OCAD U Photography Program

News about events, our community & opportunites

Month: January 2015 (page 1 of 3)

Leila Zahiri at RIC

Leila Zahiri, #1. From Sugar Blessing, 2014

Leila Zahiri, #1. From Sugar Blessing, 2014

Congratulations to Leila Zairi (2014 OCAD U graduate)
on being included in the Ryerson Image Centre’s current exhibition: 

January 21 – April 5, 2015
Curated by Dr. Gaëlle Morel
University Gallery, Ryerson Image Centre
33 Gould St, Toronto, ON

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 @ 6pm: Exhibition tour with curator Gaëlle Morel

The exhibition presents photographic and video portraits by artists addressing issues of female representation. From ironic reappropriation of attractive femmes fatales conjured by the film industry to empowered bare-breasted figures proudly confronting the viewer, these portraits comment on the repetition of historical norms and tropes that often reduce women’s individuality to a recurrent iconography of vulnerability and seduction. Works by Rebecca Belmore, Gunilla Josephson, Katherine Lannin, Marie Le Mounier, Ange Leccia, Jo Spence and Leila Zahiri challenge traditional stereotypes, claiming an alternative presence for women in the public sphere through their poetic and complex depictions.

Bio: Leila Zahiri is an Iranian-Canadian visual artist. As a rising professional photographer, she has recently graduated from OCAD U with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. Being an aspiring artist she tends to draw the inspirations for her work from her cultural and personal views.



Congratulation to Assistant Professor Jennifer Long on receiving an Ontario Art Council – Visual Artist: Mid-Career Project Grant!!!

Jennifer will be producing a new body of research that deals with constructed narratives through a feminist lens.  Please see excerpt below.

For the past fifteen years, my artistic practice has explored issues of doubt, vulnerability, perceived ideals, and communication within the context of interpersonal relationships.  Working with constructed narratives and a Feminist lens I describe the emotions and quiet moments of everyday life.  Touch, gesture and gaze all play significant roles as conduits of conscious and unconscious modes of communication.  Since 2009 my artwork has concentrated on issues surrounding pregnancy and motherhood through the series Swallowing Ice (2009), Fold (2011-date), and Imminent (2012-2014).  Linking all of these works are prominent themes of identity loss, self-reflection, isolation and ambivalence.  This new imagery continues my commitment to the investigation and documentation of the lives of women, advancing my past work on mothering, the gaze, one’s sense of self, societal expectations, intimacy, and routine.



From the series This Country is Yours

Congratulation to Instructor Surendra Lawoti on receiving an Ontario Art Council – Visual Artist: Mid-Career Project Grant!!!

Surendra will be continuing his research project “This Country is Yours”.  Please see description below.

I will be using the grant to fund my on-going project ‘This Country is Yours.’ I will be traveling to Nepal in July/August to photograph for the project. The work focuses on activists of six social and political movements including women, indigenous nationalities and LGBT community during the writing of Nepal’s new constitution. The above-mentioned groups lacks tremendous representational deficit in governance, judiciary, legislature, leadership of mainstream political parties, security sectors, intelligentsia, media and bureaucracy. My work aims to provide a visual representation of the actors and the issues they champion during the crucial moment of writing Nepal’s new constitution.

Instagram Call: Due Feb 2


OCAD U Photography Students,

The Instagram account for the Photography Department is doing very well.  We are steadily gaining followers since it’s launch just over two weeks ago.  Many of these follower have been art galleries and magazines which is great exposure for you!  The concept for this account is to showcase the works of our students and department in an on-line portfolio.  It will act as a tool to help promote our students outside the university while also representing the strength of our program.  We need your submissions!  If we want to keep this account going past February we ask that you submit works!!!  

Call for submission:

Open to all students in the Photography Department regardless of year or stream.  Please submit works!!!  (Note: at least one image from every submission will be selected.)

What We Need:

-send us 5 images to select from

-file size 10 by 10 inches at 100 dpi

-file type .jpg

-please caption your images as follows:

Artist Name, Title of work, Year of work, Year of study, @insta username
example: Joe Brown, Untitled, 2015, 4th year photo, @joebrown

-if your images are landscape or portrait format please adjust the canvas size and include a white border.

-Images should be colour corrected and sized appropriately.  We will not make any aesthetic decisions on your behalf.

When Do We Need It?

Deadline for the second round of submissions is Mon, Feb 2nd at 5pm.  Sooner is better!

Please send submissions to Nicholas Pye:  npye@faculty.ocadu.ca

Note: we do not send confirmation emails.



Call for Submissions


The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is now accepting submissions for it’s June 13-15th exhibition!

Deadline:  Mar 1, 2015.

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is Canada’s largest outdoor juried exhibition.  Attracting an audience in excess of 100,000 people annually, and showcasing the work of over 350 artists, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition prides itself on creating an environment which gives artists the chance to interact directly with the public in an informal setting – removing the barriers to access, and dispelling the formality of a traditional gallery or art fair experience.


Application Fee – $30 (non-refundable, due upon submission of application)
Booth Fee (10×10) – $170 (due upon acceptance)


Application Fee – $50 (non-refundable, due upon submission of application)
Booth Fee (10×10) – $450 (due upon acceptance)
Booth Fee (10×20) – $900 (due upon acceptance)

NEW FOR 2015

There is plenty new on offer at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in 2015.  After 49 years at Nathan Phillips Square, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is moving to Queen’s Park Crescent in 2015 to make room for the Pan Am Games.

  • Artists are now only required to apply with an application fee, and not a booth-fee deposit
  • Artists are able to apply in up to three categories (fees apply)
  • Artists may select from a 10×10 or 10×20 space (fees apply)
  • Artists may be asked to join a waitlist for open booth spaces (details below)
  • New programming to be announced

Scholarship Announcement


We are pleased to announce that OCAD U has been invited to participate in The 2015 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program.  This scholarship program invites 16 schools across Canada to propose one representative be considered for a $7000 scholarship.  To be eligible, you must be a full-time student  going into your final year of study.   Submissions are accepted from February 2nd and will close on March 2nd, 2015.  Full details of this opportunity can be found here.

2014 Winners include:

Marvin Luvualu Antonio (OCAD U)

Kristiane Church (University of Manitoba)

Paige Lindsay ( Ryerson University)

Winter Opening Party – The Power Plant


Winter Opening Party at The Power Plant.

Join us for a FREE party to celebrate the opening of the major group exhibition, The Unfinished Conversation: Encoding/Decoding on view from 23 January 2015 until 18 May 2015.

*Free Admission 

When: Friday January 23rd at 8:00pm

Where: The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, 231 Queens Quay W., Toronto, On., M5J2G8

Darren Rigo at Harbourfront

Deep Woods: Visual Arts Exhibitions Winter/Spring 2015
Opening: Friday, January 23, 6-10 pm (Free)
Show runs: January 24-June 14, 2015


Darren Rigo. selfie (detail), 2014. C-print.

Over 30 artists look to the woods to negotiate how the great Canadian landscape continues to inspire art in a contemporary context. From surprising selfies and artistic shenanigans in the Photo Gallery to installations addressing carefully manufactured wilderness in the Architecture Gallery, this series of exhibitions will take you beyond the Group of Seven to explore and redefine how the deep woods might currently inform our national identity.

Also on display, for one night only, in the west bays of the Bill Boyle Artport, isTexting Syria, a photographic exhibition by Liam Maloney.

As part of this event, OCAD U alumni Darren Rigo presents a funny thing, Curated by Patrick Macaulay

Bio: Darren Rigo is a Toronto-based artist who spends his time creating images inspired by the ways we connect with natural environments. His practice is built upon his experiences with the rural landscape growing up, his return to the land, and his collaborations with the natural elements in these surroundings. He received a BFA from OCAD University where he majored in photography.

These exhibitions are part of Toronto Design Offsite Festival 2015.

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