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2024 Commencement Speaker

Anita Kunz Headshot

Honorary Degree Recipient & Commencement Speaker

Anita Kunz, OC, DFA

Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts

Canadian by birth, Anita Kunz has lived in London, New York and Toronto, and has been widely published in countries including the USA, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Norway, South Africa, Holland, Portugal, France, Canada and England. 

Her socially and politically themed work has been published in major publications such as Time magazine, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ, The New York Times, Newsweek, Sony Music, Random House Publishing and many others. 

Articles about her work have appeared in Graphis and Novumgebrauchsgrafik magazines (Switzerland), Communication Arts and Step by Step magazine (USA), Idea, Illustration and Creation magazines (Japan), Applied Arts and Nuvo (Canada) and The Design Journal (Korea). 

She has produced cover art for many publications including Rolling Stone Magazine, 

The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times Magazine. She has also illustrated more than fifty book jacket covers. 

Anita frequently teaches workshops and lectures at universities and institutions internationally including the Smithsonian and the Corcoran in Washington DC. She has lectured in such far-flung places as India and Istanbul. 

She has been honoured with many prestigious awards and medals and her critically acclaimed paintings and sculptures have appeared in galleries and museums worldwide including the Normal Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts, the Museum or American Illustration in New York City, and the Teatrio Cultural Association in Rome Italy.  

Her works are in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, The Canadian. 

Archives in Ottawa, The McCord Museum in Montreal, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, and a number of her Time Magazine covers are in the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. 

From 1988 to 1990 she was one of two artists chosen by Rolling Stone Magazine to produce a monthly Illustrated History of Rock and Roll endpaper. In 1997 she had a one woman show at the Foreign Press office in New York City. That same year she received the Les Usherwood Lifetime Achievement award from the Advertising and Design Club of Canada. In 1998 she had a solo show at the Creation Gallery in Tokyo Japan.  

In 2000 The Society of Illustrators Museum of American Illustration in New York mounted a mid-career retrospective of her work. 

In the fall of 2003, she was the first Canadian and the first woman to have a solo show at the Library of Congress Swann Gallery in Washington DC. In spring of 2007 Anita gave a short presentation about her New Yorker covers at the TED conference in Monterey California. 

She was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts in 2009. That same year she also received the Hamilton King award of excellence from the Society of Illustrators Museum of American Illustration for best illustration of the year. She was also named one of the fifty most influential women in Canada by The National Post newspaper. 

She was inducted into the American Museum of Illustration Hall of Fame in 2017.  Also in 2017, The Toronto Arts and Letters Club gave her the JEH MacDonald award. 

In 2018, Canada Post released a postage stamp honouring her work. Also in 2018, The Ontario College of Art and Design, her alma mater, presented her with the “Alumni of Influence” award. 

She received an Honorary Doctorate from The Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2010 and a second Honorary Doctorate from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston in 2015. 

She has been appointed Officer of the Order of Canada and has received Her Highness Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Medal of Honour.

In spring 2019 she was invited to lecture at the EG conference in Carmel, California. That same year she was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Museum of American Illustration Hall of Fame in New York. In 2022 she received the Gerald Scarfe prize from the Museum of the Avant-Garde in Switzerland. 

She has written and illustrated three art books, “Another History of Art”, (Fantagraphics)   and Original Sisters: Portraits of Tenacity and Courage (Pantheon Random House), and her third book was released fall of 2023 and is entitled “Striking a Pose: A Handy Guide to the Male Nude” (Fantagraphics).

Her fine art is represented by the Philippe Labaune gallery in New York City. 

She is scheduled to show a collection of 450 paintings at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts in fall of 2024. 

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