Author Archive

VHS Vault Film Screening

VHS vault film screenings poster

Hello LZ Friends!

Each month we will be screening unique selections from the OCADU Library’s VHS collection. Who knows what we’ll find? This ain’t your grandmas VHS collection and you won’t find any of these films on DVD! We will be showing short films in the first hour followed by an hour length feature.

Also, popcorn!!Hand putting in a vhs tape into a vhs player
Also, FREE!!!

The Dates of the screenings are:
Thursday June 9th, 4 to 6pm
Thursday July 14th, 4 to 6pm
Thursday August 11th, 4 to 6pm


Thursday June 9th we’ll be screening:



A documentary telling the story of the Emma Lake Artist’s Workshops, held at a rustic camp in Northern Saskatchewan, where leading artists from Canada, the United States and Britain gathered for five decades.

We hope to see you all!

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06 2011

TDSB Open Exhibition

The Learning Zone is now featuring OPEN, our annual exhibition of art by Toronto District School Board Secondary Students. It was awesome that so many teachers, parents and students came out to celebrate the opening reception with us. The opening reception featured a panel discussion where OCADU profs and students had the opportuntity to share their wisdom and advice.

OCADU profs Simon Glass and Glenn McArthur discussed the importance of tapping into the community and getting involved. The positive experience they have had teaching has been inspirational to them as artists, particularly through the opportunities for teachers and students to collaborate and learn from each other. Simon also discussed his experience starting Gallery 44 with his teacher and a group of students as a space to show their own work and explained how it grew with others from the community getting involved.

OCADU student Cayla Christiansen discussed how it is important to get out of your comfort zone, pursue things that scare you and take classes that intimate you. She discussed how often you will get the most from these experiences. She also talked about the importance of taking bits and pieces from what you learn rather then becoming a clone of your profs and the significance of finding your own voice. OCADU student Andrea Manica spoke about having fun while doing your work, working on projects that are meaningful to you and that students should take advantage of the resouces available to them while being in school.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Jan Sage and Jill Patrick for their opening remarks as well as the profs and students from OCADU who participated in the panel: Pam Patterson, our moderator and co-organizer, and the panelists Simon Glass, Glenn McArthur, Cayla Christiansen and Andrea Manica. From TDSB we would like to thank Lisa Sanders: head of the steering committee which organized the exhibition, Visual Arts and Media Arts Instructional Leader, The Arts Department of the TDSB. Christine Jackson:  Program Coordinator of The Arts with the Toronto District School Board (Visual Arts, Media Arts, Drama and Dance) and Robert Murphy: Exhibition Facilitator for TDSB Arts Department. As well as the steering committee of teachers Christina Yarmol, Yolanda Mak , Andrea Rappos, Trish Boon, Tony Caputo and TDSB Intern Shannon Dickie.

The exhibition runs from May 26th- June 6th in the Learning Zone, 122 St. Patrick Street, Level 1. Our hours are 10am -6pm Monday to Friday. We look forward to seeing you!


06 2011

Student Profile : Cassidy Tam

LZ: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the art you create?

CT: My name is Cassidy Tam and I am in Material Art and Design (MAAD). I was raised in Hong Kong and I have been in Toronto for 4 years. I love textile and fabric arts. I do a lot of sewing, knitting and make jewelry.

What influenced your decision to major in MAAD?

Before I came to Toronto I was told that fashion design at Ryerson was a really famous program. But when I came to Toronto I discovered that there was the MAAD program and I knew that this was the right program for me. At Ryerson I could do fashion but here I found I could actually make my own textiles.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Life experience because when I create artwork there is always meaning behind it.

What are your favourite tools to work with (brushes, paint, software, etc.)?

My hands.

What is your working style (do you work on multiple pieces at once, work best under pressure, etc.)?

Have fun. I am a person who can’t work under pressure so I need a lot of freedom in the process. If I start earlier then I have more time to play.

Do you set goals for yourself?

Yes everyday, week, month and year.

How do you promote yourself?

My personal blog, Twitter, online jewelry store, CassMart’s facebook pageetsy and  my jewelry portfolio.  Recently I participated in an art show A First Time for Everything at XPACE.

What advice would you give first year students?

First year may seem disappointing but try and keep positive cause you will find these courses are helpful to you. Be patient.

What are the most useful skills you have learned at OCAD?

When you want to come up with an original idea you can make a chart for the subject, for example a chair. You make a column for man made and one for nature. In the nature column you can add whatever is in nature that functions as a chair and the same for man made and combine them together to create new ideas.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing students today?

I can speak based on my own experience. I was in the pathway at OCAD [English Language Pathway for ESL students in first-year design] and I found that I was more advanced than those students because I have been in Toronto for longer.  I had trouble working with them since they are new to Toronto and western countries; they were less open minded both in language and design.

What is the best art tip you ever received?

Relax when you make art. I found that when I make art for myself I enjoy the process a lot and get good results. When I create for assignments and I am stressed the results don’t turn out well, I end up hating my projects.

What 2 art supplies could you not live without?

My camera and my sketchbook.

What is your favourite technique you use in your work?

I play around with a lot of techniques and ideas but one of the things I like the most is photo transfers onto fabric.

Is there another medium you would like to work in?

Professional printmaking, I am debating if I should do a minor in printmaking.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

When I am super relaxing I listen to jazz plus have coffee and dessert. This is when I make art.

What do you do to relax?

Wondering around on the street like a modern women.

What are 3 likes and 3 dislikes of yours?

Likes: the sounds from creasing paper, eating, kids

Dislikes: insects, superstition, chopsticks

What is your favourite place to eat around OCAD?

Café Crêpe.

What is your favourite thing about studying in Toronto?

It is much less stressful than in Hong Kong and teachers are always respectful. The definition of what is successful here and Hong Kong is really different.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

When I first came to Toronto I went to Georges Vanier Secondary School where they have a special art program. I had a lot of opportunity to figure out what I wanted to do during that time. This is when I first started making art seriously. It was my starting point but during that time I was also living in the darkest period of my life. Those terrible experiences inspired me a lot and my design.

What upcoming projects can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

I have illustrations called elehubird and I will be turning those illustrations into toys, jewelry, fabric, etc.

What are your plans when you graduate?

I can’t wait until my wedding ceremony.

What is your dream job?

I hope one day I can teach kids art and design.

Is there anything else you want to share with us, any final thoughts?

Life is too short so just enjoy what you love doing and please love yourself.

Check out some of Cassidy’s work:


04 2011

Collage + Film + Pirate cookies = Awesome!

For all of you who couldn’t make it out to our collage party and film screening in the LZ here are some photos of the fun you missed out on, don’t worry we will do this again soon!


03 2011


Chris Wiggs, 1st year Graphic Design student and Maggie Brettle, 1st year Illustration student were selling buttons in the LZ today.  Here is a bit of info about them and how you can contact them.

What gave you the idea to sell your buttons in the Learning Zone?

We thought students would be interested and this is a high traffic area. We are here everyday that we are at school; this is a nice, comfortable, laid back environment to facilitate this.

How do you promote yourselves?

Though social networking like my website, twitter, facebook and deviantART.

What do you hope to achieve at OCAD?

I would like to gain more experience and learn more about the design field and how I fit into it.

Do you have any great ideas for the Learning Zone?

Get rid of the glass windows to reduce the fish bowl effect. It would also be great to have talks from professionals in the field. This would allow us to get advice and learn what is expected in the field. It would also be useful to have a job fair where local businesses can come in and meet with students. It would also be nice to have something more done with the zine library.

How can others buy your products and how can you be contacted?

My website and Etsy.


03 2011

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