Photo: Natalia Balcerzak

Sweet 16 for Image Arts’ Function Magazine

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By Michelle McNally

Like all sweet 16’s, Function’s birthday will be three things: memorable, long-awaited and yes, there will be a party.

Ryerson’s student lead photography and new media publication, Function Magazine, is celebrating its 16th issue this spring. The annual magazine features 150 pages of photographic portfolio pieces, editorial essays and interviews with promising artists. It is pushing to regain its focus on photographic and film content with this year’s issue, unlike the previous additions of the series.
“This year, we’ve pulled some strings to get an exhibition at the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival,” said Giordana Vescio, Function’s managing director. “Huge people from the industry are in it — that exposure will be something that Function has never had.”
Function holds a reputation in the outward art community. It has many of its alumni singing praises and a yearly subscription from the National Art Gallery of Canada to prove its quality. With this issue, Function is making a conservative effort to increase their networking and to have more student work reach out beyond the campus.
“We hope that it will be a really enticing feature for why kids in film and new media can apply because they can have their own place on the wall or their own private studio to display their film,” Vescio said.
The magazine is run by four Ryerson photography students, who are selected each year through an application process. As part of their final thesis, they are to create each addition of Function. The team is required to present their progress every term-quarter to their peers and professor, much like a photo series presentation.
“It’s very nerve wracking process because you’re showing your ideas to all the people that want to be in Function and to those that want to buy it,” said Amanda Woolley, public relations director.

Creative additions to the pages potentially include interviews with famous photographers from Instagram and decorative pull-out posters. Function tote bags and jersey designs are also in the works, which are to be sold at the publication’s fundraising nights. Twenty-thousand dollars worth of sponsorship, fundraising and grants are needed to bring Function up to standards, but the editorial team will not spare any expense to promote Function this time around.

Although Function may cost the editors many late nights and free time, the making of the magazine is very much a labour of love.

“It does take a lot of work and it takes up a lot of time and we do kind of see it as a job, but it is our thesis,” said Lyndsey Constable, the art design director. “For me, personally, I just want to make it the best that it’s ever been. I can’t wait to have a final product that I’m so proud of – it’s not even hard work for me.”

A kick-off fundraiser party will be hosted on Nov.6 at Neck of the Woods Nightclub. Function Magazine will be available May 1, 2015.

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