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“I have wanted for so long to own and maintain even a few huge, interlocking thoughts that, having exhausted more legitimate methods, I have recently resorted to theoretical speculation.”

- Nicholson Baker, The Size of Thoughts , 1983

Criticism & Curatorial Practice Program Guide

Criticism & Curatorial Practice (CRCP) offers a cross-disciplinary program intended for students interested in pursuing a career that includes the fields of curating, writing, exhibition production and art practice. Linking the Faculties of Art and Liberal Studies, CRCP provides an environment that extends into a wide range of disciplines from art history to current practices and theories of contemporary art and design.

The curriculum draws on the richly varied resources available across the University, and through required courses, helps students develop methodologies to define their own critical approach. To assist in this, the core faculty includes curators, critics, academics and artists respected in their fields for their critical and supervisory skills.

Students have an on-going opportunity to apply their skills through field study arrangements with Toronto galleries, museums, alternative spaces and publications.

As artist-curators, graduates are uniquely positioned to develop their own roles in the art and design world, both in Canada and internationally. A contemporary arts environment in which critically informed collaborations occur between artists, curators, writers and designers has become a hallmark of engaged practice. It is an environment that offers students of the program an exciting and fulfilling future at the centre of today’s visual culture.

Thesis and Directed Studies Option

At the 400 level, students may choose between the Thesis and the Directed Studies option. Both options lead to a BFA with a CRCP program major.


The Thesis Research and Presentation option offers CRCP majors the opportunity to undertake an in-depth curatorial, web-based or criticism project. It is expected that students undertaking a curatorial project will produce a catalogue (either print or web-based) in conjunction with their exhibition. Students who elect to focus on criticism are expected to produce a major piece of writing on an aspect of contemporary art and/or theory. The expected length of the written document for students focusing on criticism is in the range of 30-50 pages. Students considering the Thesis option are strongly advised to begin formulating their project in the summer preceding their Thesis year.


CRCP majors can elect to take Directed Studies in their fourth year instead of Thesis Research and Presentation. Directed Studies provides a concentrated area of study of modern and contemporary art and is recommended for students whose primary focus is critical writing and/or who wish to pursue graduate studies in Art History, Cultural Studies or a related field. It requires the student to take 2.0 credits in 300 or 400 level Liberal Studies VISC courses that address modern and contemporary visual culture. Eligible VISC courses for Directed Studies, which are also recommended electives for all CRCP majors, are listed at the end of the Program Guide.

All students who elect the Directed Studies option must meet with the Chair of CRCP to discuss and approve the courses they have chosen to ensure they fall within the Directed Studies guidelines.

NOTE: For Directed Studies, 0.5 credit of 300/400 level Faculty of Art STU/SEM course may be taken as part of the required 2.0 credit VISC courses.


It is strongly recommended that students consider pairing their CRCP major with a minor. Students should keep in mind that only elective courses can be counted towards a minor. As the required courses for a CRCP major include a large number of VISC courses, CRCP Majors may not pursue an Art History Minor.

Program Guide to Degree Stream

This major is only available to students enrolled in the Degree Stream. Degree Stream students are required to take a minimum of 5.0 Liberal Studies Credits, including HUMN, SOSC, SCTM and ENGL. See the Liberal Studies requirements to determine the requirements for your entry year in the program.

NOTE: For CRCP majors, ENGL and HUMN requirements are included as required CRCP courses. Students may take more than the minimum requirements.

200 Level Requirements
CRCP 2B01 Contemporary Issues: Art Today (STU/SEM) 0.5
CRCP 2B02 Museums, Galleries and Alternative Spaces (STU/SEM) 0.5
Select two of the four following courses: 1.0
VISC 2B07 History of Modern Art
VISC 2B01 History of Modern Design
VISC 2B32 Canadian Art: The Modern Era
VISC 2B09 History of New Media Art
200 Level Studio, Studio/Seminar, Design or Liberal Studies electives**** 3.0
Total Credits 5.0

HUMN 2B01 Aesthetics

HUMN 2B16 Twentieth-Century Ideas
PRNT 2B26 Nano-publishing: Independent Publications


300 Level Requirements
CRCP 3B05 A Question of Beauty (STU/SEM) 0.5
VISC 3B37 The History and Theory of Art Criticism 0.5
VISC 3B03 Contemporary Canadian Art 0.5
VISC 3B09 Art After Modern Art: Conceptual Practices 0.5
200, 300 or 400 Level English (ENGL) * 0.5
200 or 300 Level Studio, Studio/Seminar, Design or Liberal Studies electives**** 2.5
Total Credits 5.0

CRCP 3B03 Special Focus: Talking Community (STU/SEM) (Not Offered 2009/10)
CRCP 3B06 Exhibitions: Processes, Procedures, Pragmatics (STU/SEM)
INTM 3B17 Publications: Digital
PRNT 3B21 Text and Image
300 Level Field Study **

400 Level Required Toward a Thesis Major 
CRCP 4C01 CRCP Thesis: Research 1.0
CRCP 4C02 CRCP Thesis: Presentation 1.0
CRCP 4B02 Art Writing: A Workshop in Practice and Ideas (STU/SEM) 0.5
HUMN 4B18 Postmodernism: Critical Perspectives *** 0.5
200, 300 or 400 Level Studio, Studio/Seminar, Design or Liberal Studies electives**** 2.0
Total Credits

400 Level Required Toward a Directed Studies Major
300 or 400 Level Liberal Studies, Visual Culture courses (VISC)
(may include 0.5 credit Faculty of Art 300 or 400 STU/SEM)
CRCP 4B02 Art Writing: A Workshop in Practice and Ideas (STU/SEM) 0.5
HUMN 4B18 Postmodernism: Critical Perspectives *** 0.5
200, 300 or 400 Level Studio, Studio/Seminar, Design or Liberal Studies electives**** 2.0
Total Credits

Eligibility to Graduate

Please note that students are eligible to graduate if they:
•Have fulfilled all program requirements.
•Are in good academic standing. (Students who attempt 2.0 credits or more in an academic year and earn an average of 60% or higher in those credits are in satisfactory academic standing.)
•Have on overall average of 60% or higher.
•Have an average of at least 65% in the designated courses of their major/program. (Faculty of Design only).
•Have no outstanding accounts at the university.

Eligible Liberal Studies VISC courses for the Directed Studies and recommended VISC electives for CRCP include:

VISC 3B05 Dada and Surrealism
VISC 3B06 Art of the African Diaspora
VISC 3B19 Aboriginal Peoples of the Americas
VISC 3B28 Latin American Art and Culture
VISC 3B33 Canadian Cinema
VISC 3B34 Japanese Cinema
VISC 3B39 Latin American Cinema
VISC 3B42 Critical Issues & Ideas in Contemporary First Nations Art
VISC 3B43 Photographic Theory and Criticism
VISC 3B95 Special Topic in Visual Culture: Contemporary Asian Art
VISC 3B96 Special Topic in Visual Culture: Re-claiming Indigenous Voice and Vision
VISC 4B02 Performance and Performativity
VISC 4B03 Contemporary Documentary Media
VISC 4B04 Re-presenting Women: Feminist Film and Video
VISC 4B05 Future Cinema: Digital Narratives
VISC 4B06 Global Mesh: Internet, Networks, Globalization and Digital Resistance
VISC 4B08 Studies in Contemporary Art: Europe 1960s–1990s
VISC 4B10 The Politics of Painting
VISC 4B13 Art of Mexico
VISC 4B16 Queer Theory: Sexuality and Representation
VISC 4B21 Arts and Cultures of Asia and Oceania
VISC 4B20 Special Topic in Visual Culture: The Senses in Artistic Practice
VISC 4B95 Special Topic in Visual Culture: Art and Design Activism
VISC 4B96 Special Topic in Visual Culture: Formation and Locations of Modern Korean Society and Culture
VISC 4B91 Special Topic in Visual Culture: Improvisational Music and the Visual Arts in late 20th Century

NOTE: Students are encouraged to review the Liberal Studie courses on a yearly basis for new and Special Topic courses.

Mobility Exchange Program

CRCP Majors who are interested in applying for OCAD's Mobility/Exchange program, OCAD’s Florence program or who are admitted with Advanced Standing must meet with the Chair of CRCP for academic advising. Students who are accepted with Advanced Standing or into OCAD's Mobility/Exchange program or OCAD's Florence rogram must meet the following minimum requirements for graduation from the CRCP Program:

200 level: 2.0 of the required 2.5 credits from the CRCP Program Guide
300 level: 1.5 of the required 2.5 credits from the CRCP Program Guide
400 level: 2.0 of the required 3.0 credits from the CRCP Program Guide  

*CRCP Majors must obtain 1.0 credit of ENGL to graduate, which includes the First-Year English and a 0.5 credit at the 200, 300 or 400 level.

** See Special Studies under Alternative Studies regarding application deadlines and policies.

*** It is recommended that students complete HUMN 4B18 in their third year or in the summer preceding their thesis year.

**** Students declaring a Liberal Studies minor are strongly urged to complete the full complement of studio courses for their major, including all studio electives.

Last Modified:1/24/2012 12:57:14 PM