An Urgent Update from Open Studio

AN URGENT UPDATE FROM OPEN STUDIO

Help Save Open Studio!

If you would still like to be a part of this campaign, you can donate to Open Studio below.


Video (above) credits: Big thanks to Alex Coley, Nick Greaves, and Andrew Williamson for their dedication in coordinating, filming, and producing this incredible video. Gratitude also goes out to the talented artists who participated in the interviews: Victoria Day, Karen Kar Yen Law, Heather Thomson, and Phoebe Todd-Parrish. And a special acknowledgment to our Executive Director, Patrick (Pat) Macaulay, for his invaluable contribution.

Update as of April 5th, 2024

Dear Open Studio Supporters,

THANK YOU!

We extend our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you for your unwavering support and belief in the power of print!

On March 11, 2024, we released an urgent letter (see below) about how we have been profoundly affected by funding cuts, the pandemic, and the escalating cost of maintaining our space. We shared that Open Studio is at risk of closing and needs your help.

Since then, we have been deeply moved by the responses, heartfelt messages, shared stories, reposts, donations, artwork contributions, and words of encouragement. Thanks to you, we have surpassed our Save Open Studio Campaign goal of $75,000, the minimum amount needed to sustain our operations until the end of June. It is because of your collective efforts that we have raised over $106,000 and any additional funds will be used to support our future. We continue to update our list of supporters here.

We will close the studio at the end of June, initiating steps towards a more financially and resourcefully sustainable future. This will involve downsizing and optimizing our studio space, upgrading equipment, and streamlining operations wherever possible. These measures will lay the groundwork for sustained operations, and we’re excited for our refreshed reopening in 2025! Please note that although the studio will be closed, our front-of-house galleries will continue to operate, focusing on sales and fundraising initiatives.

Additionally, we invite you to join us in celebrating the future of print through our upcoming fundraising virtual auction FUTURE PROOF scheduled to run online from May 2nd to May 9th. We’re thrilled by the exceptional artwork we have secured and look forward to sharing the catalogue with you ahead of the launch date.

We are running one last round of printmaking courses before we close the studio for the rest of the year. Here’s your last chance to learn with us in 2024! You can register here.

Once again, we thank you for your steadfast support and belief in the mission of Open Studio and the future of print. We look forward to updating you with even more positive news in the future!

Please reach out to us at office@openstudio.ca with questions or for further information.

With gratitude,
Patrick Macaulay
Executive Director

March 11, 2024; Urgent Update from Open Studio

Dear Open Studio Supporters,

We are writing this letter to share difficult news about the future of Open Studio.

For over 50 years, Open Studio has opened the door to printmaking. Since 1970, Open Studio has offered subsidized studio rent, educational access, and free dynamic print-based exhibitions. We have established ourselves as one of the oldest and largest print studios in Canada and we are extremely proud of how far we’ve come.

However, due to mounting economic pressures, Open Studio is months away from closing permanently if we continue in our current form. We have been severely impacted by funding cuts, the pandemic, and the rising cost of maintaining our 7,200 sq/ft space in downtown Toronto. We are thankful for our ability to exist in 401 Richmond St. West, a heritage-designated industrial building turned arts and culture hub, however, external factors have driven up our operating costs, and the sheer size of our space has become unsustainable. We recognize the loss of our space and programming would be deeply felt and would immensely affect our current and former members, countless artists, and the broader arts community we have worked with for 54 years. For this reason, we are determined not to give up on Open Studio.

After careful consideration of our finances, we believe we can adapt, but we must do so quickly and make serious changes now. We plan to downsize, restructure, and optimize our existing space for Open Studio’s survival as an inclusive cultural hub.

To achieve this, we will temporarily pause access to the studio, classes, and workshops as of June 28th, 2024. We hope to relaunch in January 2025 for Open Studio’s 55th anniversary. This can only happen with your help.

If you care about accessible and innovative arts organizations, or have acquired art from Open Studio, visited our galleries, participated in workshops and events, received residencies, scholarships, exhibitions, or employment opportunities through Open Studio – we need your help. We are appealing for your support to get us through this difficult transition. Our goal is to raise $75,000 by June 28th, 2024. Funds raised will allow us to sustain operations until the end of June, and any extra funds raised will help us plan for the future as we work towards reopening our studio space in 2025.

SAVE OPEN STUDIO!

Donate link HERE (or click the box above). View our list of supporters HERE.

One-time or repeat donations of any size will go directly to continuing our work as a creative space that inspires, supports, and celebrates printmaking. In the tragic event that we do not reach our goal, your donations will assist with the closing of Open Studio responsibly, including the proper care of our staff and print archives.

Other ways you can help:

  • Support our upcoming online fundraiser, FUTURE PROOF 2024, May 2-9.
  • Purchase artwork through our online shop. Payment plans are available.
  • Purchase artwork & merchandise in person at 401 Richmond St.W, Suite 104.
  • Visit Open Studio’s gallery while the studio space is transitioning. The galleries will be dedicated to fundraising efforts including displaying art for sale, with permission, from Open Studio’s extensive archive.
  • Circulate this appeal to fellow supporters of printmaking and the arts in Toronto and beyond.

Our vision is for a vibrant, sustainable space that fosters contemporary printmaking for decades to come. Your help is essential for that future. Thank you for any and all support during this time of change. You can reach us at office@openstudio.ca.

Sincerely,
The Open Studio Board


You can also donate over the phone by calling 416-504-8238. All donors will receive a charitable tax receipt for their donation. Charitable Registration #11906 8823 RR0001. To view a list of our supporters, click here.

MEDIA COVERAGE:


BlogTOToronto Community banding together to keep 50-year-old business from closing
by Phoebe Knight
READ HERE

CBC A ‘vital’ Toronto printmaking studio says it risks permanent closure without financial help
READ HERE

CBC Late Night News Broadcast March 17, 2024

CTV NewsToronto studio to temporarily close, displacing dozens of artists
by Brooklyn Connolly
READ HERE

Toronto Star An inside look at the escalating crisis in Toronto arts: ‘We have to come together and find solutions’
by Joshua Chong
READ HERE

Toronto StarOpen Studio to pause operations due to ‘mounting economic pressures’
by Joshua Chong
READ HERE

For Specific FAQs concerning this update, please click HERE.