Function calling for volunteers... and donations.

Image Arts magazine needs $20,000

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Function magazine raises $800 at Art Attack fundraiser; hoping GCM connections help

By Erika Tustin

Function, an annual art magazine produced by Ryerson students, won’t be able to count on the school’s Image Arts department to cover its share of the $20,000 the publication needs to produce this year’s issue.

Previous issues of Function received $4,000 per issue from Image Arts. Photography professor Don Snyder says that due to budget cutbacks the money is just not there this year.

“The department of Image Arts has cut back out teaching assistants and our equipment,” says Snyder, who doubles as Function’s faculty supervisor. “There just wasn’t any money left over for Function.”

The Graphic and Communications Management students produce the publication to look more like a book or art catalogue, says production editor Yaz Habooti, a third-year GCM student. The photos are imprinted on thicker stock paper for better quality but the size is comparable to a magazine for easier handling.

“Function is comparable to Ocean Drive or National Geographic,” says Habooti. “It is an excellent coffee table book filled with great art work.”

The magazine’s official title is “a publication of images and critical writings by emerging artists,” says Natasha Lan, Function’s managing editor and fourth year Image Arts photography student.

“Function is really a show piece,” she says. “It’s a way to get us out there to showcase our work.” The magazine is sold in art galleries in Toronto, and is also distributed to Universities overseas through Ryerson’s exchange program.

Natasha Lan, Function’s managing editor and a fourth-year Image Arts photography student, says she was not surprised the department backed out this year.

“I’m not bitter. I got lucky,” says Lan. “I got to experience the [Image Arts] program the way it used to be run.”

The student-staffed publication has struggled financially since its inception in 1997-98. Snyder said they produced 2,000 copies in the first year, then cut down to 1,000 copies, which has been their print run for the past three years.

On December 6, 2001, staff held a fundraiser at Art System, 80 Spadina Ave. Local bands Blue Screen and The Creeping Nobodies were on-hand to raise spirits as well as dollars. The Function staff put together an evening aimed at the arts together an evening aimed at the arts community of Toronto and Ryerson students, which raised about $800, says Function’s editor-in-chief, Sam Rajasingham.

The department of Graphic Communications Management allows Function to use their computers and printing business which can sometimes result in donations from the printing community. Last year, Function received free printing through a connection GCM provided them.

Function also received a $1,500 donation from The Project Funding Allocation Committee, a group that supports student projects, and has $2,000 left over from last year’s fundraiser.

Although Function is a student-operated publication, Snyder believes this bears no reflection on the quality of the work.

“Compared to any visual arts program in North American, Function is right up there,” says Snyder.

This year images from Ryerson students and critical writings from Image Arts faculty will represent the theme of order and disorder, a theme Lan believes is broad enough to be applied to everyday situations.

“There is tension in the world between order and disorder,” says Lan. “There is order and disorder everyday somewhere else but it is only recently that September 11th made everyone more aware. The theme can be applied to almost everything.”

Last year’s Function can still be purchased at some galleries around Toronto such as The Ryerson Gallery, on Spadina and King Streets, and Pages Bookstore, on Queen and John Streets. It retails for $10 each.

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