Held in the Art Bar of the Gladstone Hotel is a temporary gallery of Ryerson’s finest. The white walls and the light wood floors offer a stark contrast to over 50 unique photographic and digitalized art pieces lining the room, ranging from black and white photographs to brightly coloured modern art.
The Ryerson Artspace, formerly known as the I.M.A Gallery, is holding their annual Full Frame Holiday Show and Auction, an event that offers students the opportunity to display and sell their work to raise funds in support of the gallery. Over 60 students submitted their own work and several works have been donated by local artists and Ryerson alumni.
The process of curating the Full Frame exhibit is led by Ryerson Artspace director Robyn Cumming, who said that submissions are accepted beginning in October, and by November the gallery staff and Cumming select the works that will appear in the show. “Once we have all the work chosen, there are three intense days of sequencing and installation,” Cumming said.
Artist Hugh Martin, who graduated from Ryerson’s photography program in 2002, gained appreciation for the gallery while volunteering at the event during his studies. “I really appreciate the gallery as well as all of the work done at Ryerson,” he said. “And this year, I wanted to help out and support the cause.”
Martin donated one of his own pieces to this year’s event, a photograph of his father called Fire Chief, Station #5. The photograph is of his father wearing civilian clothes in the fire station he volunteers at. “It’s not a typical style for me, as I usually stick to landscapes or other styles of photography, but I was so pleased that I could donate it to the gallery.”
School of Image Arts professors, Blake Fitzpatrick and Vid Ingelevics, are also involved in Full Frame at the Ryerson Artspace. “The faculty advisor, Robyn Cumming, and the student staff work super hard to make this happen as proceeds help with programming the gallery,” Ingelevics said. “Most of the works in the show are by photography students and their faculty. That’s traditionally how the Christmas fundraiser has been set up every year.”
Ingelevics’ collaboration with Fitzpatrick called Freedom Rocks has led them on a sabbatical over the last few months in Berlin and Los Angeles. While both artists work on their own pieces separately, the pair opted to donate a collaborative piece for Full Frame. “We, as faculty, see the gallery as a great opportunity for our talented students to get professional experience working in a gallery setting as well as exhibiting experience,” Ingelevics said. “It is a great location, with an excellent street presence, which benefits our students and gives them exposure in the heart of the arts community that they wouldn’t usually get while still in school.”
The event also features the work of recent graduates, such as that of Justin Somjen, who graduated in 2011. Since beginning his involvement with the gallery three years ago through Full Frame, Somjen has participated in several shows at the Ryerson Artspace. “My intention to show with Full Frame, I’m sure much like other alumni, is to maintain bonds with the school. Ryerson’s photography community is very close, so keeping a connection with the great people and facilities is important to me,” Somjen said. He adds that the new space in the Gladstone will offer students the chance to be in a “larger spotlight within the city of Toronto.”
A current student at Ryerson, Solanje Sellier, a first time volunteer at this year’s Full Frame event says that the gallery is a great opportunity for students of the university. “It’s a lot of fun to work with all the students, and to get the students’ work out there so that people can see or even buy it. It’s really just a great opportunity for them to network.”
The Full Frame Holiday Show and Auction 2014 will run from Nov. 27 to Dec. 14.