Occupation: Dentist, artist
Bio: Born, raised and educated up to his undergrad in St. John’s, Dr. O’Dea got his Masters in Dental Sciences at the ever-prestigious McGill University. Immediately upon graduating from McGill, he returned to his beloved home town, where he began working and eventually became partner at the sleek, spacious and high-tech looking Village Dental Offices. He is an avid runner, having just completed his eighth Tely 10. Also an accomplished artist, Dr. O’Dea the dentist recently won an Arts and Letters award for an incredible pastel drawing of…candy apples. He married his wife, Jamie, this December.
A dentist drawing gorgeous, tempting, life-sized renditions of candy apples, eh?: He’s actually done four candy-themed drawings now. “Let’s just say I won’t be hanging them in my office as an advertisement! I started them and I thought that would be a funny little twist. I think most people would know I’m dentist though.”
Do you always work with pastels?: Some people wouldn’t push pastels that much because when you think of art you think of painting…acrylics, oil paintings, stuff to hang on your walls. People see pastels as a kind of drawing and who has drawings up on their wall? But with pastels you can come back and change things. I’ve never ever tried oil painting because it just takes so long to dry, it’s a different type of mess and it tends to be really stinky, but I think ultimately it’s what I’d really like to do.
How does one get into dentistry? It seems like it might be kind of… gross.: No! I was doing a biology degree and a friend of mine who was writing the dentistry exam came and asked me for some notes and I just asked him what he was doing…it was interesting and now we’re both dentists. I don’t look at it as dealing with a bunch of gross things all the time, but you do see some trouble. A lot of the time you forget that you’re even in someone’s mouth. It’s a problem solving thing.
— Sarah Smellie
Jonathan O’Dea, St. John’s, Title: Sweet Tooth (chalk pastel on paper) — Winner Arts & Letters Awards 2008 Senior Division Visual Arts.