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Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor and online art fair

July 12 – 14, 2024.

OCAD University GradEx

GradEx 109 at TOAF!

Location: Booth 14-16 | Zone A

Explore a curated selection of five talented student artists. The graduating students are bringing their unique visions and creativity from OCAD U’s GradEx 109 to TOAF! Prepare to be captivated by the remarkable work of these emerging artists.

Whispers of Light, Vicki Ying Shi, 2024, Silver foil and oil on wooden board.

Church Street, Rylee Hollis, watercolor and colored pencil on paper, 2023.

Is it all you imagined, Byori Seo, 2024, Stoneware & copper.

Genuine Serenity of an Obstructed Mind, Tusharika Arora, 2020-2024, Embroidery Thread, Cotton Cloth, Embroidery hoop.

Conscious Consumer, Grace Vali, 2024, Gouache and Graphite.

Participating Artists

Vicki Ying Shi

Vicki Ying Shi is a Toronto-based freelance artist, holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University. Specializing in large-scale mixed media works, her art revolves around themes of femininity, memory, and pain. Proficient in both painting and digital illustration, Vicki creates emotionally charged pieces that delve into the complexities of the human condition.

Her current artistic focus is on exploring the multifaceted struggles of contemporary women while embracing a serene female perspective. Through a blend of abstraction and representation across various mediums, she seeks to spark dialogues on female resilience, strength, and diversity.

Byori Seo

Byori Seo (b. 2000, Seoul, SK) is a multi-disciplinary artist from Edmonton, AB, currently based in Toronto, ON, graduating from OCAD University with a BFA in Material Art & Design in 2024.

Byori’s body of work primarily comprises mixed media sculpture (ceramic/jewellery/found organic materials), hand-built ceramic forms, copper-smithed vessels, and art jewellery created through intuitive tactile processes. Sensitive organic forms express a wholistic consideration of craft methodologies and objects as sacred meditation and communication. Her BFA Thesis, Looking to See, Seeing to Know, comprised a series of metal and ceramic talismanic objects serving as physical metaphors for familial relationships and the human condition of giving and receiving love.

She considers craft a labour of deep love and care through the act of tending to something over and over again, attending closely to materials and what each requires of the maker. In sharing her work, she wishes to return all she has received from others, expressing abundant love and gratitude for her world.

Grace Vali

Grace Vali is a multidisciplinary illustrator based in Toronto and Mississauga. She has recently completed her fourth year at OCADU. Grace favours analogue illustration as she particularly enjoys the challenge of working with a variety of media to conjure visual narratives. Her recent thesis work “Materialistic Cravings” explores the rise of intertwining desire and consumerism, questioning the attraction towards goods and services that do not always meet our needs. This theme is formed through observations around consumer habits and the effects of conforming to an idealized self. It synthesizes desire with surrealist elements and emphasizes continuous consumption in a search to achieve contentment. Incorporating humour is an important aspect in Grace’s practice as it helps viewers retain the messages within the work and increases relatability. She has a passion for constructing quality artworks and continues to pursue thought-provoking messages about human existence and societal topics.

Rylee Hollis

Rylee Hollis is an illustrator from Houston based in Toronto. They recently graduated from OCAD University with a Bachelor of Design in Illustration. Rylee is most inspired by fringe culture, alternative fashion, and strange encounters. Their work explores colorful milieus that house quirky, intimate interactions through flowing bodies and overflowing compositions. They often incorporate watercolor in their illustration and comic work due to the medium’s playfully unpredictable nature. Rylee also loves the color green and anthropomorphic cats.

Tusharika Arora

Tusharika Arora is a recent graduate from OCAD University, in Bachelor of Design (Honours) in Digital Futures. Her work seamlessly integrates the rich cultural heritage of embroidery into modern design, exploring the innovative realms of abstract art. By focusing on the small details of thread, she emphasizes that every moment matters. Each stitch in her work tells a story, urging viewers to pause and appreciate the subtle joys that often go unnoticed in the rush of daily life.

Beyond the aesthetic appeal, Tusharika is deeply committed to using her art to promote mental health awareness. Her thoughtful designs aim to encourage mindfulness and self-care, sparking meaningful conversations about holistic well-being. She believes that art can be a powerful tool for fostering emotional health and resilience. Her works are a harmonious blend of heritage and contemporary expression, inviting viewers to embrace the elegance of simplicity and find solace in life’s small pleasures.

For her GradEx showcase, Tusharika presented her thematic exploration: “It’s the Small Things.” This collection celebrates the profound impact that seemingly minor details can have on our overall well-being and perception of life. Through her innovative use of mixed reality, she merges the tactile artistry of embroidery with the boundless possibilities of digital design. This creates a unique, immersive experience that highlights the beauty and significance of the minute details. Tusharika’s work invites viewers to immerse themselves in a world where every small element is valued and cherished.

Funders & Sponsors

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