Power Plant, Toronto Arts Council, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, TAS, Town of Whitby, and the Varley Art Gallery.


On campus: Winter 2019


Jessica Leong is a designer specializing in branding, environments, and typography. She is the Senior Designer at Frontier Design in Toronto and a graduate from OCAD’s graphic design program. Her previous experience includes Design Exchange, ERA Architects, Indigo Books, and Bruce Mau Design.


On campus: Winter 2019


Basil AlZeri is a cross-disciplinary visual artist living and working between Toronto and Guelph, Canada. AlZeri's practice involves the intersection of art, education, and food, taking multiple forms, such as performance, interventions, gallery and public installation. AlZeri's work examines the socio-political dynamics of the family and its intersection with reproductive/unproductive labour, drawing on the necessities of everyday life and the (in)visibility of 'work' as sites of exploration. AlZeri's tries to facilitate a space for empathy through gestures of inclusivity and generosity. AlZeri has presented his work in Amman, Dubai, Halifax, Mexico City, Montreal, New York, Ottawa, Regina, Rome, Santiago, Tartu and Toronto.


On campus: Fall 2018

Mahmood Popal

Mahmood Popal is an Afghan - Canadian, Toronto based multi-disciplinary artist and designer. Popal graduated from OCAD University in 2007 with a focus on Industrial Design and fine art. In 2011 Popal launched his creative studio, MAAST, that focuses on commercial interior design projects, private commissions and public art projects. The studio has worked on a wide range of projects for Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Sub-zero-Wolf, Sid Lee, Metrolinx, City of Toronto, East End Arts, Google, Capital One, Achievers, Konrad Group, Embrace, HERSHEY- REESE’S, Ford, Belair Direct, Think Tank Creative, Robarts Spaces China, The Stop Community Food Centre, Mile Inn and Apollo Studios.


On campus: Fall 2018

David Salazar

David Constantino Salazar is a sculptor with a studio practice highly focused on hand modeling clay and fabricating sculpture in various materials. His practice reflects research into the use of animal forms as cultural symbols to explore the borders between necessity and excess, desires, and addiction.

In 2017 Salazar completed the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design degree (IAMD) at OCAD University.

News & Events

  • January 2019 - New mentorship program connects students and alumni links to external site

    In this excellent post, second-year Sculpture & Installation student Nandy Heule contributes as a guest writer to the VEEP Students Blog, profiling alumnus David Salazar and the activities of the Creative-Professionals-in-Residence program.

For Faculty

We welcome faculty to engage with the Creative Professionals-in-Residence program through curriculum. Past events and formats include guest artists talks, critiques, panel discussions, technical workshops and studio visits. If you are interested in involving a resident in your course, our team is available to assist with coordinating and developing engagement. Please reach out.


Shellie Zhang
Community Animator
P: 416 977 6000 Ext. 3706

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