Student Insider
by Angelina Campigotto
November 8, 2022

OCAD University: Student life on campus

An insider’s guide to the best place to live, campus food and more

Angelina Campigotto (Courtesy of Angelina Campigotto)

Angelina Campigotto, 27: Visual and critical studies

Why did you choose OCAD U?

There is a lot to be said about living and studying alongside other artists and designers. OCAD U attracts a vast number of talented students and receives considerable attention from the local art community. I like that we are encouraged by the school to take courses outside our primary area of focus. For example, I took a class on the history of modern architecture, and now I love understanding buildings in much the same way that I love studying paintings.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.

I have really enjoyed participating in the Asia-Global Cultural Studies Forum. This is an opportunity for students across all programs at OCAD U to present their research alongside professional artists and intellectuals from all around the world (thanks to Zoom). In the latest session, we examined the visual culture of the farmers’ protests in India, and we had a very interesting discussion with an artist and curator from South Korea. Another great aspect of studying at OCAD U is that the Art Gallery of Ontario is right next door to the university; profs will sometimes take students there for classes. It is a huge advantage when learning about Canadian artists to be able to swing next door and see their work right in front of you.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?

The extracurriculars that I participate in mirror the career I’d like to have after graduation. I am the social media coordinator and an editor at the Journal of Visual & Critical Studies. I am also a student monitor at Onsite Gallery, our university’s professional gallery, where I do promotional media and installation and de-installation of exhibits. In the future, I hope to guide exhibition tours.

What do you think of your professors?

I have amazing things to say about the professors I’ve come to know over the past few years. They are very generous and they bring a wealth of experience in art, academia and even politics and activism. I highly recommend that students seek out connections with the professors they click with; I was able to find a mentor whom I can trust to push me to meet my potential.

What do you think of the school’s administration?

I would suggest that students double-check to see whether they are fulfilling graduation requirements. I have caught small glitches in my schedule that were fixed immediately when I addressed the admin about them. Some classes fill quickly, so it’s good to plan ahead and be attentive. I have always gotten into the courses I’ve wanted.

OCAD University

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If I wrote the school motto: ‘Creativity . . . with a deadline’

Best place to live: The Annex or Kensington Market

Best place to study: The Art Gallery of Ontario (OCAD U students get in for free)

Best campus events: Exhibitions at Onsite Gallery

Best campus food: Jerk chicken at the Village by the Grange food court

Best cheap lunch: Trinidadian doubles from Kensington Market

Best pizza: Pizza Gigi at 4 a.m.

Best place for a fancy dinner: Spanish tapas at Bar Isabel. The design of the bar is an ode to the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí.

Best giveaway: A lot of free things are given out at O-Days

Best bar for hanging out: Ronnie’s Local 069 patio

Best live music venue: The Garrison

Best hangover breakfast: Sneaky Dee’s

Best place for a nap: No naps, 10+ different brews of coffee at the Coffee Exchange in Grange Park

Best weekend activity: Go for a walk or bike ride through Tommy Thompson Park. You’ll forget you’re in Toronto.

The thing that surprised me most about the school: There are some seriously cool profs

If I could change one thing about the school: More student exhibitions