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Emily Zou

Artist member since 2021
Toronto, Ontario

Emily is an emerging multimedia artist who works primarily with drawing and painting media and sculpture. She studied at DJCAD in Scotland while on an exchange, and she is a 2020 BFA graduate from OCADU’s Drawing & Painting program. Emily has shown her work at galleries and art fairs such as Gallery 1313, John B. Aird Gallery, Propeller Art Gallery, the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, "Bloom Festival" and “Art & Mindfulness,” a yearlong exhibition held at the University of Toronto to raise awareness for mental health.

Emily is intrigued by the potential for landscapes and surreal spaces to reflect a psychological state. In much of her work, she explores imagery from personal narratives and dreams with a focus on her experience with depression and anxiety. In an age where mental illness and mental health awareness continues to rise, she hopes that her work can contribute to this conversation and provide a space for dialogue, connection, and understanding.


Inside the Studio


Q+A

Favourite book

I adore children's book illustrations! I grew up with Jan Brett, Dr. Seuss, Ludwig Bemelmans, Shel Silverstein, Quentin Blake, Shirley Barber, Phoebe Gilman, and Mary Engelbreit as some of my favourites. I also love Shaun Tan's work.

Why is it important for people to have art in their home or life?

Art has a bodily presence and carries the essence of its creator[s]. Art is a wonderful companion, a great conversation starter, and a tool that inspires thought and reflection.

What do you listen to when you work?

AURORA, LP, Mother Mother, Birdy, Of Monsters & Men, Sigrid, Askjell, Avicii, Micelf Welch, TheFatRat...

Describe the person your work appeals to in 3 words

Introspective, rare, soulful

What kind of artwork do you have in your home?

Most of the art hanging on my walls are original artworks and prints by me, friends, and family. I have work by Inés Díaz (@_sotart), Kris Sahlholdt (@krisaasahl), Rosi Maria Di Meglio (@rosimariadimeglio), Jakob Svensson (@jake_303_), Madison Rudin (@madisonrudin_art), and many others!

Favourite medium

Ink pen (it's super portable and graphic)

Upcoming Exhibitions

Mackenzie Investments
Creating Inclusive Spaces

Select Past Exhibitions
2021

Florence Contemporary Gallery
Limitless (FINALIST)

2021

John B. Aird Gallery
Mistletoe Magic

2021

Propeller Art Gallery
Off the Wall

2021

Gallery 1313
The End

2021

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair
TOAF60

2021

Purple Glow Magazine
Bloom Festival

2020

OCADU
GradEx 105

2020

OCADU
Festival of the Body

2020

OCADU
Art Prom

2018

Claude T. Bissell Building
ART x BISSELL 2018 Art & Mindfulness

2018

Serpa M. Gallery
Beam On

2017

Serpa M. Gallery
Mindfulness: The Power of Art

2017

OCADU
36th Manning Awards Symposium

Accolades
2020

OCADU
Anne Adler Kagan Award

2019

OCADU
Frances Lea Ziegler Memorial Scholarship

2019

OCADU
St. George's Society of Toronto Bursary in Art & Design in Honour of Rosalie Sharp

2018

OCADU
Marsh Urquhart Memorial Scholarship

2018

OCADU
Women's Art Association of Canada Lynne Ritchie Scholarship

2017

OCADU
Sully Corth Memorial Fund Scholarship

2016

OCADU
Project 31 Drawing and Painting Award

2015

OCADU
Delaney Scholarship

Press
2021

Propeller Art Gallery
"Propeller Gallery Fundraiser 2021" catalogue

2021

Withintensions
Volume 23, November 2021, "Filters"

2020

OCADU
OCADU Drawing & Painting Catalogue 2020

2020

Acta Victoriana
AV 144.1.

2019

Polemical Zine
Issue 10, Volume 2, "Sweet"

2018

Acta Victoriana
AV 143.1.

Education
2021

OCADU
Graphic Design & Visual Communication Skills, Continuing Studies Certificate Program

2020

OCADU
Drawing & Painting, BFA

2019

DJCAD
Fine Art, Exchange Program

Social
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