I went to my first open house today for a University. The building itself seems like a figment of one artists imagination with crayon shaped pillars holding up the uniquely patterned building on McCaul Street in the heart of downtown Toronto. I speak of none other than OCAD University, Canada’s biggest and oldest school of art and design.
Upon entering the building, my brother and I weren’t sure where we wanted to go first. So we started at the bottom and worked our way up to the black and white rectangular prism that sits atop the school. Now, as much as I loved the look of the school and the park, shops and restaurants nearby, there was a lot of stairs. Of course they had elevators, but if you just go into the staircase and look at the walls, you’d know why my brother and I decided to torture ourselves.
It was covered in graffiti, illustrations, memes, quotes and “true stories”. They were painted a bright yellow while the majority of the writing was in black. Some were big, some were small. Some were thought through and some were probably drawn by the most bored kid walking to his classroom. The point is, it went on for 6 floors. And no wall was left untouched over the years.
We walked through every floor though. I asked a few questions although I didn’t have very many. We would stop and look around at everything that caught our eyes. Which meant we stopped every couple of seconds. The people there were all very nice and smiled every time you walked by!
I took a bunch of brochures for several of their open house programs and then I browsed through the financial and survival guides for first year acceptances. When we got to the painting and drawing studios, it looked like a beautiful mess. The easels were in rows, covered in paint and pen and marker. Sometimes you would look at it and think that it needs to be cleaned up but for the most part all you can see the beauty of the work put into it all. Even if it was accidental.
My brother and I toured the entire jewelry making wing, while getting the opportunity to watch students at work from the door. We also saw the illustration wing, the creative writing wing and the advertisement wing. Everywhere you went there was something to point at or comment on or dream about doing.
And I found out that the program I was looking into (Criticism and Curatorial Practice) doesn’t require a visual art pre-requisite! They will teach you everything you need to know in first year! Which means I can take illustrations, animations, drawing, painting and photography without worrying about knowing anything previously.
I am very excited to start working on my portfolio and can’t wait for my next open house next Saturday 🙂