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A group of boys play hockey outside the Ryerson Image Centre
Fig. 1

Ryerson Image Centre Exterior © Luke Galati, Ryerson Image Centre

Ryerson Image Centre Director Doina Popescu to become Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Ryerson University

Jun. 27, 2013

Doina Popescu, Founding Director of the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC), has announced that she will be leaving her position as Director in autumn of 2013.

Ms. Popescu will become a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Ryerson University, working on special projects with the Provost and Vice President Academic, the Ryerson Image Centre’s new director, and the extensive community that the RIC has developed over the past five years.

Since joining Ryerson in 2008, Doina Popescu, along with the RIC Advisory Board, has created a broad reaching, meaningful and sustainable vision for the Ryerson Image Centre with a focus on exhibitions, research, and the photography collection. Ms. Popescu developed and opened the Ryerson Image Centre, set the curatorial plan for the first five years of exhibitions and events and established the RIC as a nationally and internationally renowned centre for photography and related arts.

“It is my pleasure to announce Doina Popescu as a distinguished visiting fellow at Ryerson University,” said Mohamed Lachemi, provost and vice president academic. “Through the Ryerson Image Centre, Doina has brought scholars, curators, students, faculty and the public into dialogue and partnership; she has curated meaningful relationships and that is what education is about.”

Under the guidance and leadership of Doina Popescu, the Ryerson Image Centre celebrated its launch by opening its doors to the public from 7pm to 7am on September 29, 2012, during Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. The RIC was named one of “top three destinations to see” that evening and the long lineups were a clear indicator that the RIC was the place to be. On average, 1,000 people visit the Ryerson Image Centre each week and the media continues to praise the RIC’s exhibitions and events.

Reflecting on the past five years, Doina Popescu said: “It was a tremendous honour when I was invited in 2008 to become the inaugural director of what is now known as the Ryerson Image Centre. The task of heading up the creation of a new and vibrant exhibition and research centre at the heart of Ryerson University, in the core of down town Toronto, was an exhilarating challenge that required careful and circumspect consideration. Our project would not have been possible without the broad reaching City Building vision of Ryerson University’s President Sheldon Levy. With his encouragement, we have developed a centre with a unique mandate dedicated to photography and related art forms, focusing on fine art, documentary and photojournalistic collections, research and exhibitions.

Ours is a centre that reaches out in an inclusive and trans-disciplinary fashion across the academic faculties on campus, that welcomes diverse members of the public across the city and the country, and that partners with scholars and professional institutions around the globe. The Ryerson Image Centre represents a complementary voice in the arts dialogue in the city, offering a distinct array of programs situated within an international community of photography experts and lovers, while also consciously tying into the history of Ryerson University and our magnificent collections, including the historically significant Black Star Collection of approximately 292,000 black and white photojournalistic prints, the Jo Spence Memorial Archive, the Wendy Snyder MacNeil and Werner Wolff Archives, to mention but a few.
I am extremely proud that we have been successful in creating a new cultural destination in Toronto, one that is being talked about here at home as well as in cultural hubs like Berlin, London, Paris, LA, Washington and New York. My deepest thanks go to the RIC’s brilliant team and remarkable Advisory Board whose contributions to the growth and execution of the vision have been essential over the past 5 years.”

To recognize Ms. Popescu’s extraordinary contributions to the international arts community, the City of Toronto, Ryerson University, and the Ryerson Image Centre, Ryerson University has established the Doina Popescu International Fellowship Program at the RIC. International scholars will be offered the opportunity to be residents in the Research Centre with access to the Black Star Collection of black and white photojournalistic prints, as well as the RIC’s fine art photographic holdings and artist archives. Fellows will be selected by a committee of industry experts, and winners will team up with the centre's collections assistants before and during their stay in Toronto.