Paperhouse Studio specializes in using paper as a medium for experimental arts. They offer a community-focused membership program which includes benefits such as access to studio space, discounts on classes, and opportunities for exhibiting (in our hallway galleries!). We sat down with Lucia Wallace, a current Work Exchange Member to talk about Paperhouse Studio’s first Members’ Show, and her experience as a member.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I’m Lucia, and I graduated from OCADU this past June from the drawing and painting program. Right now I’m trying to find ways to engage with the arts community outside of OCAD. I did a placement in the building (at Koffler Gallery) this past winter, and I know Emily because she was one of my professors. I’m just kind of figuring out the arts world of Toronto.
How did you find out about Paperhouse Studio?
I found out about them through Emily. I ran into her and Flora at GradEx, and I remembered they mentioned that they had a volunteer program for studio time. It just kind of went from there.
Can you tell me a little bit about the work exchange program, and how it works?
For every 2 hours of volunteer time, you get 1 hour of studio time. I haven’t used any of my hours yet, but if you have a project that’s related to bookbinding or paper art, then Paperhouse can support you in that. You also get a discount on some of their classes. I think if you’re like me, a recent graduate, having access to such a beautiful studio space in any capacity would be really cool. In terms of volunteering, I’ve been doing some help with curating the show we’re doing in August. I’ve also been learning how to do some of the more arts admin, like bookkeeping. It feels like an internship in some ways, because I feel like I’m learning stuff that I can take away with me.
What are you planning on using your studio space time for?
Part of my thesis was blackout poetry and translating it into knitting. Something that I’m interested in doing is making zines of the poetry. I would be using the Risograph, or have Emily and Flora help me figure out what the zines will physically look like. I think it’s pretty open at this point, but I think the idea is that I have access to these great resources.
What’s your favourite part about being a work exchange member? How will this program help you as an artist and as an arts administrator?
I like seeing the backend of running a studio, and all the little things that go into having an independent business or studio. I think it makes me really appreciate what the artists are doing. It’s a lot of work, and there’s a lot of stuff that artists have to do that isn’t always art making. I think that’s been really valuable and really interesting. On the one hand it kind of shows me that as an artist, you can do something like this: you can run a studio or a small business, and it can be successful. But I also think it puts into perspective what the realities of that are, and knowing that if I want to do this, I probably need to get some more background in business and management, and that kind of stuff. I think from that perspective it’s really helpful, and I think learning from artists who are masters of a different medium, and being in an artistic space when I’m out of school is helpful.
Can you tell me a little bit about the show that’s happening in August?
The show is called Lost and Found, and it’s going to be submissions from studio members and work exchange members. It’s meant to highlight the work those artists are doing, as well as highlight the studio itself. The idea came from the vitrines themselves, because they’re these box forms, and we thought they looked like a lost and found box. So the idea is that all the works will be inspired by or incorporate found objects. It’s something kind of playful and pretty open, that I think a lot of different paper artists could come into.
What do you like about working in the studio and being in the building?
It’s such a great space to be able to come to, because I think it’s clear that the arts are valued here, and it’s the whole basis of this space. I feel like I learned a lot from Emily and Flora, and the space is beautiful, and any artist would love to work here. I also like learning more about a medium that I’m interested in but don’t have a lot of background in, like papermaking and bookbinding. There’s something that I can take away and apply to my personal art practice and I’m enjoying it!
Paperhouse Studio Members Show: Lost and Found
Paperhouse Studio’s first Members show, Lost and Found will be in the first floor hallway galleries from August 5th until September 8th 2018. Members and artists Elspeth Wood, Jill Smith, and James Spyker are featured in this exhibition. Using paper arts as a medium, artists explore what the meaning of lost and found objects.
Left: Jill Smith, “Untitled” paper and metal ring, 2018
Right: Elspeth Wood “Facts and Fiction” Van Dyke photo prints, 2016
The Hallway Galleries are open daily, from 8am-9pm!
Visit https://paperhousestudio.com/membership/become-a-member/ for more information on becoming a member.