In Memoriam: Tanit Mendes

Last Wednesday, the Associate Professor and Co-Director of Ryerson’s Theatre Production Program passed away at Grace Hospital in the company of her family.

A jack of all trades, Tanit joined Ryerson Theatre School in 1998 as an instructor, where she taught scenic painting, fabric painting and dyeing, jewellery, and costume and set design just to name a few.

“Tanit was a brilliant woman, she had so much knowledge that she would share with all of us…I got to know her, and she became a mentor to me,” says forth year production student Arielle Rostant.

It was Tanit’s charm and creativity that made her so popular among her students and colleagues.  Peter Fleming, the Production and Operations Manager at RTS, remembers Tanit as a vivacious individual with a creative spirit. “She was so full of colour, her sets were so colourful…she liked to push the envelope.”

Daughter of acclaimed artist and teacher Ross Mendes, Tanit was born into an artistic family. As a young woman, Tanit developed a thirst for the world of art herself, and graduated from York University’s theatre department. She also completed her Masters of Arts at the University of Toronto.

Lacking neither determination nor talent, Tanit made a name for herself in the industry, designing sets and costumes for the Shaw Festival, Red Barn, Sudbury, and Magnus Theatre. She was also a member of the Directors Guild of Canada, the Associated Designers of Canada, and Theatre Ontario.

She will be missed by friends, colleagues, and students, whom she inspired and motivated every day.

“I am going to miss her laugh. She had such an amazing laugh and her unique style, she always wore this airplane ring that I found so interesting…she was just so special, “says Rostant.

Fleming commends Tanit on her strength, saying that “her students kept her going….Tanit kept working till the end.”

A memorial will be held on November 22nd at 1:00 p.m. at Ryerson Theatre followed by a reception at the Arts and Letters Club.

 

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