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Image caption: The 2021-22 recipients of distinguished research awards are Dr. Gerald McMaster, Dr. Alexis Morris and Professor Ilene Sova.

Three faculty members recognized for outstanding achievements in research

Three faculty members are being recognized for their innovative contributions to research with the presentation of awards that celebrate distinguished and early stage research activities at OCAD University.  

Dr. Gerald McMaster, Canada Research Chair (Tier I) of Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice, is the 2021-22 recipient of the OCAD University Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity. 

This award recognizes faculty members for their outstanding portfolio of research, scholarship and creative activity, and the impact that this activity has had on the broad spectrum of art and design research and practice internationally. The award also recognizes contributions toward undergraduate and graduate research and scholarly training.  

This year, the OCAD University Award for Excellence in Early Stage Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity is being shared by Dr. Alexis Morris, assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Ilene Sova, assistant professor in the Faculty of Art and Chair of the Ada Slaight Contemporary Drawing and Painting program. 

This award recognizes promising, recently appointed faculty members for their outstanding promise to be distinguished researchers, scholars, artists and designers within a university context. 

OCAD University Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity 

Dr. Gerald McMaster

Dr. Gerald McMaster is a curator, artist and Canada Research Chair (Tier I) of Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice. He is also a professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and director of the Wapatah: Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge at OCAD University.  

With more than 40 years of working internationally in contemporary art, critical theory, museology and Indigenous aesthetics, Dr. McMaster has worked at institutions that include the Art Gallery of Ontario, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.  

He was selected as the Canadian curator to the 1995 Venice Biennale and 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. He served as the Canadian Commissioner to the 2010 Biennale of Sydney and the Artistic Director to the 18th Biennale of Sydney in 2012. His most recent book is entitled Iljuwas Bill Reid: Life & Work for Art Canada Institute (2020). Dr. McMaster is a nêhiyaw (Plains Cree) and a citizen of the Siksika Nation.  

OCAD University Award for Excellence in Early Stage Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity 

Dr. Alexis Morris

Dr. Alexis Morris is the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in the Internet of Things and the director of the Adaptive Context Environments (ACE) Lab. His research transforms the way we interact with information, each other and the world by interweaving mixed reality and artificial intelligence.  

Dr. Morris is currently leading the talented ACE Lab team of OCAD U students, local researchers and collaborators in the design of mixed reality human-computer interfaces for the Internet of Things – one of the pillars of exponential change connecting our physical and informational worlds.  

An interdisciplinary computer scientist and a passionate techno-optimist, Dr. Morris hails from the Caribbean (Bahamas) and brings an eclectic international background and expertise in computer science to the OCAD University community. 

Ilene Sova

Professor Ilene Sova is the Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Drawing and Painting in the Faculty of Art at OCAD U. She identifies as mixed race, with white settler, Afro-Caribbean and Black Seminole ancestry. She is also an artist who lives with the disability of epilepsy.  
She passionately identifies with the tenets of intersectional feminism and has dedicated her creative career to art and activism. Sova is also the founder of the Feminist Art Collective and Blank Canvases, an in-school creative arts program for elementary school students.  

With extensive solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad, Professor Sova’s work has been most notably shown at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, the Department of Canadian Heritage and Mutuo Centro de Arte in Barcelona.  

In her academic career, Professor Sova has trained educators on diversity and equity in the arts at the Art Gallery of Ontario and Harbourfront Centre. She also presented on decolonizing art curriculum with her colleague Nadia McLaren at Pratt University, the University of the Bahamas and the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design conference. In 2020, she was lauded in the national press for her development of a third-year studio cross-disciplinary course entitled COVID-19 Responsive Art. 

News Summary
The 2021-22 recipients of distinguished research awards are Dr. Gerald McMaster, Dr. Alexis Morris and Professor Ilene Sova.
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3 portraits of OCAD U faculty members from left to right, Dr. Gerald McMaster, Dr. Alexis Morris and Professor Ilene Sova.

The OCAD University community celebrated the completion of the Ada Slaight Studios - one of the first phases of the Creative City CampusThe Slaight Family Foundation has contributed to a revitalization effort that will substantially change the student experience of the 4th floor south Drawing and Painting Studios. 

This generous gift has allowed OCAD U to renovate and re-purpose existing spaces so that students will have full access to technology-enabled studio-based and experiential learning. Major components of this revitalization include the university’s core creative spaces: the Student Hub and Gallery, the four Drawing and Painting Studios and the Resource Centre. 

The impact of the contributions include:

  • A new student gallery and hub on the fourth floor with gallery lighting and a co-working space
  • A new resource centre with expanded storage and tool load capability.
  • Upgraded furniture and art storage in our fourth-floor build shop
  • State of the art designed lightening capability for life model and still life observation
  • Improved critique installation surfaces in all south studios 
  • New LED lighting optimized for art creation with individual controls 
  • New projectors, screens and audiovisual interface 

The Slaight family has been a supporter of OCAD University for many years. In particular, the university is grateful to Ada Slaight, someone who believes passionately in the value of art and design to society, and the importance of providing students with the tools and resources they need to successfully pursue an education in those fields.

Ada Slaight Gallery Faculty of Art
Ada Slaight Studios celebration at OCAD University. Photo: Martin Iskander.
l-r: Joanne Frisch, Carole Beaulieu and Ilene Sova with Terry Smith, Philanthropic Advisor to the Slaight Family Foundation.

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, July 13, 2 to 4 pm. Artists in Attendance

Bau-Xi Gallery's Toronto locations are in one of the most energetic artistic neighbourhoods in the city - in part because of its close proximity to the esteemed OCAD University. For the month of July, a selection of works by OCAD U's Drawing and Painting class of 2019 will be featured in their Upper Gallery. 

416 977 0600
Venue & Address
Bau-Xi Gallery
340 Dundas Street West, Toronto | Upper Floor Gallery
EMERGING NOW: Selected Works from the OCAD U Drawing & Painting Class of 2019

OCAD University is very excited to announce that it has appointed Stephen Foster as Dean of the Faculty of Art, effective January 1, 2020. Reporting to the Vice-President, Academic & Provost, Foster will be responsible for the educational and research leadership, development and supervision of the Faculty of Art and its integration into the University’s Academic and Strategic Plans.

Foster brings valuable teaching and leadership experience from his roles as Professor and Head of the Creative Services Department at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus (UBCO), as well as Director, Center of Indigenous Media Arts. He holds a BFA and MFA from the Visual Arts, Media Arts and Interdisciplinary Fine Arts program of York University.

Prior to these roles, Foster held the position of Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research with UBCO, where he served as Chair to a variety of committees related to graduate programming, scholarships and admissions, and research development and policy. He has been dedicated to the development of graduate studies at UBCO, where he pioneered the Summer Institute for Interdisciplinary Indigenous Graduate Studies, inviting Indigenous scholars and artists to work with graduate students in Indigenous Studies.

Throughout his academic and professional art career Foster has worked continually around the themes of Indigenous identity and new media, to include community-based research developing novel approaches to interactive documentary, as well as working in areas of video, photo and audio installation. An advocate for an interdisciplinary teaching and research model, he is specifically interested in the areas where web and installation-based documentary can intersect with community-based research.

Foster’s research practice has engaged inter-faculty collaborations and community-based approaches, as well bridging academic disciplines of social science, Indigenous studies and fine arts practice-based research.

Working collaboratively and in close consultation with the Faculty Deans and the Vice-President, Academic and Provost, Stephen Foster will promote the effective management of the University’s academic programs, research, and outreach, support its educational goals, and enrich University life.

Faculty of Art
Stephen Foster

Image: Faculty of Design Dean Dr. Dori Tunstall presents Professor Emerit Avi Dunkelman with the Emerit designation at OCAD University's 2022 Convocation Ceremony. They are joined on stage with Chancellor Jaime Watt and President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano. 

OCAD U honours faculty for their long service and dedication

OCAD University celebrated its faculty members at a virtual appreciation event on June 24 that honoured long-serving professors, retiring scholars and academic administrators who have completed their terms. 

“I want to thank you all for your incredible work, creativity, flexibility and commitment over the past year – it has continued to be a challenge with the ongoing pandemic, but as a community, you came together to ensure our students received engaging and enriching learning opportunities.,” President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano expressed at the beginning of the event. 

Gratitude to academic administrators completing their terms 

The festivities included an acknowledgement of the academic administrators who will be finishing their terms.  
“These faculty members are integral to the running of the University and to student success. I appreciate their contribution and for leading our colleagues through the uncertainties of a second academic year characterized by the pandemic,” said Vice-President, Academic and Provost Dr. Caroline Langill. 
The following faculty members were thanked for their service:

Faculty of Art 
Jason Baerg, Acting Chair, Sculpture and Installation and Integrated Media 
Judith Doyle, Chair, First Year Experience 
Dr. Jana Macalik, Acting Associate Dean, Academic Affairs 
Wrik Mead and Veronika Szkudlarek, Co-Chairs Experimental Animation 
Dr. Dot Tuer, Interim Chair, Criticism & Curatorial Practice 

Faculty of Design 
Dr. Sugandha Gaur, Acting Chair, Advertising 
Dr. Jay Irizawa, Acting Chair, Advertising 
Dr. Kathy Moscou, Interim Associate Dean Academic Affairs

Faculty of Arts and Science 
Nick Puckett, Chair, Digital Futures 
Dr. Alia Weston, Acting Associate Dean 
Dr. Ryan Whyte, Chair, Visual and Critical Studies 

Graduate Studies 
Dr. Andrew Gayed, Graduate Program Director, Art Criticism and Curatorial Practice  
Dr. Ashok Mathur, Dean, Graduate Studies and Vice-President, Research & Innovation 
Dr. Michelle Wyndham-West, Graduate Program Director, Inclusive Design 

Honouring long-serving faculty 

The gathering also featured a celebration of long-serving faculty members who have recently marked a milestone achievement in their roles at the University. The following professors were honoured for their dedication to the community and continuing commitment to art and design education:  

20 years of service  
Bruce Hinds, Associate Professor, Faculty of Design 
Jean-Christian Knaff, Associate Professor, Faculty of Design  

25 years of service 
April Hickox, Associate Professor, Faculty of Art 
30 years of service 
June Lawrason, Associate Professor, Faculty of Design 
35 years of service 
Judith Doyle, Associate Professor, Faculty of Art and Chair, First Year Experience 

Reflecting on the vibrant careers of retiring faculty members 

The event culminated with a show of deep appreciation of seven esteemed faculty members who will be retiring this year including: 

Dr. Doreen Balabanoff, Professor Emerit, Faculty of Design 
Doreen Balabanoff is an artist, designer, educator and administrator who over her years at OCAD University served as Faculty of Design Assistant Dean, First Year Design, Associate Dean, Academic and Faculty and Acting Dean. She has taught in several Graduate Studies programs, Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design, Inclusive Design and Design for Health. 
Frederick Burbach, Faculty of Design Associate Professor 
Professor Frederich Burbach has practiced design internationally for over 30 years. Known for his exacting eye for design and generous feedback for his students, Professor Burbach has taught graphic design, design history, typography and advertising at OCAD University for almost 20 years. 

Avi Dunkelman, Professor Emerit, Faculty of Design 
A graduate of OCAD University (then OCA) in 1980, Professor Dunkelman has expertise in corporate branding and visual identity. After studying design in Switzerland, he went on to found his own design firm Avi Dunkelman Design+Communications Inc. which has served clients internationally.  

Dr. Martha Ladly, Professor Emerit, Faculty of Arts and Science 
Specializing in teaching and practice-based research in design, art, media and technology, Dr. Ladly has taught in the Digital Futures graduate and undergraduate programs and the Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design graduate program (IAMD) at OCAD U. Dr. Ladly is the former Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, former Graduate Program Director of the IAMD program and founding Chair of the Research Ethics Board. 
Dr. Gayle Nicoll, Professor Emerit, Faculty of Design 
A professor in the Environmental Design undergraduate program and Inclusive Design and Design for Health graduate programs at OCAD University, Dr. Nicoll is a trained architect who taught at Ryerson University and was the Chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Texas, after leaving her post as partner at Nicoll and Robulack Architects in 1992.   
Dick (Edmond) Rampen, Associate Professor, Faculty of Design  
After graduating from OCAD University (then OCA) in 1980, Professor Rampen has been teaching for almost 40 years on subjects that include industrial design, plastics technology, prototyping and musical instrument design and construction.  

Michèle White, Professor Emerit, Faculty of Art Professor 
Professor White has taught for over 40 years and is well-known for her classes in the Drawing and Painting program. After graduating from OCAD University in 1978 (then OCA), Professor White has exhibited her encaustic paintings internationally, earning numerous grants and teaching awards along the way. She is celebrated for her commitment to equity and justice at OCAD U, championing the hiring of women and BIPOC faculty. 
Congratulations to all honorees! 

News Summary
The Celebration of Faculty Event showcased professors, deans and chairs who have made major contributions to the University.
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People in graduation regalia standing on a stage. A man is presented with a framed document.

At the corner of Bay & Queen Street, the TD Branch has an urban scaled "media art wall" that presents curated video presentations by Canadian artists from the Art Collection holdings. Currently on view is Observance, 2022, by Prof. April Hickox (Faculty of Art). Best viewing times are morning and night. 

"Observance is a collection of videos and still images produced over the past five years that explores our relationship to time and personal history in the context of our relationships with others, our shared experiences, and our response to the healing properties of nature. Using still life as a metaphor for the ephemerality of time, each photograph and video recalls a person in my life. Informed by the history of both floral photography and painting, Observance moves beyond traditional still life with the presence of performance and the continuous looping of images or stills taken over three days. Edited by Alexandra Hickox studio assistant Merle Harley." - April Hickox

The installation is on view until September 27, 2022.

A video link to the work can be found here
A video of the installation (shot by Alexandra Hickox) can be found here

Observance photographs are available in a varied edition of three printed on Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta Satin. Examples can be seen on April's website.

If you get a good picture or selfie April would love to see it @aprilhickox  

April is looking for other screens to host the work, please contact her at 

Venue & Address
TD Bank media art wall at Queen St. and Bay St.

At the corner of Bay & Queen Street, the TD Branch has an urban scaled "media art wall" that presents curated video presentations by Canadian artists from the Art Collection holdings. Currently on view until September 27th is Observance, 2022, by Prof. April Hickox (Faculty of Art). Best viewing times are morning and night. 

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Video installation Observance, 2022 April Hickox
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Show when event is over
Video installation Observance, 2022 April Hickox

Image: 2022 Governor General's Academic Medal Winners Christine Woolley (left) and Rachael Grad (right). 

OCAD University’s first in-person Convocation ceremonies since 2019 will be held on Friday, June 17 and will celebrate 750 students who will be receiving their diplomas at Roy Thomson Hall. 

The exciting event will include the presentation of Governor General’s Academic Medals to two exceptional students. The awards are given annually to the undergraduate and the graduate student who has achieved the highest academic standing across all programs in their graduating year. 

The silver medal will be presented to Rachael Grad, a Duke law school graduate and mother of three who left practising law to study painting full-time. Grad is graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting, with Distinction. 
Art director and graphic designer, Christine Woolley, studied design at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of British Columbia before becoming a graduate student at OCAD University. Woolley will receive the 2022 gold medal and has completed the Inclusive Design program with a Master of Design. 

Additionally, Convocation will celebrate excellence with the presentation of the OCAD U medal to one graduating student from each of the University's undergraduate and graduate programs. These medals recognize the creativity, innovation and technical mastery of students within their chosen discipline.

OCAD U will also award honorary doctorates to five outstanding and deserving individuals, Rosalie Favell, Michael Fukushima, Anne (Annie) Koyama, Judy Matthews and Norman Triplett White. Remarks will be presented by the distinguished recipients at the morning and afternoon ceremonies.
The Friday festivities will feature two installation ceremonies, one for Ana Serrano, and one for incoming Chancellor Jaime Watt. Serrano is the University’s first racialized President and Vice-Chancellor and joined the University on July 1, 2020 at the height of the pandemic.

Meet our Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal Recipient 
Christine Woolley, Inclusive Design, MDes 

3 things I loved about studying at OCAD U 

1.   First and foremost, I loved my cohort in the Inclusive Design program. I couldn’t have imagined a more supportive, collaborative and inspiring group of people to connect with along this journey. Together we navigated through a life-changing graduate program during unprecedented times, in a completely virtual environment. We formed lasting bonds, overcame challenges and learned so much from one another. It is an experience that will last a lifetime. 

2.   I am grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with the Art Gallery of Ontario to explore exhibition techniques that move beyond the visual sense, in order to create more inclusive gallery experiences. My class was invited to translate artwork in the gallery’s collection into multisensory objects through a co-creative process. The final works that resulted from this research are displayed as part of the AGO’s programming. 

3.   Especially important for me has been the opportunity to be at the forefront of inclusive design praxis and emerging research. Learning from professors, alumni and industry professionals who are thought leaders in the field and having access to the world-renowned Inclusive Design Research Centre has been an experience that is unparalleled in any other graduate design program. 
2 lessons learned  

1.   There’s no finish line in equity and inclusion work. There will always be room for more learning and unlearning. There will always be room to think about things differently and gain new perspectives and there will always be more work to be done. Our collective knowledge and understanding will grow and expand. We are all in a position to make tomorrow a little better than yesterday. 

2.   Ask questions but listen more. Build authentic relationships with the communities you are designing with, share space and create conditions where people have agency in the design process.  

1 piece of advice to future grads 

Share your knowledge, your learnings and your experiences. Don’t hold it all to yourself. Collective learning and understanding will encourage, strengthen and sustain your practice. Collaborate, ask questions and listen to other voices. Ask yourself who else you should be talking to. 

Your next great goal 

Next, I’d like to work with government and design organizations in Canada to further my research on equitable access to public information and support the graphic design industry in integrating accessible and inclusive design into the graphic design ethos. 


Meet our Governor General’s Academic Silver Medal Recipient 
Rachael Grad, Drawing and Painting, with Distinction, BFA 

3 things I loved about studying at OCAD U  

1. Learning innovative art techniques. In previous art studies at the New York Studio School and New York University (NYU) I focused on traditional drawing, painting, sculpture and art history. At the New York Studio School, I spent countless days working from life on observational drawings and paintings. At OCAD U, I was able to take experimental art courses where I learned digital art and new media techniques that pushed my painting and drawing practice in new directions.   

2.    Getting to know talented classmates with diverse backgrounds, ages and genders. Many of my classmates are international students or first-generation Canadians like me. Interacting with students from different cultures encourages respect and insight into widely varying opinions and perspectives. 

3.    Professors who generously shared their knowledge and advice both during class time and outside of class hours. They knew exactly when to introduce new concepts, theories and artists to broaden student understanding, and when to reign in too many ideas and help narrow our focus.   

2 lessons I learned    

1. Making art and taking classes during a pandemic is possible. Classes were 100 per cent online for a time then moved to a hybrid format, in which students could learn both virtually and in person. I found the hybrid format worked well because it was more flexible and accessible. I laughed hard the first time I saw a professor Zooming in on a laptop, wheeled around during in-person studio critique. That quickly became normal!   
2. Though my art and research on motherhood may not be trendy now, I feel compelled to persist in making artwork that is true to my middle-aged mom-ness.   

1 piece of advice to future grads  

Keep up your creative practice in your preferred form, whether it’s traditional painting and drawing, experimental art techniques, creative writing, academic research, or a new medium that you have yet to invent. There are many demands on artists’ time and energy, and we can be easily distracted. I hope you find the find the space, desire and opportunity to create.   

Your next great goal  
I’m starting graduate studies in Visual Arts at York University this fall. My goal is to continue my academic research and studio exploration of art and motherhood. 

News Summary
OCAD U’s top academic achievers reflect back on their studies and offer advice to future graduates.
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Two women are photographed side by side.

Free screening of Woodwriter: The Wordless Art of George A. Walker, a film by Jeff Winch (OCAD U Alumni, graduating class 2008)

Friday, May 20 at The Royal Cinema on College St. Begins at 7 PM. Tickets or reservations are not necessary. Simply show up if you are interested!

About the film: Wood engraver, book artist, master printer and time traveler — George A. Walker (Associate Professor, Faculty of Art, OCAD U) has created a distinct world of books, imagery and ideas. His latest inspiration is the silent screen star Mary Pickford, whose life he explores in his final wordless biography. Woodwriter follows the journey from a blank maple wood block to a sculptural hand-made book, and visits with other Canadian icons like Leonard Cohen and Conrad Black along the way. This delightful film about art and its makers, peppered with Canadian culture, shows the past and present never stop talking to each other – even if it’s without words.

Venue & Address
The Royal Cinema
608 College Street, Toronto
7 PM
Free! Tickets or reservations are not necessary. Simply show up if you are interested!

Free screening of Woodwriter: The Wordless Art of George A. Walker, a film by Jeff Winch (OCAD U Alumni, graduating class 2008)

Friday, May 20 at The Royal Cinema on College St. Begins at 7 PM. Tickets or reservations are not necessary. Simply show up if you are interested!

Woodwriter is a 68-minute documentary that explores George's process - both analogue and digital - as well as his ideas and a flirtatious relationship across time with Hollywood superstar Mary Pickford.

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Woodwriter The Wordless Art of George A. Walker
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Show when event is over
Woodwriter The Wordless Art of George A. Walker

Image: documentation of Tannis Nielsen installation. 2-channel projection with mirrored floor and ceiling

Lii Zoot Tayr (Other Worlds)
13 May – 10 July 2022
Amy Malbeuf, Suzanne Morrissette, Tannis Nielsen, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, and Jessie Ray Short

Lii Zoot Tayr (Other Worlds) is the third in a series of exhibitions curated by Amy Malbeuf and Jessie Ray Short exploring the work of Métis artists. In this iteration, the artists—Malbeuf, Suzanne Morrissette, Tannis Nielsen, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, and Short—ground themselves within and move beyond the earth and solar system to ruminate on outer, inner, and deep space. Curators Malbeuf and Ray Short write:

“With a particular focus on the ethereality of science and technology, the artists examine their relationships to unseen forces and concepts of spirit and in/visibility. The fundamental forms of energy, such as electricity, and physical forces, such as gravity, determine the observable structure of the universe. Everyone has an electromagnetic field around them. It exists around all beings and all things, and yet, it is difficult to perceive (most of the time). We are bound together by these forces, even if the mechanisms by which they are believed to function are not completely understood.

Lii Zoot Tayr acknowledges the existence of the immeasurable and examines the space between knowing and unknowing. The artists in this exhibition explore the inexplicable through reflection and mirroring within materials and mediums including, but not limited to, mylar, water, glass, static, electrical plasma and other matter. They explore the intersections between the forces of cultural, familial and personal worldviews to make tangible the intangible. The resulting artworks are charged with ancestral and personal dreams, memories, and stories that push and pull on the limitations of human perceptions and raise questions about how knowledge comes into being. Each artist’s creation is the binder that connects knowing to the unknown.”

Covid Protocols: To keep within capacity limits, pre-registration is required for all in-gallery visits. AGYU visitors will be required to pre-screen on the day of their visit to the campus or attending associated events (more info and a link to the YorkU Covid Screening tool can be found here).

You can book gallery visits here:

Accessibility and Accommodation needs? Email

Lii Zoot Tayr is produced by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University, Kingston, with research and development support from the Art Gallery of York University. The exhibition was generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts: Creating, Knowing and Sharing: the Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples Program). Jessie Ray Short acknowledges support received for the development of this project from Calgary Arts Development. Michif translation by Verna DeMontigny. Translation of Cheryl L’Hirondelle’s essay into nêhiyawêwin by Dorothy Thunder.

Venue & Address
Art Gallery of York University
Keele Campus, Accolade East Building
Free. Pre-registration is required for all in-gallery visits.

Lii Zoot Tayr (Other Worlds) is the third in a series of exhibitions curated by Amy Malbeuf and Jessie Ray Short exploring the work of Métis artists. In this iteration, the artists—Malbeuf, Suzanne Morrissette, Tannis Nielsen, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, and Short—ground themselves within and move beyond the earth and solar system to ruminate on outer, inner, and deep space. 

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Creation, Tannis Nielsen
Event Display
Show when event is over
Creation_documentation of Tannis Nielsen installation

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

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. 

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. 

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. 

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 

News Summary
This year, OCAD U celebrated its top graduates with a lively in-person reception in Butterfield Park.
Banner Image
A group of OCAD University graduates standing on stage outside, smiling.


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