Alumni — Leading the Way

Posted: Mon, 2009-06-15 09:16

Emily Carr University of Art + Design alumni are among the most successful visual artists, media artists and designers in Canada and abroad. The following are four mid-career alumni who have informed and inspired - and maintained a strong connection with the Emily Carr community since graduating in the 90s.

Zoran Dragelj, an award winning independent filmmaker/videographer and author, graduated in 1997. Several of his early works, including When You Get Old (1995), and Moving Plates (1996) have enjoyed international screening at some of the world's top film festivals, and have been broadcast on Production Parade and Videoconexions. In 1994, Zoran received both the Joseph Golland Award and Memorial Scholarship for Up-and-Coming Filmmakers. In May 1997, he was selected as a finalist in the 1997 National Apprenticeship Cinematography Training Program by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Recently Zoran's work was cited in the book The Sharpest Point: Animation at the End of Cinema written by Chris Gehman and Steve Reinke. In 2005, he presented his first major retrospective of his films and videos in Florence, Italy. Zoran has recently been elected as the first Alumni Association representative on the Emily Carr Senate.

Geoffrey Farmer, a 1992 graduate, received the 2008 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for Visual Arts from the Canada Council for the Arts. Geoffrey has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, with three solo exhibitions and more than a dozen group exhibitions in the past two years. These include the Tate Modern in London; the Johnen Galerie in Berlin; the Witte de With in Rotterdam; the Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal; the National Gallery of Canada; the Brussels Biennial; and the Sydney Biennale. The subject of numerous articles, his work will appear in Vitamin 3-D, New Perspectives in Sculpture and Installation by Phaidon Press. Represented by the Catriona Jeffries Gallery in Vancouver, Geoffrey Farmer remains one of the most exciting and inventive contemporary artists in Canada.

Born in Squamish, BC, Leeta Harding began taking photographs at the age of fifteen, influenced equally by her mother's photography and late '70s Vogue. After graduating with a major in photography in 1996, Leeta moved to New York where she worked as a cover photographer for index Magazine for ten years. During this time she interviewed and photographed Helmut Newton, and her cover subjects have included Scarlett Johansson, Juergen Teller, Elizabeth Peyton, Slyvie Fleury, Kathleen Hanna and David and Amy Sedaris. She has contributed to Harper's Bazaar, New York Times Magazine, Vice, In Style, Details, Vanity Fair, YM, Lucky and Spin amongst others, as well as numerous European magazines. Leeta's photography extends to advertising (Mini Cooper, Jack Spade) and books such as Not Ordinary People and Back in Black (Arco Books) and Fashion Interviews and Interview with Helmet Newton (Index Books). Leeta continues to show extensively, including exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, Milan, Naples, Berlin, Tokyo and Vancouver, and in March of 2009, she presented a retrospective of her work to first year Emily Carr students.

Eric Karjaluoto graduated from the Visual Arts program in 1995, and his career path flourished when he took up web design. In 2000, he co-founded the award-winning web design company smashLAB, which boasts an impressive portfolio. In 2008, the smashLAB team's website designcanchange.org was included in Time Magazine's annual Design 100 list of the people and ideas behind today's most influential design; the website also won New Media BC's PopVox Award for Best Do-Gooder site. Another smashLAB venture, www.makefive.com is a provocative and sometimes humourous social networking site where visitors can compare top five lists, earn points, and make new friends. Karjaluoto rounds things out with a designed-centered blog, ideasonideas.com which covers his thoughts on design, brands and experience.  He is currently penning his first book entitled, Speak Human, which draws upon his experiences and observations from launching and re-focusing brands at smashLAB.