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OCAD University has appointed Dr. Caroline Langill as Vice-President, Academic & Provost, effective April 1, 2019. Reporting to and working closely with the President and Vice-Chancellor as a member of the executive team, Langill is responsible for the overall academic enterprise of the university, including academic planning and the ongoing implementation of the university’s Academic Plan.

In addition to a General Studies diploma from Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University), Langill holds an Honours B.Sc. from Carleton University, an MFA from York University and a PhD in Canadian Studies from Trent University. Langill’s interests in non-canonical art histories, gender studies and Indigenous epistemologies have led her to writing and exhibition-making that could be considered post-disciplinary.  She is a respected curator, a published researcher in the field of media art histories, and has held administrative and governance positions in a number of artist-run centres.

 “Caroline is ideally suited for this role, in light of her academic administrative experience, as well as her deep engagement with the University’s key strategic and academic priorities, including those of supporting Indigenous knowledge and culture, the integration of STEM disciplines with art and design, student success and jobs readiness, and a commitment to research. She also brings strong capacities in academic governance and policy, curriculum innovation, academic bargaining and budget planning,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice Chancellor, OCAD University. “We are very fortunate to have Caroline as OCAD University’s Vice-President, Academic & Provost.”

Prior to her role as Interim Vice-President Academic & Provost over the past six months, Langill held the position of Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies since 2014, and was Associate Dean of the Faculty of Art before that time.  

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Dr. Caroline Langill, photo by Martin Iskander
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Our guest panelists Ian Carr-Harris, Barbara Fischer and Liz Magor, with moderator Caroline Seck Langill, will discuss Wendy Coburn’s facility as a maker and her uncanny ability to imbue her works with the principles by which she lived.

Watch the Panel Discussion on Wendy Coburn’s Commitments as an Artist, featuring guest panelists Ian Carr-Harris, Barbara Fischer and Liz Magor, moderated by Caroline Seck Langill here: 

About the panelists:

Ian Carr-Harris has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1971, including the Venice Biennale and Documenta, as well as solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario and The Power Plant. Professor Emeritus at OCAD University, he was a founding Board member of A Space and of The Power Plant in Toronto. He is represented by the Susan Hobbs Gallery in Toronto, and in 2012 was named a recipient of the Governor-General's Awards in the Visual and Media Arts. He has published reviews and articles on art since the early 1970's, and an anthology of his writings is soon to be published by Concordia University Press.

Barbara Fischer is the Executive Director/Chief Curator of the Art Museum at the University of Toronto as well as an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream and the Director of the Master of Visual Studies program in Curatorial Studies at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.

Fischer has curated award-winning solo and group exhibitions in the area of contemporary art and its histories, including the internationally circulating retrospective exhibition General Idea Editions 1967-1995 (Kunstverein Munich, Kunsthalle Zurich, Kunst-Werke ICA Berlin, CAAC Seville, Henry Art Gallery Seattle, and the Andy Warhol Museum Pittsburgh, among others), and Projections (2007), the first major survey (and touring exhibition) on projection-based works in the history of contemporary art in Canada. Most recently, she partnered with five curators from across Canada to produce the first survey of conceptual art in Canada (Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980) which premiered at the University of Toronto Galleries in the fall of 2010 and toured across the country through 2013. In a new configuration, Continental Drift: Conceptual art in Canada in the 1960s and 70s was presented at the Badischer Kunstverein (Germany) — the most comprehensive exhibition of its kind to travel to Europe. It moves in revised form to the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris in 2014.

Barbara Fischer is the recipient of the 2008 Hnatyshyn Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art, and was appointed commissioner and curator of Mark Lewis’ project of the Canadian Pavilion for the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009).

Liz Magor is a Vancouver-based artist who studied at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Parsons School of Design, New York; and the Vancouver School of Art. Since the early 1970s, Magor has produced sculptural and photographic works concerned with the latent, affective range of familiar materials, images and objects.

Her work has been exhibited in major international exhibitions such as Documenta VIII , Kassel; the 41st Venice Biennale, and the 4th Biennale of Sydney. In 2019 Magor presented an exhibition titled BLOWOUT at the Carpenter Center for Visual Art, Cambridge, Mass. The exhibition traveled to the Renaissance Society in Chicago accompanied by a publication.

She has had solo exhibitions at Le Credac, Ivry-sur Seine, France; Peephole, Milan, Italy; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; and the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 2016 the Musee d’Art Contemporain de Montreal mounted a 40 year retrospective which travelled to the Migros fur Gegenwartskunst , Zurich; then on to the Kunstverein in Hamburg; and the MAMAC in Nice. The exhibition was accompanied by a publication from JRP/ Ringier, Zurich

Liz Magor received the Governor General’s Award in 2001, the Audain Prize in 2009, and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize in 2014. In 2017/18 she was a guest of the DAAD Kunstler in Berlin Program.

About the moderator:

Caroline Seck Langill is a writer and curator whose academic scholarship and curatorial work looks at the intersections between art and science, as well as the related fields of new media art history, criticism and preservation. Her interests in non-canonical art histories, gender studies and Indigenous epistemologies have led her to writing and exhibition-making that could be considered post-disciplinary. With Lizzie Muller, she has been looking at questions of liveliness in art and artifacts. This ongoing research resulted in the exhibition Lively Objects for ISEA: Disruption (2015) in which undisciplined objects were woven through traditional displays and historical tableau at the Museum of Vancouver. She resides in Peterborough and works at OCAD University where she is Vice-President Academic and Provost. With Andrea Fatona, she is the co-curator of Fable for Tomorrow: A Survey of Works by Wendy Coburn.

 

Fable for Tomorrow: A Survey of Works by Wendy Coburn

February 16 to May 14, 2022 at Onsite Gallery

Curated by Andrea Fatona and Caroline Seck Langill with video programming by b.h. Yael and Rebecca Garrett

Core exhibition of the CONTACT Photography Festival

Wendy Coburn had significant impact on the Canadian art community as an artist, educator and activist who has exhibited internationally. Fable for Tomorrow presents the first survey of Wendy Coburn’s artwork. The exhibition provides an opportunity to bring together four decades of sculpture, installation, photography and video that reveals her ability to sense the pulse of a deep present while asking us to pay attention to other futures. Coburn’s work explores representations of gender, sexualities, everyday objects, material culture, and human/animal relations. Click here for full exhibition information.

The Estate of Wendy Coburn is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto.

Wendy Coburn’s video works are represented by Vtape; please contact distribution@vtape.org for exhibitions, rentals and purchase.

logos: Onsite Gallery, Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Nexus, V Tape With additional support from: Anonymous, Jess Dobkin, Barbara Fischer, Alice Klein, Caroline Seck Langill and Angela Robertson

Onsite Gallery is the flagship professional gallery of OCAD U and an experimental curatorial platform for art, design and new media. The gallery is located at 199 Richmond St. W, Toronto, ON, M5V 0H4. Telephone: 416-977-6000, ext. 265. Opening hours are: Wednesdays to Fridays from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Free admission. Proof of vaccination is required for entry.

Onsite Gallery acknowledges that the new gallery construction project is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Canada Cultural Spaces Fund at Canadian Heritage, the City of Toronto through a Section 37 agreement and Aspen Ridge Homes; with gallery furniture by Nienkämper. Onsite Gallery logo by Dean Martin Design.

 

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Guest panelists Ian Carr-Harris, Barbara Fischer, and Liz Magor, with moderator Caroline Seck Langill, will discuss Wendy Coburn’s facility as a maker and her uncanny ability to imbue her works with the principles by which she lived.

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Two ceramic baby dolls float on a black background. Silhouettes of insects are painted on their bodies. Text includes exhibition information (repeated in text)
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I am writing to update the OCAD University community on our plans for Grad Ex 105.

First, I would like to thank everyone for their understanding with respect to our original decision to cancel the 2019-20 Graduate Exhibition event that normally runs at the end of the winter term. The onset of the pandemic, the enormous popularity of Grad Ex with the general public, and the challenge of navigating our spaces within an uncertain pandemic context gave us no choice.

Shortly thereafter, I convened a Task Force led by Associate Dean of the Faculty of Design Melanie Hope and former Dean of Faculty of Art, Vladimir Spicanovic. The Task Force membership drew from across the university and included staff, faculty and students who had a passionate stake in seeing Grad Ex move forward in a way that would be possible under the pandemic circumstances we still find ourselves in. The composition of the committee can be found in the report submitted to me on behalf of the Task Force.

The Grad Ex Task Force did a significant amount of work over the summer months to meet regularly, consult with colleagues and students, and think through what form the showcase of our graduating students work might take. There are a number of considerations that have impacted the proposals from the Task Force. Although Toronto is now in Stage Three of the Province’s re-opening plan, physical distancing is still necessary and gathering sizes are still restricted. And we need to be prepared that we may move back into Phase Two at any time. With this reality in mind, we need to design Grad Ex 105 in a way that ensures it is future-proofed and can be safely produced against a resurgence of COVID-19 or even within the current context.

I, in collaboration with my colleagues on the Executive Team, have considered the proposals submitted to me by the Task Force and see an exciting potential for the 2019-20 Graduate Exhibition to move forward with three distinct opportunities for community engagement:

  1. Public Exhibitions: This aspect of Grad Ex will allow the public to view art and design works by graduating students in physical spaces. Members of the Task Force, as well as President Ana Serrano, have been cultivating relationships with public partners who are enthusiastically encouraging us to install the work of our graduates on their sites. Possibilities include storefronts, public projections, public sites outside to name a few. 
  2. Virtual Showcase:  An online platform will be developed that will serve as a presentation hub. This digital engagement platform will provide professional networking opportunities for our 2019/20 graduates and will have compelling and transformative power for graduating students. It will have the potential to be both an exhibition venue and an e-commerce vehicle allowing grads to showcase their work to art and design professionals nationally and internationally, as well as their peers, families and friends. I will acknowledge that some programs have already undertaken this process and developed a web presence for their students. How these sites might be folded into the new platform can be discussed with the production team.
  3. Grad Ex LIVE: This aspect of Grad Ex would feed into the new OCAD U LIVE channel recently communicated by President Serrano.  2019/20 graduates who had final work(s) in-progress, and who were unable to complete their projects due to the constraints of the pandemic, will have an opportunity to present and describe these projects to the public through video segments that will be broadcast on the LIVE channel. This unique venue will allow these students to create an intimate dialogue about their process for the public, and to discuss where they anticipate their art and/or design practice will go in the future.

Each of these distinct and related channels for distribution of the work of our accomplished 2019/20 graduates will require resources. The university is committed to providing these. The Grad Ex Task Force has made recommendations regarding the staffing required to undertake the work of mounting the re-visioned Grad Ex 105. Having looked carefully at these, I am following the recommendations of the Task Force and will create two related streams of support:

i.                    2019/20 Grad Ex Producer: We are committed to retaining production expertise to support the three aspects of the Grad Ex strategy. This position (and/or team) will provide guidance and direction for the Curatorial/Design Team to assist them and students in determining which of the three opportunities for presentation they would most benefit from participating in.

ii.                   Curatorial/Design Team: OCAD University has enormous expertise in Curatorial knowledge and Exhibition Design, among our faculty, students and alumni. The Curatorial/Design team will be comprised of recent graduates and current faculty who will work with the Producer, Chairs, GPDs and program faculty to create a compelling and exciting artistic vision and direction that is characteristic of the excellence we are known for, and maximizes the potential of each of the above formats as well as their synergies.

Additionally, there will be good opportunities for our students to be engaged in this reconceptualization of Grad Ex. As the coordination of the event develops, positions for students will emerge and will be posted. We anticipate graduating students will be very involved in the production of Grad Ex 105. Faculty, in particular Chairs and GPDs, will be engaged much as in the past by helping to organize their programs and guiding students as they make decisions about what they plan to present. The University’s Marketing and Communications  team will lead promotion of this reconceptualized Grad Ex 105.

Given that some part of the re-fashioned event will enable description and discussion of unfinished work, or presentation of new work completed off campus, and given that the pandemic’s continued grip makes it challenging to safely re-open our facilities, we will not be enabling access to the  Fabrication Centre and studios to facilitate completion of any unfinished 2019/20 projects.  This may come as disappointing news, but we have established the safety of our students, faculty and staff as the paramount concern by which to assess re-opening capacities. There are other considerations underway with respect to accessing campus specifically for retrieving unfinished work.

Timeline: As is evident from the description above, mounting this event will be demanding at a time when all of us are working hard to do something else that we have never done before: offer a full term of art and design education remotely. However, the sentiment expressed by the Task Force, and by anyone I have encountered as we have discussed Grad Ex 105, is that there is a deep commitment move forward with an opportunity for our 19-20 graduates to showcase their work in formats that honour their efforts to produce outstanding art and design. Considering the time it will require to identify the teams and staff working on these three formats of display, and the time for graduates to forward work, the event will likely launch in late Fall, and/or early in the new year.

There is much more to be said on this, and I am sure many questions will result from this message, but I wanted to inform the community of our collective commitment to Grad Ex 105 and about the exciting direction this is taking.

In closing, I want to thank the Co-Chairs of the Grad Ex Task Force Melanie Hope and Vladimir Spicanovic for their diligent work with the committee in producing a proposal that assisted all of us in seeing Grad Ex move forward. I want to thank all the members of the Task Force, staff, faculty and students, for their devotion to this event, and for giving their time during this challenging period in all of our lives.

Sincerely,

Caroline

CAROLINE SECK LANGILL, MFA, PhD

Vice-President Academic and Provost, OCAD University

Final report GradEx 105 recommendations

 

 

 

 

 

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I am writing to update the OCAD University community on our plans for Grad Ex 105. First, I would like to thank everyone for their understanding with respect to our original decision to cancel the 2019-20 Graduate Exhibition event that normally runs at the end of the winter term. The onset of the pandemic, the enormous popularity of Grad Ex with the general public, and the challenge of navigating our spaces within an uncertain pandemic context gave us no choice.
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Dr. Caroline Langill, Vice-President, Academic & Provost, OCAD University, joined higher education and Indigenous leaders at the fifth annual Building Reconciliation Forum held last week at Algoma University – the only university in Canada located on the site of a former residential school.  

Jointly hosted by Algoma University, Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Nipissing University, Cape Breton University and the University of Northern British Columbia, the forum brought together more than 250 participants including university and Indigenous community leaders, Elders, residential school survivors, partners and students from across the country. In advance of the fifth anniversary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the forum offered participants a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas and share best practices on how to advance reconciliation through higher education and support the healing journey. 

"Attending the National Building Reconciliation Forum on the site of Shingwauk school where Algoma University now stands was an honour,” said Dr. Langill. “Many of the invited speakers were passionate about the need for reconciliation while also noting the distance we are from it in education. Listening to residential school survivors speak about their experiences attending the school, onsite, in the halls and on the grounds where they lived out their childhoods, was deeply moving.”

The theme of this year’s forum was Wiiji-nookiimding wii-noojmoweng, dibaajmotaading, doodamowin miinwaa debwe’endaagziwin – wii-ni-niigaaniing, meaning to work together to advance healing and reconciliation in the Anishinaabemowin language. 

“There were many lessons for OCAD University, but one which stood out and was a common theme was expressed by Mike DeGagne, President at Nippissing University – 'How can we bring the university to the community?' ” added Dr. Langill.  “We began this work with Six Nations Polytechnic through the Indigenous Visual Culture Program and it is time we moved it further forward."  

OCAD University believes that Indigenous knowledges and cultures are of fundamental importance to the future of Canada, both to Indigenous individuals and communities, and to Canadian society. In the last decade, OCAD U created an Indigenous Visual Culture Program, one of the first of its kind to be established at an art and design university, and established an Aboriginal Education Council. Including national representation, the Council’s mandate is to recommend initiatives and share strategies that provide direction and guidance on the development of the program and supporting initiatives. 

 

 

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