Posts Tagged ‘digital’

Storying Online Exhibition


APRIL 15 – JUNE 1, 2020

Storying: Online Exhibition

View the online exhibition here

Over the winter semester 2020, OCAD U faculty Penelope Smart and Pam Patterson and 25 students of CROS 2002 Contemporary Issues: Art Today met on Thursday afternoons to explore the concept of identity — the solid, evaporating, congealing, fractured, token, sincere question of Who am I? within contemporary art practices. Our inquiry took on many forms: personal writings and responses on issues of representation and difference, memory and imagination, and the mediation of the world through technologies. Together, we mapped frameworks of the self through readings, peer discussions. presentations and gallery visits, working toward a fluid, unscripted, collective expression of our findings: a group exhibition of individual works that speak to identity as a myriad of stories we tell ourselves (or are told) about who we are.

“Storying”-as-exhibit was set to open in the Learning Zone on April 2nd, 2020. As Covid-19 became a reality for the OCADU community and across the globe, we pivoted to OCAD U’s digital platform. It is exciting and meaningful for us to share these works — as self-expression in the here and now — with online audiences during this extraordinary time. It has never been more important to stay connected and curious about other people. How do our personal experiences, histories, creative talents, and daily hopes and fears work to both keep us apart and bring us closer?

This website serves as an online exhibition and creative portfolio of the course. Please explore the multidisciplinary works — spanning painting, drawing, textile, sculpture, animation, music, AI tech and video — of students by clicking the names in the menu on the left. You can also read short artist statements including poems, lyrics and creative texts, which accompany and illuminate each work.

Thank you for visiting.
— Penelope Smart, curator and tutorial leader

Exhibition Statement: “Storying” is an exhibition by students in CROS 2002 Contemporary Issues: Art Today. Individual works spanning a variety of media query identity as a creative act — a thing to be made, re-made, told, written, erased, re-written, documented and performed. Works consider how questions of authorship and authority shape the stories we tell about who we are.

Exhibiting Artists: Anam Feerasta, Bernobayobaylee/ Lee Reid, Carla Sierra Suarez, Carmen Mahave, Chris Mullrooney, Emily Flynn, Esther Liang, Fabina Germain, Fuyu Liu, Jerry Zhou, Kaia Fortis Scott, Lou Davis, Lucas Kim, Madison Burke, Philberta Mak, Raf Dan McEwan, Tony Leung, Violet Liepins, Zhenhao Sun

Professor: Pam Patterson
Project curator: Penelope Smart, Tutorial Leader
Assistant curator: Temple Marucci-Campbell
Web design: Marta Chudolinska

A special thank you to Marta Chudolinska, of the OCADU Learning Zone, for her positivity, helpfulness and technical and administrative knowledge and support.



04 2020

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

IT Salons — Software Tutoring and Troubleshooting

A reimagined version of last semester’s IT Salons will be launching in the Learning Zone today — Tuesday, January 13 — and running every Tuesday until February 10.

IT Salon Jan - Feb 2015sm

Instead of running open tutorials on specific software, IT’s Andrew McAllister will be on hand to help students with individual questions or problems. Need a hand with Illustrator? Can’t figure out why your computer is so slow? IT Salons are your chance to get one-on-one attention from an tech professional.

Come by between 1 and 2pm every Tuesday to get help with your computer confusions.

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01 2015

Student Profile: Paul Moleiro


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

I’m in my final year at OCAD in the Integrated Media program. I’ve always been interested in the technical arts like animation, video as well as using electronics and devices to create art. I’ve always took apart things when I was younger, I liked to see how they worked – that’s always kind of been a part of my art, just trying to understand the tools that I’m using.

What influenced your decision to major in Integrated Media?

I originally went in thinking that I would just want to make films, I wanted to write scripts and direct stories, I’ve done a few of those and I’m still interested in that idea. While being at OCAD, installation art took over my main practice. I found working in installation art to be really freeing because it has aspects of sculpture where the whole room becomes the space for the art and I also enjoy that video and animation can be combined with installation art.

How long have you been interested in art? How long have you known that this was something that you want to pursue as a career?

I’ve been interested in art from a very young age, I used to go to the ROM for Saturday morning art classes. When I was in high school I took part in a Sunday morning art program at the Toronto School of Art. It was a four hour session with no grading but at the end of each class we would have a critique so, that was the start of me wanting to study art professionally.

Do you believe in inspiration? If you do, what inspires you? If not, how do you make things happen?

I believe in inspiration, there are a lot things that I see in life that influences me greatly. There was a David Hoffos exhibition a few years ago at the MOCCA that was really inspirational. The way he was using old CRT televisions to make holograms in little dioramas, you knew that there was a relation between these different objects even though they were all revealed for you I could not quite piece it together, I found that to be a huge inspiration, beautiful to look at and yet a struggle to understand. That is what inspires me with my art – something that is beautiful and stands on it’s own.


Where are you the most productive? Tell us a bit about your creative space.

I just switched over from having a laptop to a desktop computer so, I’m much more locked on where I can be productive nowadays. But, in some ways that’s nice because my computer is much more powerful, it allows me to render out multiple versions of things and see things a lot quicker. My darkroom and desktop are two places that I’m most production and creative.

What are your favourite tools to work with?

Tools that feedback to me. I also think that tools that have limitations are always beneficial to the creative process.

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

Some of my work will be in the analogue video network, it’s a video compilation series that I have been working on with the Analog Preservation Network, which is all about analogue video and analog video technology. I’m interested in video synthesizers, video effects machines, for analogue televisions like CRT. There are a few other people in Toronto that are interested in that too, so I’m collaborating with them to put together a zine on VHS tape. Thirty minutes of experimental video and animation on a VHS tape, and we would want to do a few a year and have it like a video publication.

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

I like analogue technology and things that are very much reacted by natural things like weather and aging. Photography, the way the chemicals expire and the way they have different affects as they start to expire and the photos start to look differently I find that aspect really interesting. I love to smell the chemicals to see if it’s expired like you would with fresh fruit, that kind of human aspect of it I think is really interesting.

What do you do to relax?

I like to watch a lot of documentaries and play video games. I would recommend Adam Curtis documentaries from the BBC. They are terrific documentaries about understanding modern societies, how we got to where we are now. It gives you some kind of hope that society and human behaviour can change.

Do you have a favourite place to eat around OCAD?

Karine’s and Magic Kitchen are two terrific places for a university to have. Dumpling House on Spadina, those are the best dumplings.

Composition of Royal York Station

Tell me about your association between analogue processes and your creative approach to photography?

A lot of my creativity comes out of experiments with analogue photography and a lot those techniques, I would say that it is more creative because I am using analogue technology with digital technology the idea really does have to come first and then you can test it out and play with it whereas the analogue technology I feel that it’s easier to behave intuitively and just feel it in the moment even if the work that I create in the moment is not my favourite there will be little bits and things that I like and then know how to re-create with a little more thought later. Even if I don’t make wonderful work in the darkroom, I would find wonderful little tidbits that I will put into work later that I’m excited to do.

How do you manipulate the images?

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of brushing on the developer and fix onto photography paper, selectively revealing and preserving on part of the image. If you don’t put the fix on the page it would go through a series of really beautiful colours shifts, I try to leave parts of my image with those colours scan of it two weeks later to get a snapshot of it when it’s at it’s ideal moment. I like the idea of fresh art, art that has a best before date. I like to reveal a little part of the image at a time.

What is your favourite film stock?

I really enjoy Delta 3200, especially when it’s shot at 1600 or 1000. When you shoot it like that at 1600, all of the shadows are completely there and you can reveal them however much you want, I’m into shadow detail and the grain of photography, 3200 ISO is very grainy for film, now-a-days that is what we are looking for when shooting on film.

Do you have a favourite photographer?

Joseph Sudek, his photographs have a timeless quality and are relatable.


04 2014

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

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