Emergent 2020: Artist Talks with Nic Cooper, Carol Howard Donati, Martin Godin, and Zainab Hussain

August 5, 2021

Following Emergent, their showcase of recent and new work at the OAG earlier this year, the 2020 graduates of the University of Ottawa’s Masters of Fine Arts Program return (virtually!) to speak about their artistic practice, their work, and what they’re up to now. These annual talks are part of a series that bring artists from the OAG’s MFA Exhibition and Mentorship Program back to the gallery after their graduate exhibition to spotlight their practice and explore their development. Please note this program will take place in English

The OAG MFA Exhibition and Mentorship Program is made possible with the support of the RBC Emerging Artists Project and in partnership with the University of Ottawa, Department of Visual Arts.

Nic Cooper (@niccooperpaints) is a painter based in Ottawa-Gatineau. Their work merges historic and contemporary images of protest and resilience, to examine our current socio-political moment. Their source imagery and historic inquiry reflects their Jewish-Polish and Croatian heritage, alongside their queer and non-binary gender identity. Cooper has exhibited across Canada, participated in international artist residencies and is a recent graduate of the Masters Fine Arts, Visual Arts program at the University of Ottawa where they were the recipient of numerous scholarships.

Carol Howard Donati (@carolhowarddonati) is an interdisciplinary artist of settler origins living in Ottawa on the unceded traditional territory of the Algonquin People. Her practice lies at the intersection of photography, sculpture, installation and video related to place, combining the human-made with organic forms to disrupt normal ways of seeing and engage uncertainty. Howard Donati has exhibited works locally and internationally since 2011. She holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia and a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Ottawa. www.carolhowarddonati.ca

Martin Godin (@mrtngodin) is a visual artist from Northern Ontario, currently based in Ottawa. Martin’s practice draws upon his background growing up in a small mining community where the physicality of manual labour and working class expectations of masculine identity and sexuality were formative to his self-awareness as an artist. Martin is a recent MFA graduate from the University of Ottawa (2020), where he received the Charles Gagnon Scholarship. Martin completed a BFA with Distinction from OCAD University in 2015. www.martingodin.ca

Zainab Hussain (@zedmonster) is a first-generation Indian-Canadian multidisciplinary artist and illustrator. She recently received her MFA from the University of Ottawa in 2020. Her works have been exhibited in Canada and the United States, most notably at the Ottawa Art Gallery, the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum in Milwaukee and Shirin Gallery in New York City. She is the recipient of the Michel Goulet Award for Excellence in a Master’s of Fine Arts (2020), the Suzanne Rivard-Le Moyne first prize (2014) and was a longlist nominee for the Scotia Bank New Generation Photo Award (2019). Hussain currently lives and works in Ottawa.

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