OCAD University honours leaders in Black and Indigenous art
Artist, activist and teacher Alex Janvier and art collector and curator Kenneth Montague will be awarded honorary doctorates at OCAD University's convocation ceremonies on .
Janvier is widely known as a pioneer of modernist Indigenous art with his paintings rendered in bright colors and imbued with spirituality. A survivor of the residential school system, Janvier pursued formal art training at what is now the Alberta College of Art and Design, where he graduated with honours. Janvier's prolific work has influenced generations of Native artists.
Montague is sometimes described as a "Renaissance man" whose passion for art and philanthropy match his renowned dentistry skills. In 1997, Montague founded the non-profit Wedge Curatorial Projects, which promotes themes of culture and identity in art – particularly within the diasporic African and Black communities – through exhibitions, lectures and discussions.
"It is so fitting for Alex Janvier to receive this degree from OCAD University, which he had hoped to attend as a young man. His amazing body of work, from monumental murals to dazzling water colors, has made a lasting impact on Canada's visual culture," said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University's president and vice-chancellor. "Kenneth Montague's curatorial projects explore important issues of identity in art and society, whether in his own home here in Toronto or at galleries as far flung as London's Tate Modern."