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Morgan Mavis working with Detroit Natural History Collection

What program did you take?
I was a Sculpture Installation major with a focus on curatorial and I dappled in textiles. I still have a strong fondness and allegiance to Sculpture/Installation. It is a program that is a bit more theory-heavy. The instructors, Ian Carr Harris, David Pellettier and Ginette Legarè really helped to foster and develop critical thought with in-class critiques. They are task masters, but they motivate you to excel and strive to create works that engage and challenge.

What was your favorite class at OCAD U?
OCAD has so many classes that I was head over heels for, with instructors so passionate that I honestly cannot list just one.
Clair Brunette is the best. I spent at least 8 hours some days down in her domain: the foundry. Her knowledge is so, so valuable and she is hysterical. A real shining light in a basement studio.
Conceptual Art Practice was a liberal studies class with Jessica Wyman, and she is so bright and passionate, a real dreamy academic babe whose high standards and demanding academic expectations just motivated me to excel.
And how could I not list second year sculpture class team-taught by Collete Whiten and David Pelletier. They worked us to the bone and delighted us with their stories, insight and charm. One of the highlights of this class was a class potluck on Toronto Island at what is now Artscape Gibraltar point. The first time I ever ate food from a tagine was a Moroccan dinner with Collette. They were so in-sync with each other it could have been the makings of a fantastic art school sitcom. The school has really exceptional faculty with such diverse subjects. I am a nerd for school and I excel with deadlines and approval. OCAD U really shaped who I am as a person, artist and curator today.

What did you like about the atmosphere at OCAD U?
In two words: It’s cool! Cool kids, cool faculty, talented stylish people who all see the world from a similar counter-culture perspective. It is really a community, we all knew each other and all would talk about what we were making and our lives. The campus is in the heart of the city with such talented people, it really makes you feel elite. OCAD U: elite but not elitists. I invited this tag line!

What have you been up to since Graduation?

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The Contemporary Zoological Conservatory

Oh, so many exciting things to talk about! I worked on a story telling installation across Canada. I was the focus of a documentary based on my thesis work. I now have my masters of Museum Studies from U of T and am curator of a duration art installation: The Contemporary Zoological Conservatory. I lecture on the representation of animal in contemporary art and museums, as well as curating external shows. Now I am working at the AGO and OCAD U and I am able to share my passion for art with others.

What are your goals moving forward?
Well 2013 I have crossed off so many life goals: I have my Master’s degree, I am in love, engaged, am fit and lost weight, I love my career and am able to practice my art and get paid for it. Next… get my drivers licence, hah!!

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Morgan Mavis & Christopher Bennell

You can find out more about Morgan Mavis and The Contemporary Zoological Conservatory here: www.theczc.com