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Michaele Jordana, also known as Michaele Berman, is a Canadian pioneer in art and music.
Starting her career in the 1970s as a fine artist and super realist painter, her life-size airbrush paintings of slaughtered whales in Northern Canada are featured in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and Art Bank. Her first show "Oceans of Blood" was exhibited at the Isaac's Gallery in Toronto. By depicting the giant creatures with innocence and beauty, and presenting the slaughter in a way that was at once shocking but also stylized and aesthetically compelling, she enticed audiences to look and to grapple with the issue of animal rights amidst the controversy of the seal hunts.
After living in the arctic to be near the mythical creatures she depicted in the paintings, Berman created the performance art piece "The Rites of Nuliajuk," which marked the beginning of her crossover from fine artist to musician. Collaborating with her partner Douglas Pringle and their production company Peak Productions, Berman started composing music and creating the on-stage persona of Michaele Jordana. With her band, The Poles, Jordana became a beacon in the new wave movement, and blazed a trail for female musicians in Canada.
With their hit single "CN Tower", The Poles won the first U-Know Award, were nominated for a Juno, and were regulars at legendary punk venues including Max's Kansas City, the El Mocambo and CBGB, where they played alongside Devo and the Ramones.
Always a champion for those who could not speak for themselves, in the 1980s Jordana Berman directed and produced the award winning documentaries "Moving with the Light" and "Face to Face" which pioneered assistive technologies, as Jordana enabled down syndrome youth to communicate through the introduction of art, light and colored gels, and later arming them with video cameras to go out in the world and shatter stereotypes.
Jordana took a hiatus from the world of new wave music to have a child, Ramona Pringle, and went on to integrate fine art and music in her future works as a multiplatform artist. Her stage show Storming Heaven, a rock opera which cast a dystopian glance at the realities of animal testing, played to sold out audiences at the DuMaurier Center in Toronto and toured to the United States.
In the mid-1990s, Jordana started applying her photorealistic touch to digital art and design, and together with Pringle started integrating new media platforms into their work, producing music art and video for the web. By 2000, Peak Productions had evolved into the Peak Media Collective, a collective of artists, filmmakers, engineers and other creative minds, working independently and collaborating on large scale public installations such as The Media Tree at Casino Niagara and Winter Sky, a 24,000-square-foot (2,200 m2) video fresco at Sherway Gardens, in Toronto. Jordana continues to work at the helm of the Peak Collective, as the creative director on multiplatform projects, integrating her specialization in different creative fields.
As an art educator, she has taught courses in visual art, video production, media and design, and game design throughout her career at institutions including the art schools of York University, the University of Guelph and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, where she developed and taught drawing for animators and gameworlds for game designers. Most recently, Michaele has been professor and coordinator of the program in digital animation and game design and development at Centennial College's Centre for Creative Communication.
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