H.A.M.S. – The Holiday Arts Mail-order School

A Brief Timeline for H.A.M.S.

March 2008

FLY Gallery
Month long exhibit promoting the founding of H.A.M.S., the Holiday Arts Mail-order School.
A Correspondence Art Project by noted Hallowe’enologist Professor Derek McCormack, Ian Phillips, an artist, and Miss Candy Cackle of the Ladies Institute.

The launch of H.A.M.S. successfully enrolls painters, sculptors, authors and librarians into it’s Hallowe’en Arts program for the 1936-37 year.

Fly Window

H.A.M.S. recruitment window inviting passersby to sign-up for a correspondence course on the topic of Hallowe’en


H.A.M.S. promotion

H.A.M.S. promotion


YORK logo

October 2011

AGYU, The Art Gallery at York University presents:
the Holiday Art Mail-order School
at the Toronto International Arts Fair

Three years into our project, we invited the public into our open house at The Toronto International Arts Fair. Patrons experienced a replica of our haunted Peterborough classroom and were treated to a display of completed student projects and related ephemera.

Haunted Peterborough, Ont., map

Haunted Peterborough, Ont., map


H.A.M.S. Ouija Board

H.A.M.S. ouija board and planchette


Student projects at H.A.M.S.

Student projects in the H.A.M.S. haunted school house


Ectoplasmom at H.A.M.S.

Ectoplasmom in the entrance to the H.A.M.S. Haunted School House


H.A.M.S. souvenirs

H.A.M.S. souvenirs and multiples


H.A.M.S. student conduct

H.A.M.S. classroom


H.A.M.S. souvenirs and multiples

H.A.M.S. souvenirs and multiples


H.A.M.S. student awards and bone china Jack-o-Lantern clock by student Alexx Boisjoli

H.A.M.S. Haunter of The Year award and glow-in-the-dark bone china Jack-o-Lantern clock by student Alexx Boisjoli


Haunted Peterborough, Ont., map

Haunted Peterborough, Ont., map


The H.A.M.S. correspondence course for the year 1937 is complete. We are very excited to announce the Fall 2016 launch of our H.A.M.S. yearbook,
The Jack o’ Lantern!

H.A.M.S. correspondence lesson books

H.A.M.S. correspondence lesson books

A number of events are planned just in time for Hallowe’en 2016, including a H.A.M.S. yearbook launch party and graduation ceremony. We are also working on plans to attend art book fairs in the Toronto and Peterborough region, where the public can obtain yearbooks and H.A.M.S. multiples. Here is a sneak peek at our soon to be released yearbook:

Faculty of the Holiday Arts Mail-order School, of Peterborough, Ont.

Faculty of the Holiday Arts Mail-order School, of Peterborough, Ont.


A sneak peek at our student gallery

A sneak peek at our student gallery


H.A.M.S. achievement awards

H.A.M.S. achievement awards

Thank-you to everyone who helped us with H.A.M.S. Special thanks to Darryl Bank, Alexx Boisjoli, Emelie Chhangur, Joey Comeau, Grant Heaps, Jacob Korczynski, Michael Maranda, Jason McBride, Mr. and Mrs. McCormack of Peterborough, Ontario, Melissa McCormack, Philip Monk, Christopher Paulin, AGYU The Art Gallery at York University, and Fly Gallery. A very special thank-you to the graduates for all their enthusiasm and hard work — to you the upcoming edition of The Jack o’ Lantern is dedicated!
— Dr. Derek McCormack, Prof. Ian Phillips, Miss Candy Cackle

Pixel + Bristle

For those that weren’t in town for Pixel + Bristle, Worker Bee Supply put together this cute little video:

Mirvish Village Giveaway!

A nostalgic look at Mirvish Village

A nostalgic look at Mirvish Village

Here is the result of a recent commission to design and produce a three-colour silkscreen print based on two new exhibits now on display at Markham House. Tonight only, along with free hotdogs, they’re giving away 200 of these limited-editions away!

Anne Mirvish: The Artist in Her Studio
and Welcome to Yesterday:
Ephemera from Mirvish Village

Come take a look at Anne Mirvish’s art practice and her influence on the neighbourhood known as Mirvish Village. In addition check out the wonderful collection ephemera and memorabilia from the Mirvish Family archive, collected over the past 50+ years. Here you will discover the tale of the Onion Pot and the name of the first shop opened by Honest Ed Mirvish.

The shows run from May 28th to July 10th, 2016.

Markham House
610 Markham St. Toronto
Open daily from 12pm – 7pm

Freedom to Read Week

It’s Freedom to Read Week, so I thought I’d post my illustrated book cover series.

Probably one of the more famous of fictional books from the cinema

Probably one of the more famous of fictional books, appearing in Rosemary’s Baby. The central illustration is the tanis root pendant that Mia Farrow’s character dropped down a sewer

A fictional press for fictional books. I call it The Cinotext Library.

A Country Made of Ice Cream from The Way We Were

A Country Made of Ice Cream from The Way We Were

Each time I see one of these movies, I am reminded of this idea I’ve had to illustrate the covers of all the fictional books from movies that I like to watch. Here are a couple of pairings of books:

Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Night of The Iguana

Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Night of The Iguana. Of all of these books, Collected Verse Vol. 1, is the only title we don’t actually see in the film, and it’s only mentioned once.

I’ve always hesitated carrying out this project because there are a lot of artists and illustrators who paint and draw old book covers — Harland Miller and Anna Hoyle immediately come to mind. But I concluded my idea is unique enough, if I stick to the cinema. I’ve also really just wanted to do this for such a long time.

Manhattan and Deconstructing Harry

Woody Allen’s Manhattan and Deconstructing Harry

The design is based on old Pelican and Penguin classics, but I’ve changed a few things, notably the colours! These will all be available as limited edition prints, in my Esty shop, in just a few days, sans the 50-cent stickers (did that just for Instagram).

It’s the Markham Street Fair today!


Drop by the Markham House: City Building Lab at 610 Markham Street, all day today, and take a sneak peek at what’s coming to the corner of Bloor and Bathurst! Pick up a copy of their illustrated (by me!) brochure and enjoy the music and free hot dogs at the street fair while you’re there! Check out my instagram for the after-party limited edition print give-away!

More information about the project can be found here.

Queen West Art Crawl!


Gee, I’ve really been quiet on the blogging front, it’s been a busy year! Come see some of what’s kept me busy at the Queen West Art Crawl in Trinity Bellwoods, I’m in booth L-29!

City of Craft – Call for Vendors!

city of craft sketches

I’m doing the art for this year’s City of Craft show, coming up in December. They’ve just launched their call for vendors for anyone interested in participating in the show.

Stay tuned for more City of Craft Chipmunks!

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