In August 1970, Richard Sewell and Barbara Hall started a small storefront printing studio at 310 Queen Street W. in Toronto. Within a year they had succeeded in establishing a facility where artists could make their own prints, and over the years other related programs followed. From 1971 to 1996, Open Studio was located at 520 King Street West, Toronto. In September 1996, Open Studio moved to 468 King Street West, an expansion of space that allowed us to increase the area for production facilities, triple our exhibition venues, and improve administrative capabilities. Since January 1, 2004, Open Studio has been located at 401 Richmond Street West, home to over 130 arts related organizations. Over the years, the Studio has remained committed to consistently enhancing programming and upgrading the production facilities and equipment while heavily subsidizing rental costs for artists.
Mission and Vision
Open Studio’s mission aims to enhance new and familiar audience’s experiences of the visual arts through contemporary print media. We contribute to the development of the arts by providing artists with opportunities to create and exhibit print work in a well-equipped, accessible and safe space. Open Studio is an artist-run centre that offers inclusive and affordable printmaking facilities, programs and services for artists from Toronto, across Canada and abroad. Open Studio’s priority is to provide support for artists in an open-minded and collaborative environment. We are dedicated to serving the public by providing opportunities to appreciate printmaking and its role in the contemporary art world.
Our goals and objectives are to:
- Support local, national and international artists working in print media;
- Provide excellent resources for print production for professional artists with comprehensive facilities, and the highest level of technical support;
- Provide professional development opportunities for local, national and international artists through visiting artist residencies, scholarships and exhibitions;
- Provide educational opportunities to the public through exhibitions, artist talks and hands-on courses and workshops taught by professional artists;
- Preserve traditional printmaking techniques while contributing to innovation in printmaking and excellence in contemporary visual arts;
- Work on behalf of artists by ensuring the payment of artist fees and acting as an advocate for artists’ rights;
- Promote the work of living Canadian artists to the public through the print sales program;
- Facilitate strategic partnerships and alliances between artists, arts organizations, educational institutions and funding agencies; and
- Operate as a non-profit, charitable arts organization funded through self-generated income, cultural grants, foundations, corporate sponsorships and individual donors.