A huge showcase for emerging artists is happening this week! OCAD’s GradEx is returning both in-person and online from May 11th to 15th at OCAD’s downtown campus. The annual event is Toronto’s largest free art and design exhibition, displaying the work of more than 600 emerging artists and designers. 

It all kicks off on the evening of May 11 in the nearby Butterfield Park with an opening celebration, free to the public.

Graduating students from the University’s Faculty of Art, Faculty of Design, Faculty of Arts and Science and Graduate Studies will be showing off their creative work at GradEx 107. From painters to photographers to graphic designers and so much more, there are many talented and innovative artists across a variety of mediums.

Through visual arts, some students are expressing unique lived experiences. Drawing and painting student Emerald Repard-Denniston is a Chinese Canadian adoptee reflecting on ideas of race, gender and identity through her art, while cross-disciplinary artist Parastoo Mahmoudi‘s installation draws from her time growing up in Iran during the war.

Many of the students are also focused on finding creative solutions to real issues — like Rachel Morris, who designed a glass-free window made out of thin wood material as part of her environmentally friendly living space, or Corrina Wyles-Plumley, who used her graphic design background to create an engaging phonetic puzzle that helps children learn to read.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by OCAD University (@ocaduniversity)

“GradEx 107 is the best place to see the richness and depth of artistic talent and ingenuity that is nurtured at OCAD U,” says President Ana Serrano. “Every year, audiences from across Ontario and beyond are inspired by work that spans the spectrum of creativity from visual art and design to innovative solutions that address real-world problems across a variety of sectors, from housing to health care to education.”

Take a stroll and check out exhibits in several buildings across OCAD’s campus, or view virtual tours from home. If you’re looking to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather, head over to Butterfield Park to browse or purchase student artwork for sale.

GradEx 107 runs until May 15. Read more about the event and exhibitors here.