Photo by Whitney Lewis-Smith

Photo by Whitney Lewis-Smith

Michael Tardioli – Director of education and mentorship 

Michael co-founded The School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa in 2005 to create an intensive photographic experience for those seeking to hone their artistic skills.

Michael flourished as a photography student and graduated in 1989 near the top of his class. He was immediately recruited by a professional colour print lab, where he had opportunity to produce custom prints for both Yousuf and Malak Karsh. This and other experiences helped Michael develop a high-end fine art sensibility early in his career.

Soon thereafter, Michael ventured into a partnership to produce signature, fine art, archival black-and-white portraits. During this time he developed new techniques in print-making to enhance black-and-white photographs and increase their “presence.” The success of these techniques led to numerous prestigious commissions, including those from the Honourable Mitchell Sharp, Margaret Trudeau, and Roberta Bondar. Acquisitions of his work were made by the National Library and Archives, the National Arts Centre, and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Works are on public and permanent display at the National Arts Centre, and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. The Children’s Hospital collection has been published as a book entitled Hope.

Success as a portrait photographer led to two significant new directions in Michael’s career: the development of his teaching skills, and commercial photography incorporating elevated production values. Michael achieved a calibre of printmaking with digital tools that has normally only been associated with traditional techniques. Bridging this gap has allowed him to attract such significant clients as the Canada Council for the Arts, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Canadian Museum of Nature. His digital work has also been widely recognized, notably through receipt of the 2003 Canadian Applied Arts Award for his photograph of singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards.