OCAD U Photography Program

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Tag: Morgan Sears-Williams



The Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers at OCAD U is pleased to present a Photography Exhibition of the recipients of the 2017 Artscape Youngplace Career Launcher. Congratulations to those who have been selected!

 Lesia Miga  
Giselle Mira Diaz
Aaron Moore
Morgan Sears Williams               

June 22nd – July 21st 2017
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 22nd, 2017, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

 Artscape Youngplace Hallway Gallery
180 Shaw Street, 2nd Floor
Toronto, Ontario




CONGRATULATIONS PHOTO ALUMNI MORGAN SEARS-WILLIAMS (2017) AND MADDIE ALEXANDER (2016) for their upcoming exhibition at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives!

Opening: Saturday June 17th- 7pm till 2am
Femme4Femme is a collaborative exhibition between Morgan Sears-Williams and Maddie Alexander as a part of Nuit Rose Festival – Between Venus & Mars .

Through text, image and installation; the artists strive to explore both the historical and contemporary existence of femme identity. Alexander’s approach pulls from pop culture and pornography, using oversaturated imagery to explore the way queer femmes are represented in the media. Alexander explores micro aggressive language in a satirical manner, to break down the subtleties of femme phobia in film and television.

Morgan uses older technologies as an entry point for viewers to interact with the stories of queer folks both historically and contemporarily, with a focus on queer femme identities. By blending time to create a lasting and long thread of feminist queer activism and lived realities, they challenge the notion that queer feminist activism and femme presence exist within a certain time period.

Both approaches use different methodologies; however work towards a simultaneous goal of archiving the existence of queer femmes. Focusing on and inspired by lived experiences, both works take from contemporary and historical queer presence and absence, and question the roles expected of queer femmes. The works interact with each other to display the efforts of archiving queer life from the artist’s perspective, and the importance of visibility and existence as resistance.

34 Isabella st, 2nd floor.
Opening: Saturday June 17th- 7pm till 2am
June 18th to June 27th, 2017

Exhibition Hours:

Tuesday 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Wednesday 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Thursday 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Friday 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Photo Students in CONTACT Show at Fleishman Gallery


Sensitive Souls, from the series ‘A Place to Call My Own’, 2016 © Meghan Boyle

Congratulations to current students Lesia Miga, Morgan Sears-Williams, Nazila Niazi, and Meghan Boyle for their CONTACT exhibition “Bed of Roses” at Fleishman Gallery! Check out their show opening on May 2nd to hear more about the work.

Where: Fleishman Gallery, 25 Baldwin Street, Toronto, ON
When: May 2–30, 2017
Opening Reception: May 2, 6pm–9pm

For more information, visit the CONTACT website.


WDIWTBWIGU2, from the series, ‘What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?’, 2016 © Lesia Miga


Forbidden Love, 2017 © Morgan Sears-Williams


Transposed, 2017 © Nazila Niazi

Napier, OCAD and Ryerson Universities collaborate:

Photo by Ava Cochrane, A Chair for My Mother, 2017

Photo by Ava Cochrane, A Chair for My Mother, 2017

Please join us on International Women’s day, Wed, March 8th, from 5-7pm for the opening of the Gender & The Lens exhibition at:

Ada Slaight Student Gallery, OCAD University
100 McCaul Street, 2nd floor (North side)
Wheelchair accessible

Artists Include: Maddie AlexanderYuling ChenClea Christakos-GeeAva CochraneMara Gajic, Antonio GiacchettiRaelene GiffinAshley HiltzJesse King,  Morgan Sears WilliamsMichael SeleskiFarihah ShahAlia Youssef Curated by Jennifer Long and Clare Samuel


L to R:  Farihah Shah, Laden Hands, 2017, Michael Seleski, Spectrum, 2016, Alia Youssef, Rayhanah, 2016

The exhibit runs from Mon, March 6 to Sat, March 11 and showcases artworks by feminist-minded students and recent graduates from Ryerson and OCAD University whose artwork explores themes of gender through lens-based mediums.  Within this installation is a slideshow entitled When The Light Shifts, by members of WildFires: Women Photographers Network in Scotland.  This initiative is part of an  ongoing series of research and networking events  between Napier (Edinburgh) University,  Ryerson University and OCAD University that focus on gender and photography.  

Photos left to right: Ashley Hiltz, selections from A Woman's Guide manual, 2016, Clea Christakos-Gee, Alexandra Rose, 2016

L to R: Ashley Hiltz, selection from A Woman’s Guide manual, 2016, Clea Christakos-Gee, Alexandra Rose, 2016

In Fall 2016, a collaboration was formed through faculty members Mary-Ann Kennedy (Napier University), Jennifer Long (OCAD University), Katherine Parhar (Napier University) and Clare Samuel (Ryerson & OCAD University). With a focus on research and creating networks to explore current trends in gender and photography, we began piloting projects in Edinburgh and Toronto with the goal of sharing information and providing opportunities for art creation and dialogue.  The Gender & The Lens exhibition is the first public presentation of this network and in May 2017, we begin our first collaborative project, Create & Converse.  This research hub will be an online platform dedicated to artworks and dialogue by lens-based artists exploring themes related to gender.

Photos left to right: Yuling Chen, still from Adios, Catalonia, 2016, Morgan Sears Williams, still from Stop, 2017

L to R : Yuling Chen, still from Adios, Catalonia, 2016, Morgan Sears Williams, still from Stop, 2017


L to R:  Raelene Giffin, Gatherer, 2016, Mara Gajic, Untitled, from The Room series, 2014


Maddie Alexander, Antonio Giacchetti, & Jesse King, still from Interaction, 2016




RUDE Collective – Real Unapologetic Diverse Expression

OCAD U Photo major Morgan Sears Williams is member of RUDE, an exiting collective that is making change and making space!  RUDE’s first event is on November 25th at Geary Lane, and 40% of profits will be going to YMCA Sprott House, a homeless shelter for queer youth.   

Visit RUDE on facebook @TheRudeCollective to see the amazing RUDE featured artists including Kent Monkman and OCAD U Photo graduate Maddie Alexander!

About RUDE:

Rude is an acronym for Real Unapologetic Diverse Expression. We are a collective of individuals whose main objective is to create positive spaces for queer folks, especially queer people of colour. This space manifests into a queer dance and art party, held seasonally by the RUDE collective.

Our mission is to create a space that allows queer individuals, especially those that are marginalized due to racism, transphobia, gender identity and gender expression to interact and share in a queer positive environment. To showcase multiple art forms of marginalized queer cultural expression through supporting young drag queens, queer artists, queer DJs, and performers. To bring awareness to LGBTQ homeless youth and to contribute to organisations dedicated to eradicating it.

Queer art is a vital part of RUDE events, as we recognize art to be the force that creates and changes culture and pushes political and social movements. The artists that we feature are RUDE because they are unapologetic about their queerness, their blackness, their indigeneity, their sexuality or gender. The artists chosen for our first event on November 25th, speak to the, often violent or oppressive, gaze inflicted on queer folks and subvert it in vulnerable, confrontational, and sometimes comedic ways.


Tonight: Morgan Sears-Williams, Jessica Kennedy and Allison Morris


Congratulations to  Morgan Sears-Williams, Jessica Kennedy, and Allison Morris for being included in the exhibition Girls, Girls, Girls – OPENING TONIGHT at Northern Contemporary Gallery!

Morgan Sears-Williams  is a Canadian-born visual artist currently working and living in Toronto, and attending OCAD University.  Morgan’s art practice is influenced by various feminist and queer movements and communities, and she often draws from personal experiences. Morgan explores ideas of plural identities within queer and feminist spaces, contemporary and intersectional feminist art practices and family relationships through photography, video and publication. She strives to highlight different social justice issues and to create change, be it political or not, through her work.

Morgan Sears-Williams

Morgan Sears-Williams, Stop Messaging Me , 2015, Installation View

Stop Messaging Me project:

 For many women, online spaces can be an unsafe and unwelcoming environment due to harassment. Taking up space online as a feminist can make you even more of a target for these unwanted sexual messages and threats. Additionally, a lack of accountability from law enforcement agencies helps harassment bleed from the online world into physical spaces.

Taken from Facebook, Twitter, Tinder and the like, messages were sourced from friends, online communities and the artist’s own research. Stop Messaging Me is commenting on digital culture and the ease of fast and anonymous communication, the online threats and comments have been reproduced into their own permanent archive. The index cards reference an older age of archiving, and the typewritten font an older age of technology. The process of typing these messages was both strenuous and time-consuming; this reproductive labour emphasizes the impact these words have on a person in an attempt to make viewers think more about the relationship between threats made online and their offline effects.

Viewers are asked to take one of these cards and to ‘deal with it’ in some way. In doing so, they are asked to try to experience what the people who receive these threats have felt and how they deal with it. It is up to the participant to choose what they will do with the card.

Bio: Jessica Kennedy is a Toronto born and raised printmaker/photographer. Currently studying at OCAD U, majoring in photography, Kennedy found her inspiration to lie in the rhythmic process of printmaking. In the past Kennedy has worked with themes of memory, family and anxiety in both photography and printmaking, currently she is working in some activist art based in feminism and women’s rights, solely through printmaking. Trying to make art that makes a difference while also making art accessible at a community level, Kennedy is currently working on a piece about the way society reacts to women’s decisions regarding birth control and reproductive rights, represented in a printmaking installation of anti-baby baby materials. This piece will be showcased in the OCAD U 101st Graduate Exhibition. A few upcoming shows Kennedy will be in include a print exchange with the Toronto Print Coalition and a First Generation Exhibition with theme: Reflection.

Bio: Allison Morris is an emerging fine art photographer living and working in the Greater Toronto Area. She has exhibited in Toronto, Ontario and Florence, Italy. 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 OCAD University’s Off-Campus Florence program in Italy.

Allison’s artistic practice explores themes of female representation, the construction of femininity, beauty, youth, identity, and performance from a feminist perspective. She uses self-portraiture as a tool with which she can control her images and challenge the male gaze by consciously performing for the camera and herself.

Northern Contemporary
1266 Queen St. W, Toronto, ON

Instagram: @northerncontemporary
Twitter: @northerncontemp
Facebook: Northern Contemporary

ART CAMP Exhibition: Oct 22nd


ART CAMP Exhibition at Ryerson Artscape:
October 22nd – November 15th, 2015
Opening Reception: October 22nd, 7 – 10pm

An exhibition exploring our contemporary understanding of reality from the context of the physical and digital spaces that collectively constitute our world.

Featuring work from 13 Ryerson + OCAD U photography students & alumni:
Andrea Chartrand ● Mauricio Estrada ● Abigail Lomboy ● Antonio Giacchetti ● Jesse Marcelo Sarkis ● Allison Morris ● Manuela Morales ● Hilary Riem ● Camille Rojas ● Evan Roy ● Farihah Shah ● Morgan Sears-Williams ● Cassandera Xavier

Part of the first ART CAMP Residency in collaboration with OCAD U & Ryerson University that took place at the Ryerson Artspace from May – October 2015.  Art Camp brings together 13 students from OCAD U’s Photography department and Ryerson’s School of Image Arts to collaborate on community building and art creation.  The ART CAMP Residency was founded by  Robyn Cumming, Marc Losier & Jennifer Long.


Ryerson Artspace 
1214 Queen St. West

Media Contact: ryersonartspace@gmail.com

Gallery Hours:
Thursday – Friday: 1 – 6pm
Saturday – Sunday: 12 – 5pm

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