Toronto Gallery to Showcase U of G Studio Art Program

October 19, 2009 - News Release

University of Guelph art students will gain first-hand experience producing contemporary art projects and events thanks to an innovative collaboration between the University of Guelph's School of Fine Art and Music (SOFAM) and a downtown Toronto art gallery.

SOFAM has partnered with John Goodwin of Toronto’s goodwater gallery on a new venture called “G: Guelph Goodwater.” It involves U of G students and studio art faculty working with Goodwin and national and international artists on exhibitions and other events.

Students will also explore art’s conventional relations with education and exhibition, said SOFAM director Prof. John Kissick. “We visualize this as a hybrid space in which contemporary art and creative pedagogy are nurtured.”

“G” is located at 234 Queen St. E. in Toronto and is open Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m. An opening reception is slated for Nov. 19 from 7 to 10 p.m.

Kissick said the new collaboration is “an innovative and important next step” in the continuing development of University’s nationally recognized studio art program. He added neither the University nor Goodwin was interested in opening a traditional university art gallery.

“Instead, we envisioned a more dynamic space that would perform first and foremost as a site for explorative, cutting-edge contemporary art and function as an incubator for new ideas,” said Kissick.

The students engaged in each project will receive credible professional experience, including the opportunity to work with artists in a collaborative format, Kissick said. “The result will be an experience for our school and our students that is unlike anything else offered in this country.”

Curator and collaborator John Goodwin agrees. “Collaboration with artists is what goodwater has been engaged with since Roger Bywater and I opened the gallery in 2001. This new arrangement will continue the tradition of providing a storefront space in downtown Toronto where ideas get tested in a laboratory-like context.”

SOFAM Prof. Nestor Kruger, a long-time collaborator with goodwater, said the partnership will be a unique opportunity for both parties. Goodwin has a reputation for producing exhibits that are challenging and provocative, and has always encouraged artists to consider the gallery as a kind of testing ground, he said.

“It’s exciting to imagine a new relationship with U of G, which has a similar history of encouraging students to reexamine their standard methods of working and to develop new ways of thinking,” said Kruger.

The art community will also benefit. The new gallery will endorse cultural exploration and provide a space where such exploration can be rendered meaningful, Kruger added.

For media questions, contact U of G Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338 or , or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982 or .

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1