ocad gradex

Toronto's largest free student art and design exhibition opens this week

Toronto's largest free art and design exhibition is back for 2024, and here's everything you'll be able to do and see there.

Toronto's OCAD University is back with the 109th annual GradEx, a huge exhibition showcasing work from hundreds of the university's most talented graduates.

The event usually attracts more than 40,000 visitors over the course of the five-days, showing off the brightest rising stars in Toronto's art scene.

The event all kicks off on May 1 with an Opening Night Celebration hosted at Buterfield Park and the OCAD Auditorium that's open to the public and will feature a bar, DJ, food truck and art installations by OCADU talent.

The exhibition itself runs, open to the public the entire week of May 1 to the 5, at 100 and 115 McCaul, featuring work from up-and-coming and established student artists centring around a variety of themes.

The exhibit will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on May 2 and 3 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 4 and 5.

The event is also a great opportunity for you to purchase accessibly-priced artwork, both directly from the artists or through the event's sales area which will offer a collection of works including prints, photography, textile and more.

Head over to the TIFF Lightbox Gallery on May 3 and you'll be able to catch a screenings of short films by graduating students from OCAD's Experimental Animation program which, just like all of GradEx, is totally free to the public from 12 to 5 p.m.

The works featured at this year's GradEx explore a spectrum of different themes, from students who are immigrants telling their stories through art to Environmental Design students presenting their solutions to issues of affordable and sustainable housing.

800 OCADU graduates will be exhibiting at GradEx 2024, like Brandon Baghaee, a painter of illustrative figures, whose work has been shown at The Drake Hotel and has been commissioned by the City of Toronto and STEPS Public Art.

For more details about GradEx or to preview more of the artists that will be featured at this year's event, visit OCADU's website.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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