OCADU professors mount special “The Gleaners” art exhibit
For Fair Employment Week, members of the Ontario College of Art and Design Faculty Association (OCADFA) mounted a special art exhibit to draw attention to the challenges faced by contract faculty at OCADU.
“This installation is a reminder of the struggle that many workers still face at universities and colleges across Canada, including OCADU,” said Surendra Lawoti, Interim President of OCADFA. “It’s time for OCADU to step up and show our contract faculty members the respect they have earned after years and years of hard work and dedication.”
OCADU prides itself on hiring practicing artists, but often fails to foster an employment environment that supports and encourages their art practices to flourish. Created by Ines Scepanovic, “The Gleaners” art installation uses imagery from Francois Millet's 1857 painting, The Gleaners, which depicts three impoverished farm workers collecting grain left behind after the harvest.
“Most of us are familiar with the iconic figures of The Gleaners,” said Bill Leaming, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Studies at OCADU. “In this installation, these figures represent sessional instructors and the working conditions they must endure to survive. This exhibit shines a spotlight on the callous and hard-hearted economic calculus at work in education today.”