Instead of making the industry come to them, Cambrian College has submerged its art fundamental, graphic design and animation students in the heart of the industry.
On April 18, the doors to Open Studio officially opened. There was barely room for everyone in the 1,160-square-foot space on the third floor at 93 Cedar St., downtown Sudbury. They were all eager to take a look at graduating students' work and explore the new space.
Ron Beltrame, co-ordinator of Cambrian's graphic design program, said the community reaction to the space made it clear that the facility is much needed.
“If you give them an opportunity, they'll show up,” he said.
Open Studio will act not only as a classroom space for Cambrian students, but also as an exhibition spare for current students, alumni and community members.
“There's an untapped arts community in Sudbury that never gets an opportunity,” Beltrame said. It's just one more resource for artists and art groups looking for inexpensive exhibition space in the heart of the city. Students from the college will also be more visible to potential employers — which is never a bad thing.
“We decided to open Open Studio for students to be in proximity to the industry, which is downtown now. It puts us in the middle of the industry. We're bringing the product to the market.”
Dixie Craig, a third-year graphic design student, was one of the students exhibiting work in the graduating class exhibition Fieldnotes. She said she is thrilled to be able to showcase her work in the space. It's a definite step-up from the temporary exhibitions of earlier years.
“Last year, the space was extremely crowded,” she said. Now there is more room, and the ability to keep the exhibit open longer.
“It's nice to have something our own, that's downtown,” said Craig.
Administration is just as enthusiastic.
“Opening this space is part of Cambrian’s plan to bring new learning opportunities, infuse vitality, and create more connections in Sudbury’s burgeoning downtown,” said Cambrian President Sylvia Barnard.
“The Open Studio opens the doors to downtown classes, increasing interdisciplinary, professional, and industry collaboration across all program areas. It offers endless possibilities, and it’s the beginning of something great for students, professors, staff and alumni.”
In the coming months, the space will be open to the community. Anyone interested in checking it out in the meantime is welcome to search #ccfieldnotes on Instagram, Twitter, and Vine or search Fieldnotes on Facebook.