Posts Tagged ‘painting’

Figure 1 Exhibition

Soft Pink Forms by Clara Lynas

This month and until the end of June, the Learning Zone presents Figure 1. It’s a new exhibition which “engages with the tradition of figurative representation”.

Figure 1 showcases artwork from twelve OCAD University students working in various media and artistic styles to depict the human form.

Approaches range from realistic life painting to the exploration of abstract forms.  Some artists chose to focus on expression, gesture, or emotion, while others tackled our relationships to objects, each other and the spaces we occupy.

Feeling Hot Dysphoria, 2017, Will Brask

Francis Tomkins curated Figure 1 and includes works by Misbah Ahmed, Alexandria Boyce, Wil Brask, Will Carpenter, Jisu Lee, Wenting Li, Clara Lynas, Natalie Mark, James Okore, Rem Ross, Brianna Tosswill, and Dalbert Vilarino.

Figure 1 Exhibition, 2017

On until June 29




05 2017

Student Profile: Khadija Aziz

Khadija AzizKhadija Aziz identifies herself as a Toronto artist and creative entrepreneur and will be entering her 3rd year at OCAD University majoring in the Cross-Disciplinary program Life Studies. Khadija is known for creating art that is intuitive and explorative. She is constantly experimenting with a variety of media and surfaces, challenging traditional approaches to art making.

She grew up in a community of mostly immigrants—she was the only student in her cohort to pursue a post-secondary education in art and design. That inspired her to found the company Sketchbook Toronto, a financially accessible portfolio development program for youth between the ages 15 to 20, to assist youth in seeing opportunities in creative culture. The company provides a bridge between not knowing and knowing.

Learning Zone: What influenced your decision to major in Cross-disciplinary Art: Life Studies?

Khadija Aziz: The main reason I decided to pursue Life Studies is because it was cross-disciplinary. I wasn’t sure what exactly my strength was in art at that time, so I liked that in Life Studies, I would have access to multiple disciplines in the Faculty of Art, which meant that I could always be learning and trying new things that I couldn’t if I chose to stick to one discipline. And now I love that I meet students and professors from across the disciplines and I get to learn a lot about everything.

What are you looking most forward to in entering your 3rd year studies at OCAD U?

I’m looking most forward to our core Life Studies class because it’s always the most interesting. The projects have always been engaging and challenge me to further my practice and ideas about what art is and could be. I’m excited to learn the new approaches, methods, critical thinking and problem-solving through art in that class, and also the rest of my 3rd year.

Khadija Aziz, self-portrait

What two art supplies could you not live without?

Gouache paint and archival ink pen.

Has attending art school helped you develop your own personal style. If so, how?

Yes, of course. OCAD U kept me in touch with contemporary styles, critical thinking, and approaches that local and global artists use in their work. I’ve also been motivated to practice and experiment with different media and surfaces that I might’ve not known even existed. It’s all about being part of the artist community that’s really exciting.

How would you describe yourself as an artist?

Intuitive and spontaneous. I experiment a lot in my practice so I’m always open to trying new things, making mistakes, and especially learning to make that mistake part of my work.

Khadija Aziz, LandandScape_

What excites you most about the material you work it? Is there another medium you would like to work with?

 I would like to experiment and explore this year with transparent acrylic sheets to play with layering and sculpture.

What are 3 likes and 3 dislikes of yours?

Likes: desserts, paper, lakes/rivers

Dislikes: summer, darkness, the colour orange

You’ve recently been elected as the Director of Diversity and Equity for the OCAD U Student Union. What is your role and what do you hope to achieve?

My role is a new role at the Student Union, so I hope what I’m working on will be continued after my term ends. I would like to design ways to engage more students by empowering them to lead and create change at school. I want to enable students to be the ones to help OCAD U celebrate and raise awareness of diversity and equity issues.

How do you promote yourself?

I promote myself through social media and I attend lots of creative and leadership conferences. They’re great spaces to meet other emerging and professional artists, entrepreneurs, and change-makers who could be potential collaborators and of course, amazing friends. The rule I go by is just, “show up”. Show up to wherever you’ll meet people who you want to be like, learn from them, and always stay motivated.

What are your plans when you graduate?

I would like to continue with Sketchbook Toronto and work on a business plan. I’m considering doing a Masters but I’m not sure in what yet, or maybe I’ll look into alternative ways of learning. I don’t know exactly what I want to do, but somewhere along the lines of creative innovation.



08 2016

Introducing Luke Hastings

Luke Hastings; Introducing Luke Hastings Summer 2015

Cross-Displinary Art & Publications student Tetyana Herych presents Introducing Luke Hastings exhibition at the Learning Zone.

Herych thought of Luke Hastings paintings immediately when asked to curate an exhibition at the Learning Zone space for this summer. Hastings, a 4th year Drawing & Painting student at OCAD University likes to work large with bright and saturated hues.

Luke Hastings

Hastings inserts himself in his paintings, and draws in the dynamics of his family relationships.

Luke Hastings’ self-awareness is portrayed within the framework of his family, through honest motifs of substance abuse, and the responsibilities that accompany it. He does not exist without them.

Unable to stick to one medium, Hastings conveys the unsettling realities throughout his life with overwhelmingly large pieces and bold colours, with various mediums patched together. Acrylic paint on canvas and paper, colour pencil on paper collaged on canvas, infused with cut up drawings from Hasting’s and his twin sister’s childhood.   Tetyana Herych


This exhibition runs through the summer.


07 2015

Study Exhibition: Group Exhibition of Small Works


The Study, a group exhibition was recently hosted in the Learning Zone February 5th through to 16th, comprised of small works or studies by nine OCAD U students from the disciplines of Drawing & Painting and Integrated Media, organized by Emily Waknine.

The collection was comprised of a range of media — paintings, collage, mixed-media and photography. Featuring the works of Tom Colleran, Emma Edghill, Stephanie Hier, Paul Moleiro, Wendy Nichol, Hazel Ottley, Sam Pedicelli, Sarah Turner and Emily Waknine.


What inspired your idea of organizing an exhibition based on small art?

Marta Chudolinska, the Learning Zone Librarian, approached me to see if I would be interested in organizing a two-week exhibition in the Learning Zone. I was immediately inspired to create an exhibition based on small works and studies. Small studies are integral to the final production of a larger body of work and they are also very beautiful works in themselves, that do not get much recognition.

I contacted my peers, whose work I was drawn to and shared common similarities in terms of colour.  All of these works were made outside of the classroom, as material and technical explorations.

It appears that the artwork was created independently, but installed with a deliberate interweaving with respect to the positioning of the pieces. You’ve brought together artwork from people with different purposes, and created a new narrative that is overlaid. Can you speak about this layer?

All of the projects installed are of small scale and self-directed explorations that seem to have an interesting conversation in the LZ space.


When I collected each of the artists’ work, I discovered interesting similarities amongst them — colour choices, patterns and materials. So, I decided that instead of grouping the works by each artist, I would install similar works together grouped either by colour or technical exploration, creating a new narrative of the original work. The exception were the digital paintings by Tom Colleran and Paul Moleiro’s darkroom prints, I decided to keep all of their works grouped individually but overall the exhibit looked very cohesive — as if it was collaboratively created.

Hazel Ottley’s plaster heads had a very soft quality to them, similar to my soft watercolour landscape paintings and Wendy Nichol’s highly detailed repetitive patterns used in her acrylic panel paintings, which I paired well with Sam Pedicelli’s explorations in embroidery and textiles.



There is a conversation between Paul’s darkroom prints and Tom digital paintings — Tom’s work is digital printing which grew from traditional film practices. Tom’s works are digital paintings representing photographs, whereas Paul works in the darkroom. I thought that these were captivating ways of inverting what we would normally see out of traditional or digital print.



03 2014

More gallery highlights from the Great Grange Event

The annual Great Grange Event exhibition ended last Friday, March 22nd. For those who had missed the exhibition hosted in the Learning Zone, here are a small selection of watercolours from Diane Pugen’s Nature & Culture: Drawing class.




03 2013

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