OCAD U Photography Program

News about events, our community & opportunites

Month: April 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Ravinder Rai and Sebastián Benítez at Project Gallery

'Love Birds' by Ravinder Rai

‘Love Birds’ by Ravinder Rai

DIVERSIONS, curated by Devan Patel, showcases the photographic outcomes of an ongoing artistic dialogue between emerging artists Ravinder Rai and Sebastián Benítez. Engaging in themes of contemporary identity, image, commodification, and sexuality, this exhibition shares a process of awareness and discovery as Rai and Benítez photographically respond to each other’s work. Navigating through objects to compose and create playful and clever photographs, this exhibition also incorporates elements of installation.

Ravinder Rai’s practice pursues a reflexive exploration of identity, desire, and the presentation of the self. Positioning himself as the subject of abstract study, he uses photographic still lifes to interpret his experiences as a closeted gay individual. In this way, the work construes otherwise repressed narratives and ruminations while visually retaining a degree of authorial anonymity.

Sebastián Benítez’ series Feint navigates and negotiates through a myriad of objects and images marketed towards gay men, such as movie memorabilia, novelty items, and gay travel guides. Benítez’ work explores his own personal positioning in relation to these commodities, while inviting the viewer to consider the different motivations, relationships and underlying discourses that underpin these objects.

Opening Reception: Thursday April 28th 6-10pm
Exhibition Dates: April 28 – May 15, 2016

Project Gallery
1109 Queen St E , Toronto
Wed-Sun 12-5pm

This exhibition is Featured with the CONTACT Photography Festival 2016


Summer course on the Island

Looking for an interesting 0.5 studio credit in 3rd year…  LOOK HERE

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Course Description: CROS 3003 – Gibraltar Point, A Living Lab
May 17 to June 30th, 2016 

Students come from all areas of OCAD University to work in collaboration or independently to producing site-specific artworks or design solutions. During the course, students conduct research with the support of day trips and tours on the island. Evening programming supplements the day’s activities through the coordination of meals, screenings, lectures, readings and discussions. students participate in workshops and group critiques with visiting artists. This interdisciplinary initiative embraces collaborative and community building methodologies within studio production. There is potential to partner with the island parks department to work on permanent and temporary projects.

The student residency takes place at the Gibraltar Point Art Centre on Toronto Islands from May 24th to June 30th.  Students from across the university curriculum work and live together to create a dynamic residency. This is a half credit course. The first class is at OCAD U in Room 543 on May 17 the second class is on May 19th and will be a day trip to the Island.

There is an additional fee for accommodation fee at the Art Centre, there are also camping sites available.

If for some reason you have issues registering or questions about this course for please let me know.

Faculty: April Hickox:  aprilhickox@gmail.com

The course includes up to three spaces for graduate students. If a graduate student is interested, they will need to speak to me and their graduate supervisor about additional course content to meet the graduate level criteria.


LANDMARKS Information Session Today & April 26




Thanks to the generosity of Epson Canada and our supportive local representative Andrew Patrick, OCAD U’s Photography Program is pleased to announce the 2016 Epson Awards have been granted to:  Antonio Giacchetti and Michael Seleski!

Antonio Giacchetti, Mark #8, 2016

Antonio Giacchetti, Mark #8, 2016

Antonio Giacchetti is a writer and visual artist based in Southern Ontario, currently completing a BFA in Photography at OCAD University. His practice includes a variety of experimental image making methods, conceptual and studio based photography as well as short performative and experimental films.

Recent works have explored visual articulations of existential philosophy, deconstructions of the photographic image, mark-making, and notions of home, memory, and formative experiences from the context of the male form.

His work has been exhibited at various locations in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario as well as internationally in Tampere, Finland and Berlin, Germany.


Michael Seleski, Spectrum, 2016

Michael Seleski, Spectrum, 2016

Canadian-born, Toronto based fashion photographer, director  and image-maker Michael Seleski seeks to explore  individuality and identity through high impact visuals.  Seleski pursued their BFA in photography at Toronto’s OCAD University and was accepted into the Mastered Photography Program with Nick Knight in 2015.  Their work showcases their ability to shoot both fashion and  portraiture to a consistently innovative and modern effect. With a bold aesthetic and refined use of lighting Seleski looks to the future of fashion image making while challenging notions of the gender binary and beauty.   Seleski’s inspirations are varied, culled from contemporary art, design, music, and literature.

PIX Exhibition: Scope

PIX is a photography quarterly that functions on the basis of an open call for submissions. The call is based on a different thematic every quarter. Every issue culminates in a launch and exhibition at the Max Mueller Bhawan, New Delhi.
The exhibition and launch of their 13th issue, dedicated to photography from Nepal, titled Scope,  
PIX is about investigating and engaging with broad and expansive fields of contemporary photographic practice in South Asia, ranging from the application, conceptual standing and adaptability of photography to its subjects: its movement, transmission, appropriation and distinct relation to the allied arts.Featured photographers in the issue include:

Photo Faculty, Surendra LawotiShikhar Bhattarai, Philip Blenkinsop, Sagar Chhetri, Sharbendu De, Narayan Tushar Kaudinya, Karan Shrestha, Nirman Shrestha, Rajan Shrestha, Zishaan Akbar Latif, Frédéric Lecloux, Tuomo Manninen, Nepal Photo Project, Karma Gurung Tshering.
With featured texts by: Prawin Adhikari, Yukta Bajracharya, Philippe Calia & Asmita Parelkar, Kanak Dixit, Muna Gurung, Nandita Jaishankar, NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati, Nischal Oli, Pranaya SJB Rana, Pranab Man Singh.

Spotlight on: Michael Seleski

Michael Seleski, Self Portrait (2016), 2016

Canadian-born, Toronto based fashion photographer, director and image-maker Michael Seleski seeks to explore individuality and identity through high impact visuals. Seleski pursued their BFA in photography at Toronto’s OCAD University and was accepted into the Mastered Photography Program with Nick Knight in 2015. 

Michael’s work showcases his ability to shoot both fashion and portraiture to a consistently innovative and modern effect. With a bold aesthetic and refined use of lighting, Seleski looks to the future of fashion image making while challenging notions of the gender binary and beauty. His inspirations are varied, culled from contemporary art, design, music, and literature. 


Name: Michael Seleski

 Program/Major/Minor: Photography

Year of Study: 4th year

What you shoot: Fashion editorial / portraiture

 Camera of choice: Hasselblad H4D / iPhone


Who or what are your main photographic inspirations?

For me I always look at fashion and people who interest me, recently I have been looking to the queer community and been inspired by the need to refresh our understanding of queerness. However, some specific photographers that inspire me are Avedon, Irving Penn, and Nick Knight.

What it is you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?

Right now with my directed studio work I am looking at a new way to celebrate gender and individuality in a fashion image. Whether or not it does that I don’t actually know unless I ask to see if my research and image match with what I wanted to say in the first place.

Michael Seleski, After All, 2015

Can you walk us through the process that you use to set up a portrait?

First, I start to look for clothes then I look for models. I actually spend most of my time figuring out what I am trying to say and why I am saying it.

What project are you working on now?

Right now I am finishing up my work for Directed Studio, but also preparing to relocate myself.

Tell me more about what happens after you take the photo, and how it becomes a final image.

Typically after a shoot I feel pretty emotional, so I like to take a day away from the images and come back with a critical eye. I am also lucky because my partner works alongside me helping decide which image interests us the most. Then I go into full editing where I work on the image until it is exactly how I want it.

Michael Seleski, I Can’t Write A Poem, 2015

What subject matter do you tend to spend the most time working on?

Fashion and people, they’re the most interesting to me.

What are your favourite places to shoot in Toronto?

Although I love shooting in a clean studio, two of my favorite locations are the R.C Harris Water Treatment Plant on the east end and this really beautiful small street on King Street. I absolutely love them!

What is your favorite piece of equipment in your camera bag at the moment?

My iPhone.

Michael Seleski, If It Were Only You, 2016

Where do you find inspiration when you’re in the dreaded photo rut?

Usually I keep an ongoing list of ideas on my phone or I will text myself ideas throughout the day. Whenever I feel like I am in a rut I go though my list and think about what is most relevant to right now!

What attracted you to photography in the first place?

I remember as a teenager thinking that photography allowed me to work and meet new people, and that people wanted to have cool new profile pictures. I liked the idea that hanging out with my friends turned more into planning and setting up photo shoots and taking pictures with our new clothes.

Where do you foresee your career path going? Who would you like to work with in the future?

I want to move to Europe and follow a MA degree in Belgium or London, but I see myself continuing to work on fashion films and editorials. I would love to work with publications like Dazed and i-D or big brands like Prada and Raf Simons.

Michael Seleski, Untitled, 2016

Are their any specific OCAD U Faculty who have influenced your work? A specific discipline or course?

I am fortunate to have been taught by some incredible professors at OCAD U. However, Wendy Coburn has definitely changed my life. Wendy taught me that being queer and challenging the world around me is important. She is the reason behind my directed studio work!

How have your experiences in first year informed your work?

I don’t necessarily think my experience in first year has informed my work today, but it has especially helped educate   me and inform my love for sculpture and integrated media.

Michael Seleski, Spectrum, 2016


What is one piece of advice you would give to someone starting out in photography?

  • Do lots of research on photographers that came before you.
  • Think about challenging photography in a new way.
  • Expect to spend money

You can also check out more of Michael’s work at OCAD U’s Graduate Exhibition.

Johanna Householder & TDT


Johanna Householder, Chair of Cross-Disciplinary Art Practices along with Stephen Andrews, Nadia Belerique, Diane Borsato, Chris Currerri, Marisa Hoicka, John-Paul Kelly, Bridget Moser, Jon Sasaki, Walter Scott and Jim Verburg have choreographed works for the Toronto Dance Theatre’s Singular Bodies performance.  Opening tonight and running until April 23rd, this is an event you don’t want to miss!

Johanna Householder has been working at the intersection of popular and unpopular culture in performance, dance, video and intermedia art since the late 1970s. Shaping plundered source material in order to talk back to mass forms, Householder practices her own brand of cultural detournement, often in collaboration with other artists. She recently performed at Performancear o Morir in Chihuahua, at undisclosed territory in Java, and at M:ST in Calgary, AB. She is one of the founders of the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art and with Tanya Mars she edited Caught in the Act: an anthology of performance art by Canadian women (YYZ Books, 2005) – and they are currently at work on Volume Two.


Spotlight on: Allison Morris

Photo-Program Alumni, Allison Morris,  is featured in the first edition of the Belgrade Photo Month Photography Festival! 


Allison Morris is a fine art photographer living and working in the Greater Toronto Area. Allison has recently completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, and spent her third year of study abroad as part of OCADUʼs Off-Campus Florence program in Italy. Allisonʼs artistic practice explores themes of female representation, the construction of femininity, beauty, youth, identity, and performance from a feminist perspective.

Currently on now until April 14, the exhibition, New Talents 2016,  showcases the top 3 international photographers  selected by the jury.

The Festival will focus on photography exhibitions all around the city of Belgrade (Serbia), including also screenings of movies with photography as main topic, promoting the photography material and book market, workshops, lectures, portfolio reviews, etc.

The Theme for this edition is Open, and showcases Allison’s complete thesis series, Pretty Please


AllisonMorris_PrettyPlease5Check out the full series and interview with Allie, here.

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