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Creative Professionals-In-Residence Program

Creative Professionals-In-Residence program

There are a number of ways the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers (CEAD) facilitates professional connections for students both in and outside of OCAD U, including a professional dinner series, employer information sessions, online social platforms, or individual opportunities for mentorship, such as the new Creative Professionals-In-Residence program.

The new OCAD U Creative Professionals-In-Residence program is a mentorship initiative created to support the career success of current OCAD U students and recent alumni. It is also an opportunity to facilitate community and relationship building for emerging artists and designers. The Creative Professionals-In-Residence program sees invited professional guests, from a variety of art and design-related disciplines, present on a regularly scheduled basis over the course of the academic semester, in the new Rosalie Sharp Pavilion for Experiential Learning at 115 McCaul Street. Visiting creative professionals are alumni and collaborators of OCAD University, invited to provide mentorship to current OCAD U students and recent alumni. We invite students to schedule meetings with the current Creative Professionals-In-Residence to engage in activities such as portfolio reviews, career advising, informational conversations, and on-campus studio visits.

Visiting creative professionals are alumni of OCAD University, invited to provide mentorship to current OCAD U students and recent alumni. Schedule a meeting with the current Creative Professional-In-Residence to engage in activities such as portfolio reviews, career advising, informational conversations, and on-campus studio visits.

Current Creative Professionals-In-Residence


On campus: Winter 2019


Jessica Leong is a designer specializing in branding, environments, and typography. She is the Senior Designer at Frontier Design in Toronto and a graduate from OCAD’s graphic design program. Her previous experience includes Design Exchange, ERA Architects, Indigo Books, and Bruce Mau Design.


On campus: Winter 2019


Basil AlZeri is a cross-disciplinary visual artist living and working between Toronto and Guelph, Canada. AlZeri's practice involves the intersection of art, education, and food, taking multiple forms, such as performance, interventions, gallery and public installation. AlZeri's work examines the socio-political dynamics of the family and its intersection with reproductive/unproductive labour, drawing on the necessities of everyday life and the (in)visibility of 'work' as sites of exploration. AlZeri's tries to facilitate a space for empathy through gestures of inclusivity and generosity. AlZeri has presented his work in Amman, Dubai, Halifax, Mexico City, Montreal, New York, Ottawa, Regina, Rome, Santiago, Tartu and Toronto.

Book an Appointment

Current students and grads can use the OCAD U Talent Network to book appointments with our Creative Professionals-in-Residence. To book an appointment using the Talent Network, please follow these four steps:

  • Log in at
  • Complete your personal and academic profile - you will not be able to book an appointment otherwise.
  • Under the "Events & Advising" tab select "Workshops & Advising" and RSVP for a date/timeslot with your resident of choice that fits your schedule. The timeslot you select will no longer be available to others once you choose it.
  • Come to 115 McCaul St, 3rd Floor at the time of your appointment.

Past Creative Professionals-In-Residence

Mahmood Popal

On campus: Fall 2018

Mahmood Popal

Mahmood Popal is an Afghan - Canadian, Toronto based multi-disciplinary artist and designer. Popal graduated from OCAD University in 2007 with a focus on Industrial Design and fine art. In 2011 Popal launched his creative studio, MAAST, that focuses on commercial interior design projects, private commissions and public art projects. The studio has worked on a wide range of projects for Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Sub-zero-Wolf, Sid Lee, Metrolinx, City of Toronto, East End Arts, Google, Capital One, Achievers, Konrad Group, Embrace, HERSHEY- REESE’S, Ford, Belair Direct, Think Tank Creative, Robarts Spaces China, The Stop Community Food Centre, Mile Inn and Apollo Studios.

David Salazar

On campus: Fall 2018

David Salazar

David Constantino Salazar is a sculptor with a studio practice highly focused on hand modeling clay and fabricating sculpture in various materials. His practice reflects research into the use of animal forms as cultural symbols to explore the borders between necessity and excess, desires, and addiction.

In 2017 Salazar completed the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design degree (IAMD) at OCAD University.

News & Events

  • January 2019 - New mentorship program connects students and alumni links to external site

    In this excellent post, second-year Sculpture & Installation student Nandy Heule contributes as a guest writer to the VEEP Students Blog, profiling alumnus David Salazar and the activities of the Creative-Professionals-in-Residence program.

For Faculty

We welcome faculty to engage with the Creative Professionals-in-Residence program through curriculum. Past events and formats include guest artists talks, critiques, panel discussions, technical workshops and studio visits. If you are interested in involving a resident in your course, our team is available to assist with coordinating and developing engagement. Please reach out.


Shellie Zhang

Community Animator
P: 416 977 6000 x3706

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