*UPDATE JULY 20th
Matt Milovick was very apologetic for the lack of communication between all parties involved. He has shouldered the blame that student input about moving the gallery hadn't been gathered and that it was an unintentional oversight. He assured us that he recognizes the importance of the space to students. Ultimately, the choice about where to move now rests with student gallery staff! We anticipate their response within the next day or two. Conversations between all parties involved are still ongoing.
The Student Union, on behalf of the student body, demands the Student Gallery remain at 285 Dundas St W. As art and design students our gallery MUST be located in a prominent, public location. The proposed relocation of the space would be detrimental to showcasing student work.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE OCAD U STUDENT GALLERY
It was recently decided by Matt Milovick, Vice President of Finance & Administration at OCAD University, that the OCAD U Student Gallery will move to 60 McCaul (Brinks Building) by September 2012. The move will likely derail the gallery’s 2012/13 exhibition program and reduce its operation space; and it will certainly upset the gallery’s brand and hinder its visibility. To make matters worse, 60 McCaul can only serve as a temporary home for the gallery as the building is subject to a 40 day eviction notice. Even in the best case scenario sees 60 McCaul being demolished within two years for a planned condo development. The Student Gallery thus faces a very unstable, uncertain future. The Student Gallery deserves a long term plan for improvement that includes its staff and the University’s students; and until such a plan is in place, the Student Gallery should remain in its current location at 285 Dundas Street West.
OCAD U STUDENT GALLERY 2011/12
This past programming year was the first to be organized by the current Programs Coordinators Caroline Macfarlane and Vanessa Nicholas. Under their leadership, the gallery was a showcase for a range of OCAD U practices including pottery, illustration, furniture design, printmaking and even neon light fabrication. It was the first year that involved CRCP students (Criticism and Curatorial Practices) in exhibition planning projects, and it was also the first year that events figured largely in the gallery’s programs. This year also saw a new level of professional involvement from students as many were commissioned to apply their skills, including poster design, screen-printing, furniture design and fabrication. The gallery launched a new website and a Student Shop, which currently represents the work of 27 students and recent alumni. In addition, the Programs Coordinators forged a meaningful, symbiotic partnership with the OCAD U Student Press, who’ve hosted book launches, book binding workshops, lecture series, events and more in the space since last September.
WHY THE STUDENT GALLERY MATTERS
The Student Gallery’s importance is threefold. Firstly, the gallery provides critical professional training for emerging practitioners. The Student Gallery is often the first exhibition and/or related work experience for student artists, designers and curators. The Programs Coordinators take their mentorship role very seriously and consider the gallery program as an extension of the University curriculum. Secondly, the Student Gallery is the connecting point between the OCAD U community and the community at large. Beyond sales and events, the gallery’s Programs Coordinators have worked hard in the last year to forge creative partnerships with outside organizations in order to expand and diversify the institutional opportunities on offer to OCAD U students. They’ve started and/or realized projects involving students with the Ministry of Education, Studio Feed, the Music Gallery, the Design Exchange and MADE (to name a few). Finally, the OCAD U Student Gallery serves to strengthen campus community. Its program of events and exhibitions reflects is geared to help students connect, discuss and learn with each other in a meaningful way. Its workshops, openings, lecture events, dance parties and performances all serve to provide the social campus experience that is otherwise lacking at OCAD U.