Graduate Exhibition 106 May 13

Thursday, May 13, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Zoom Event

Join us for GradEx 106 where you will have a chance to listen and be inspired by fellow alumni on how they are continuing to create during the pandemic.

Featured Guests

Geoffrey Roche

I began my career after failing out of OCAD (ok I quit) and took a job as a studio paste up person(look it up) and then as a typesetting rep (look it up) and then a Zippo Lighter Salesman. I then took a job as a art director at a small agency making one half of my then salary. Because I wanted to do what I loved.

After a year I decided to go to the US. I landed a job in New York at Lord Geller, then Chiat Day, Olgivy and then Chiat Day in Seattle for a year and Hal Riney in San Francisco for 18 months. Won a lot of pretty awards at the One Show. Returned to Canada after 8 years as my dad wasn’t well. Worked as CD of FCB and then Chiat Day. Fired by Chiat, I thought of starting restaurant but my wife intervened and started an agency instead.

Over twenty years we won Agency of the Year seven times, Agency of the Decade and Ad Age International Agency of the Year. Most proud of the people we hired many of whom went on to great things but always love talking about the happy/crazy/ wild days they had while working for us.

I sold the last part of the agency in 2011 and within two years the geniuses at IPG in New York and a less than great team in Toronto managed to run it into the ground. It closed. A sad day.

I decided to work on other things

Our son and I had created Dogbook (now called 3Million Dogs) in 2007 so I focussed on that. It has over 2.5 million downloads and is about to be re-launched very soon.

In 2019 I partnered with Jack Harding (29 years young) to start It’s a way for companies to get solutions to their business problems that are often unsolvable with “traditional ad agency magic”. We’re also launching 500Elevators this month which is a way for companies to get help defining their 60 second “elevator pitch”. So many struggle with this at the expense of client acquisition, employee engagement and overall vision. I’m also deeply engaged with Paymi which is a cash rewards app. Most interesting is the data side of it which allows advertisers to target consumers in ways that are unheard of. Given Apple’s announcement recently that you will be “asked” if you want apps to “follow you” and Google getting rid of cookies our platform is truly a game changer in the traditional ad space.

My induction into the Marketing Hall of Legends, an ADCC Lifetime Achievement Award and an OCAD University Distinguished Alumni award were all pretty great moments.

In my spare time I draw (geoffreydraws on instagram) learn about new tech from our four kids, one at Tesla in SF, one ex Facebook in SF, one recently returned from 8 years in the UK (fireworks/ champagne/cheers) heading an amazing children’s charity and one here thank goodness-who is protecting us during covid. My wife is also pretty cool (39 years!) and our dogs are quite thoughtful and well behaved. I also try to end each zoom call with a tasteful but funny joke which seems to make people happy in this harrowing time. That’s all up to now though I’m not done.

Leslie & Lisa Jones

Leslie and Lisa Jones don’t see colours they see flavours. Their instinct to “see things differently” remains at the root of their personal and professional identities, complementing a lifelong fervor to be original.They parlayed their creative streaks into the pursuit of studies in graphic design at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. After graduating with Bachelor of Design degrees, they worked briefly as freelancers and contract designers before establishing X Height Media (XHM) in 2006 with the vision to go beyond in their industry.

As the co-owners and principal designers, they have intentionally cultivated a diverse range of clients, from spoken word artist to Canada’s largest compact sport car show. This has manifested into a portfolio of abstract to corporate pieces including: film posters, marketing collateral, publication designs, logo creations, elaborate event design packages and more. Over the years, they have worked with such clients as Royal Bank of Canada, award-winning actor Tonya Williams, Grammy-nominated musician Jordan Patterson, Importfest, the High Commission of Barbados to Canada and DLM Entertainment Group. Added to this list are several cultural and not-for-profit events such as Reelworld Film Festival, TD Black Diamond Ball, WCM (Women in Capital Markets) Vinifera Awards Gala and the Ann Arbor Blues Festival (Michigan, U.S.A.).

Under the umbrella of X Height Media, the sisters are proud of the passion projects they have developed which eschew the status quo. Dn’A, their line of glass display pieces, featuring experimental typography designs on glass surfaces. Valley of the Kings, their unprecedented greeting card line, was created for the unlikely audience of the non-living.

Leslie and Lisa are honoured to have been featured in print media and sought for professional engagements that have included speaking at post-secondary institutions to the next generation of designers. Weaving design with community outreach, they have facilitated graphic design themed exercises for youth organizations in Toronto, namely with OCADU’s Black Youth Design Initiative, a program focused on addressing anti-black racism, and the process of decolonization through design. In 2019, they were selected to be featured in OCADU’s fall recruitment campaign, and in 2020 were the recipients of the OCADU Trailblazer Award for the Faculty of Design.

Donna Cummings

Donna Cummings graduated from Interior Design at OCA in 1966. Co-founded and ran Marshall Cummings, a commercial interior design firm, from 1975 until 2006 with offices in Toronto, Calgary, NewYork and London U.K.

MCA ‘s commercial projects were designed to support creative thinking and the latest in innovative business practices.

MCA hired and mentored design graduates from all design schools including OCAD. Donna received the Toronto Arts Award for Architecture and design, as well as numerous awards from Arido as well as being made a Fellow of Arido in 2006.

Donna served on the Board for the development of the Sharp Center for Design and was the first to be awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from OCAD in 2015.

After negotiating the sale of MCA to IBI Group and managing the integration of the Design practice into the Architectural business, Donna retired from the day-to-day business.

When not golfing, Donna uses her OCA education and her design experience in her artisitric pursuits. As a painter, she has been involved in numerous Art shows and travels to paint in Italy, Scotland, Western Canada and Florida. Donna’s full time Studio is at the Cummings Farm in Creemore Ontario.

During the last year, painting with a group of friends on a weekly Zoom event has kept her sane. Several shared projects have opened new adventures in sketching and different mediums.

Painting involves learning, researching, problem solving and practice, all of which have roots in her education at OCA.

Carly McAskill

Carly McAskill is a researcher, visual artist, teacher and writer. She is passionate about the arts and culture, intergenerational pedagogies, research-creation, memory studies, motherline research, feminist pedagogy, arts-based methodology, storytelling, disability and age studies.

As a visual artist, McAskill communicates through intricate mark making using mixed media, drawing, painting and collage. The multi-layered images in her work explore identity through meditation on place, time, presence, and inheritance. McAskill believes in the powers of representation through collage: “the fragments are significant as they become a tool to tell a story and reflect a pattern.” Also, the use of flowers in her work act as metaphorical subject matter that addresses emotions and issues around memory, history and identity.

McAskill holds a Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate/Senior Division with Visual Arts and Religion teachable from Nipissing University (2014-2015), Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from York University (2011-2013), Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting from OCAD University (2008-2011) and Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from McMaster University (2004-2008). Additionally, McAskill is the recipient of the Alumni of Influence Trailblazer Award (2017) and the Mrs. W.O. Forsyth Award (2011) from Ontario College of Art and Design University.

Currently, McAskill is completing her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Communication Studies at Concordia University. She is the recipient of the Ageing + Communication + Technologies (ACT) Doctoral Fellowship; ACT Scholarship for Graz International Summer School SEGGAU as well as Faculty of Arts and Social Science Graduate Fellowship in Ethnic Studies and Social Diversity Award at Concordia University. McAskill’s current research uses her art and research background in memory, identity, storytelling, collage and drawing to lay the foundation for her PhD research-creation project that focuses on making deeper connections with people affected by dementia.

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