OCAD University Photography Program

News about events, our community & opportunites

Month: March 2017 (page 1 of 2)

Friday #ArtCrush: Natalie Wainewright

Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.  This Friday’s #ArtCrush is Natalie Wainewright, a fourth year student majoring in Photography.

In this issue, Morgan and Natalie talk about lighting in food photography, collaborating with other artists and the influence of instagram within the realm of photography.

Who or what are your main photographic inspirations?

This year I’ve been looking at a lot of commercial food photographers such as Maya Visnyei, Ditte Isager, and Eric Wolfinger. However, I’m also very influenced by artists such as Laura Letinsky and especially by being surrounded by the work of other students.

 

What is your favourite lighting set up and camera/lens combination?

I tend to shoot with one light with a medium softbox and reflectors as needed. I use a Nikon D750 and a 28-300 lens but usually shoot at 70.

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Peppers, 2017

 

How does your shooting style change on location vs. in studio? How do you see these two options as changing the mood or lighting of your shoots?

For me, shooting in studio provides a lot of flexibility as you can experiment with the light and change the set up around the fixed light, but shooting on location requires good timing and waiting for the light. I like to plan shoots and lighting in advance, so it is helpful knowing that the shoot can go on in bad weather. However, approaching summer means that there is more opportunity to experiment with natural lighting.

 

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

Although all of my shoots involve food, I like to incorporate some human aspects and more of the food-making process as well as some general still life for some variety.

 

Do you collaborate with any other artists or food stylists? How does collaborating change the way in which you approach your subject?

Collaborating with other artists and people in general is one of the best parts of being involved in photography because it always gives you multiple perspectives and pushes the work further. It is also nice being able to work through ideas with other people who have a different styles and experience.

cake

Cake, 2017

With the rise of instagram and with so many people taking iPhone photos of their food before they consume it, what do you think is the value of professional food photography?  How does this change your creative insight into photographing food, as we are already inundated with images of?

I think Instagram is a powerful tool for photographers and being able to see so many food photographs can provide inspiration. Professional food photography has the potential to say more about food and the issues surrounding it than the average food photograph you run into online because of the time spent with the subject. I hope to be able to bring this into my work and find it an important part of considering the impact of commercial food photographs.

 

What do you think is essential to know or show in food photography?

I think the process of preparing food and the social aspect of it is important to bring into photographs and something I am working towards. It’s interesting when food photographs offer a different perspective to the everyday.

 

How does the atmosphere of your images change by including people in your photographs who are interacting with the food you prepare?
I think including people in the images brings in the human aspect of preparing and consuming food, which is something everyone can relate to on some level. It also helps visually to create movement and give the food more context.

 

People often talk about the tricks of shooting food, how to use different materials or other options than food itself. What are your tricks for photographing food that look fresh and new?

Personally, I just work with fresh food and use edible materials to add to the food to keep waste to a minimum.

mussels

Mussels, 2017

 

What are other subjects or places that you like to shoot and how does this tie into your general artistic vision?

I love to work with people and shoot the landscape with film. Shooting portraits definitely influences how I work with people in food photography and hopefully I can tie in shooting with film and some on location shoots in the future.

 

Where do you see your career path going and who would you most like to work with/for?

I’m hoping to work as an assistant for a commercial food photographer after school and eventually start my own business to work with publications.

 

sweetpotato

Sweet Potato, 2017

 

What is your advice for artists who are looking to make their art practice into a business?

My advice would be to be open to collaborations and change in work and to always be looking for people to look up to.

 

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

Every course I’ve taken and prof I’ve had has influenced my work, but I’ve become especially interested in working in book format over the past couple years.

~

To see more of Natalie’s work you can visit her website or instagram.

~

See Natalie’s work at the

102nd Graduate Exhibition at OCAD University, May 3rd-7th.

Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.

Interview by Morgan Sears-Williams

About the writer: Morgan is a fourth year photography student and runs the Friday #ArtCrush series on the OCAD U Photography Blog. She loves speaking to other artists about social justice, how to break barriers within artist communities and nurturing the arts in alternative spaces. She is the Art Director for The RUDE Collective, a student representative on the Photography Curriculum Committee and has done workshops on intersectionality and allyship relating to LGBTQ folks. To see more, you can visit her website or her instagram.

Friday #ArtCrush: Jason Collette

 Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.  

This Friday’s #ArtCrush is Jason Collette, a fifth year student majoring in Photography.

In this issue, Morgan and Jason talk about collaboration with artists, tips for designing an arts-based business, and merging editorial and fashion photography.

Who or what are your artistic inspirations?

The main reason for my interest in photography was to learn more of all the discourses involved with what it means to exist. I will not say that what I am creating is meant to be political although I can say that I often think about what it means to be human. Some of my main influences are Robert Frank, the school of Düsseldorf, Bauhaus, Lee Miller, Stephen Shore, or Jeff Wall. I wish I could create a list of photographers and artists to know if you go into art school because it could fill this entire interview.

 

What is your favourite lighting set up and camera/lens combination?

If I could control the sun that would be my lighting setup, but when I have to go inside because of the weather I try to setup too use a three-point lighting system. I use the speedotrons, softboxes, and sometimes a grid diffuser.

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Jason Collette, Untitled, 2017

 

Can you walk us through how you set up the studio during one of your shoots?

First off, I grab myself a speaker to play music. Next, I get a coffee and sit down for a while and get mentally prepared.  It’s really necessary for me to organize my plan for shoot. I often use fabrics as backdrops – we have backdrop stands in the photo cage that are really versatile for staging. With lighting I really consider balance, the background, and key light. I cannot say that I shoot the same way every time though. I recently have been experimenting with flash on the front of my camera for a more ‘snap-shot’ aesthetic during my shoots.

 

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

I like to think about art and its associations with advertising. My work is most often speaking on behalf industrialization, cross-contextually, and globalization in some way. It can be confusing to a viewer of my work because the subject matter is not direct, or in a series, but that is the point of what I make. I want the viewer to think about their place within the world while looking at my work.

 

Do you prefer shooting on location or within a studio setting? How does this change the way you approach your subject(s)?

I always want the model or subject to interact with its surroundings. I think a lot about the space in the framing and the shapes within the picture as a whole. Whether I am inside, or out, this is something that is in my mind while shooting.

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Jason Collette, Untitled, 2017

 

Do you ever collaborate with other artists to make-work together? What do you see as the value in collaboration? 

I believe that collaboration is one of the most valuable things to any artist, whether it is photography, music, writing or any art form, it is really important to share ideas with others and get an understanding of what people in your community are thinking as well. For me, even if you do not agree with the values of others around you, it is important to see their point of you. I believe that these ideas will help any artist find their own voice within the world.

 

You have said that you work between editorial and fashion photography. What drew you to work within that framework and how do you see the similarities or differences between the two?

I guess a main point is that fashion photography is about the garments and editorial is more about the story that the images tell. For me, this line can be blurry. What brought me into this type of photography was my interest in people, in collaboration, and in the history of clothing. There are a lot of valuable movements in the world today because of how designers have addressed their work.

 

How do you think your art practice, or the way in which you approach art has changed over your time at OCAD?

I started out with a keen interest in street photography. I would rebel against anything too experimental or hands on. I believed that I could make great work like the American street photographers by simply pointing and shooting my rangefinder. I see now how much more goes into those images than I initially believed. There is much more to the process of photography than I would have understood when I started at OCAD University. Although I can still be very resistant in my image making, today, I am much more open to try new things.

 

Where do you see your career path going and whom would you most like to work with?

I am going to continue my pursuit in creating art, and working in fashion. I wouldn’t mind working with Wes Anderson or Martin Scorsese, that would be great. I am currently working with a company called Bypseudonym and am very excited to help them develop their body of work.
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Jason Collette, Untitled, 2017

 

How did you get involved photographing for Bypseudonym, and what was your process designing their unique collection of fashion photography for their website and brand?

I reached out to the owner of the company, Summer Ellis, and we shot an editorial with her talented team. For their collection of images, we try to create a more candid look for each image and are interested in neutral tonality that accompanies the styling. It is important for us to also consider the gaze and posing of the models in each image.

 

Are their any specific OCAD U Faculty who have influenced your work? A specific discipline or course?
I want to give a BIG thanks to the entire OCADU photo faculty.  We have a very diverse and interesting group of talented photographers. My biggest influences have been Gabby Moser, one of the most talented photo historian I have met, and to John Jones, and Kotama Boubane.

 

What are your goals to take your business to the next level? What is your advice for other artists also looking to make their work into a business?

It is important for me to create valuable relationships within the art and fashion community. My best advice would be to practice, practice, practice, because there is always something new to learn in photography and to meet as many people and be as involved in the school and city as you can while at OCAD University. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people.

 

To see more of Jason’s work you can visit his instagram

 

See Jason’s work at the 

102nd Graduate Exhibition at OCAD University, May 3rd-7th.

Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.

Interview by Morgan Sears-Williams

About the writer: Morgan is a fourth year photography student and runs the Friday #ArtCrush series on the OCAD U Photography Blog. She loves speaking to other artists about social justice, how to break barriers within artist communities and nurturing the arts in alternative spaces. She is the Art Director for The RUDE Collective, a student representative on the Photography Curriculum Committee and has done workshops on intersectionality and allyship relating to LGBTQ folks. To see more, you can visit her website or her instagram.

Do you want $7,000?

The AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program applications are due Friday, March 24 (11:59 EST)  This scholarship grants three awards of $7,000 to full-time students entering their final year of study.

Apply here: http://artmatters.ca/wp/aimia-ago-photography-prize-scholarship-form/

ARTISTIC CRITERIA:  The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program recognizes extraordinary artistic potential in students studying toward bachelor’s degrees with a major or focus in fine art photography. For the purposes of the scholarship, “photography” can encompass any lens-based media, including video. The jury will focus on artwork that provokes a strong response and exhibits conceptual rigour, technical excellence and a dynamic engagement with contemporary photographic practice and theory.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Students will be asked to submit general information, as well as a 250-word artistic statement, summarizing their practice and offering contextual information about their portfolio. Their portfolio can include:

  • Up to 15 .jpeg images, uploaded to the scholarship website.
  • Up to 2 video works with a total running time of no more than 5 minutes, uploaded to Vimeo.
  • Full credit information for each work, including artist’s name, title, date and medium and dimensions.

The portfolio should include a focused selection of artwork produced anytime over the course of the student’s undergraduate degree.

TERMS OF ELIGIBILITY

All applicants must meet and/or agree to the following terms and conditions:

  1. Only full-time students in their final year of study are eligible for the scholarships, and students must apply during the prior academic year.
  2. Students must be registered at OCAD U or one of the other partnering schools.
  3. All applicants must be in good academic standing at the time of application and at the time the scholarship is awarded.
  4. Students must meet all application deadlines. Late materials will not be accepted under any circumstances.
  5. Students must apply using the online submission form and upload support materials online, as instructed by the submission guidelines.
  6. Winning students must be willing to attend a special event in Toronto, scheduled by Aimia and the Art Gallery of Ontario, with a faculty member in recognition of their achievement.
  7. Artwork by all 16 finalists will be used by the AGO and Aimia on the prize website, in press communications and in promotional materials relating to the scholarship program.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jenn Long at jlong@faculty.ocadu.ca

Come Hang: Snack and Chat

blog-come-hang-with-jenn-mar

Friday #ArtCrush: Sebastian Perez Vicentini

 Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.  

This Friday’s #ArtCrush is Sebastian Perez Vicentini, a fourth year student majoring in Photography.

In this issue, Morgan and Sebastian talk about the politics of responsibility in representing other peoples’ stories, working within multiple mediums and complicating ideas to create new possibilities in art.

~

 

Who or what are your main artistic inspirations?

I tend to become obsessed with some artists work at different points in my life. I used to do a lot of self-portraiture and could stop looking at the work of Blanca Haddad, and the early work of Adam Neat, I liked it so much that I just wanted to do exactly what they were doing. Eventually I stopped looking and began doing my own thing, developing my own style and obsessions until my work overpowered their influence. So, I like to understand my influences in depth rather than saturate myself with images or ideas or anything.

 

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

In the past few years I have spent most time working on themes of violence, protests, and how our bodies are political. I have touched on these issues in many different ways, and trying to reinvent the ideas, contradict them and see what happens.

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Can’t be called dead, 2015

 

What drives you to work with that subject matter?

I guess I am trying to understand the part I play within these issues. I think sometimes is an act of denunciation, or self-criticism. Definitely I am always looking to detonate emotions and ideas in others and myself.

 

Do you work in any other mediums and how does that inform your work?

I try to work with any mediums that help me communicate and complicate an idea. I enjoy working with sculpture, printmaking, and drawing; using hands and making tangible things that I can later develop through photography or something. So, mixing disciplines opens up my field of view and keeps me interested and at play. But I still find photography to be the ultimate mediator, it’s like the Avatar because it can embody all the other disciplines, and contrary to what most people say I find the beauty and social value of photography in its reproducibility and dissemination.

 

What body of work are you currently working on?

I am currently creating a body of work for thesis that focuses on the student protest of 2014 in Venezuela. In this work, I am making sculptures and photographic explorations of some of the students that where killed during these protests to speak of issues of institutionalized violence, memory, fear, and social division.

bassilestampa2

Praying card in honour of Bassil, 2017.

 

The work you are doing for your thesis explores the artist’s responsibilities while sharing other people’s stories, especially when they are related to social and political violence. How do you navigate this emotional attachment you can find with the individuals you are highlighting, specifically when their lives are or could be similar to yours (age, gender, nationality wise)? Have you had any significant reflections while doing this work?

I think we all have responsibility to speak about these issues, not only as artists but also as human beings. Because although my artwork is specific to Venezuela and its complexities these type of issues are happening all over the world at different levels; violent repression in the United States, Mexico, you name it. I think that is were the emotional attachment comes to play, there is social discontent, and people receiving political bullets in a lot of places (and not far away from Toronto), and yes we are all participants of the violence. But when you think one of these students could be you, then this issue doesn’t feel alien and un-relatable. The thing is that back home it is normalized.

 

What do you see as the artists’ responsibility in reflecting the current social and political environment in which they live?

It is important to reflect on the day-to-day, and the mundane to understand our position in the social environment, the personal is political. Everything we do is political without being directly about politics; our sexual life, the way we eat, how we move through the public space, and the way we relate to institutions. These interactions transcend into bigger social implications and it is our responsibility to reflect on them.

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The critique boat, 2016

 

Your work touches on social, economic and political issues in Venezuela. How do you navigate being Venezuelan and working around social issues in Venezuela, but working in Canada?

Well I work around issues that preoccupy me on the daily. Sometimes I feel it is not effective to talk about Venezuelan issues in the context of Toronto. But I think that tackling these issues symbolically can detonate emotions and creates reflections about what happens here too.

 

What do you think the value is in being a multi disciplinary artist and interweaving multiple mediums into your art practice?

I just think it opens up the possibilities. If I work in one medium for too long I develop tunnel vision and become stuck. Especially as students discovering ideas and techniques there is no reason not to use all the OCAD toys.

santosmall

Saint Students (work in progress), 2017

 

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

So many teachers have influenced me throughout my time at OCAD. I have learned the most from teachers like Katherine Kiloh, Jonathan Groeneweg, Simon Glass, and Paul Dempsey. Also, I remember in first year I had a class with Peter Bowyer; on the first day he took us dumpster diving to find materials for the class. I kept up with it, and I can proudly say that half of my living room and art materials come from the dumpster.

 

Do you have any advice for students beginning to study at OCAD?

Play as much as you can, and use all the facilities that OCAD has. Don’t just go about doing assignment after assignment; I think it is important to start creating themes early on, doing whatever you want and making the assignments fit to your personal practice.

 

To see more of Sebastian’s work, check out their website

 

See Sebastian’s work at the

102nd Graduate Exhibition at OCAD University, May 3rd-7th.

Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.

Interview by Morgan Sears-Williams

About the writer: Morgan is a fourth year photography student and runs the Friday #ArtCrush series on the OCAD U Photography Blog. She loves speaking to other artists about social justice, how to break barriers within artist communities and nurturing the arts in alternative spaces. She is the Art Director for The RUDE Collective, a student representative on the Photography Curriculum Committee and has done workshops on intersectionality and allyship relating to LGBTQ folks. To see more, you can visit her website or her instagram.

Kotama Bouabane in Calgary!

Kotama Bouabane. NYC, China. 2011. C-Print 36"x24"

Kotama Bouabane. NYC, China. 2011. C-Print 36″x24″

When Form Becomes Attitude at Contemporary Calgary

117 8TH AVE SW . CALGARY, CANADA
Curated by Noa Bronstein
Main & Tall Gallery, March 16 – July 30, 2016

 What is the political life of a building, place or historic marker? When Form Becomes Attitude points towards this question in considering the role of monuments or concepts around monumentality in constructing cities, nations and ideologies. Featuring artworks by Maria Flawia LitwinBear WitnessKotama Bouabane (OCAD U Photo Alumni & Faculty)Morehshin AllahyariChristian JankowskiIsabelle Hayeur, Babak Golkar, and Shelagh Keeley the exhibition reflects on the negotiated intersections of design and power in which monuments are materialized. When Form Becomes Attitude also emphasizes how state-building relates to city-building, while tracing how monuments speak to the mechanisms of architectural memory. In many contexts, monuments are constructed representations of nationalism and political posturing. The artworks in this exhibition, however, raise further questions around how monuments can serve as architectural or materialized devices of resistance, performance and subversion.

 When Form Becomes Attitude further addresses ideas around posterity in our built environment and how a nation’s official representation of itself, in the case of state sponsored monuments, prompts larger negotiations surrounding the rendering of nationalism. Equally, or perhaps more importantly, the artists within this exhibition carefully mine around and between these official renderings as a way to consider the speculative use or abuse of monuments as agents of power, politicking, gentrification, geopolitics and globalization.

March 18, 2017 – 1:00 PM

Panel Discussion / When Form Becomes Attitude
Lecture // STEPHEN AVENUE LOCATION

Join Guest Curator, Noa Bronstein, and artists Kotama Bouabane, Maria Litwin, and Babak Golkar while they discuss the role of monuments and concepts around monumentality in constructing cities, nations and ideologies.

http://www.contemporarycalgary.com/whats-on/utopia-factory

Application Support, 12 today!

sm-applicagition-support

OCAD University is participating in the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program!  This program awards three scholarships of $7,000 each to a student focusing on photography and entering their final year of study. If you would like support on this application, Associate Chair Jenn Long will be sitting outside of the Photo Cage and  available to help you today from 12-1:30 pm.  

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: Friday, March 24, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST

$7000 Scholarship Opportunity

OCAD University is participating in the
Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program!
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: Friday, March 24, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST
This program awards three scholarships of $7,000 each to a student entering their final year of study.

If you would like support on this application, Associate Chair Jenn Long will be sitting outside of the Photo Cage and  available to help you on Tues, March 14 from 12-1:30 pm.  

ARTISTIC CRITERIA:  The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program recognizes extraordinary artistic potential in students studying toward bachelor’s degrees with a major or focus in fine art photography. For the purposes of the scholarship, “photography” can encompass any lens-based media, including video. The jury will focus on artwork that provokes a strong response and exhibits conceptual rigour, technical excellence and a dynamic engagement with contemporary photographic practice and theory.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Students will be asked to submit general information, as well as a 250-word artistic statement, summarizing their practice and offering contextual information about their portfolio. Their portfolio can include:

  • Up to 15 .jpeg images, uploaded to the scholarship website.
  • Up to 2 video works with a total running time of no more than 5 minutes, uploaded to Vimeo.
  • Full credit information for each work, including artist’s name, title, date and medium and dimensions.

The portfolio should include a focused selection of artwork produced anytime over the course of the student’s undergraduate degree.

TERMS OF ELIGIBILITY

All applicants must meet and/or agree to the following terms and conditions:

  1. Only full-time students in their final year of study are eligible for the scholarships, and students must apply during the prior academic year.
  2. Students must be registered at OCAD U or one of the other partnering schools.
  3. All applicants must be in good academic standing at the time of application and at the time the scholarship is awarded.
  4. Students must meet all application deadlines. Late materials will not be accepted under any circumstances.
  5. Students must apply using the online submission form and upload support materials online, as instructed by the submission guidelines.
  6. Winning students must be willing to attend a special event in Toronto, scheduled by Aimia and the Art Gallery of Ontario, with a faculty member in recognition of their achievement.
  7. Artwork by all 16 finalists will be used by the AGO and Aimia on the prize website, in press communications and in promotional materials relating to the scholarship program.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jenn Long at jlong@faculty.ocadu.ca

 

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