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Exterior view of the Ryerson Image Centre.
Fig. 1

Ryerson Image Centre, 2019 © Riley Snelling, Ryerson Image Centre

Ryerson Image Centre reopens Sept. 16, 2020, with Stephen Waddell’s enigmatic, large-scale photographs

Aug. 21, 2020

The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) is pleased to announce its plan to reopen at noon on September 16, 2020, with the launch of three new exhibitions, including Scotiabank Photography Award: Stephen Waddell, Mohamed Bourouissa: Horse Day, and Ethan Murphy: Front & Back

The health of our community remains our top priority and the RIC team has been hard at work preparing for the reopening of the gallery. Working closely with Ryerson University, and following guidance from public health agencies, we have made a number of changes to our operations to ensure a safe and enjoyable gallery experience for all of our visitors. The number of guests allowed in each gallery space will be limited, and all visitors and staff will be required to wear a mask and adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Our hours have changed and the gallery is now open Wednesday–Saturday, 12–6 pm. Guests are encouraged to check the RIC website and read our FAQ page for the most current information. 

“We are pleased to be opening our doors to visitors once again with three thought-provoking exhibitions,” says RIC Director Paul Roth. “In these challenging times, we hope to provide a tranquil and contemplative space where visitors can experience new ways of looking at the world through photography.”

On view from September 16–November 28, 2020, Scotiabank Photography Award: Stephen Waddell celebrates the career of Vancouver-based artist, Stephen Waddell, winner of the 2019 Scotiabank Photography Award. Spanning two decades, the Main Gallery exhibition showcases Waddell’s colour street compositions of workers and pedestrians, more recent black-and-white photographs of caves and grottos, and never-before-exhibited prints. Many of Waddell’s images feature solitary individuals absorbed in their thoughts and daily activities—working, walking on the streets, playing in parks, or visiting museums and historical monuments. While Waddell captures everyday moments in public spaces like a street photographer, the artist’s careful attention to scale and light and his painterly sensibility result in works that appear to have been deliberately staged. On the Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall, Waddell revisits his initial experiments with Super-8 film and Polaroid photography from the late 1990s in a newly-created silent video installation. Scotiabank Photography Award: Stephen Waddell is curated by Gaëlle Morel, presented by Scotiabank and organized by the Ryerson Image Centre. It is a primary exhibition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. 

The University Gallery will feature Horse Day, a two-channel video by Algerian/French artist Mohamed Bourouissa. Horse Day is the culmination of an eight-month collaboration between Bourouissa and young Black horsemen belonging to a non-profit equestrian society in Strawberry Mansion, an impoverished Philadelphia neighbourhood. Centring the narrative on the group’s preparation and presentation of a celebratory riding competition and pageant, Bourouissa’s video examines the visual stereotypes and misrepresentations associated with “cowboy culture” in the United States.

Ethan Murphy explores the relationship between photography and loss in Front & Back, on view in the Student Gallery through October 17, 2020. While searching in the basement of his childhood home for objects belonging to his father, the artist found deteriorating 4x6 inch colour prints that were wet and adhered together in layers. While most of the images were destroyed, abstract fragments revealed glimpses of a deceased loved one. In his photographs and video, Murphy washes and detaches the prints in an act of recovery that transforms the decaying family pictures into precious objects. 

While we look forward to welcoming visitors back to our gallery space, the RIC will continue to engage with our community online, sharing artist talks, images from our collections, exhibition tour videos, and more on our website and through our social media channels. A schedule of this season’s online public programming is available via

Ryerson Image Centre
33 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Follow us @RICgallery
The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) exists for the research, teaching and exhibition of photography and related media. We are an active partner within the academic fabric of Ryerson University, the cultural network of greater Toronto, and the national and international artistic community. We develop rigorous yet inclusive programs for students, faculty, artists, researchers and curators, as well as the general public. The RIC boasts three interrelated areas of activity. Our exhibition program addresses topics of social, cultural, aesthetic and historical concern from a variety of contemporary perspectives. Our Peter Higdon Research Centre conducts and facilitates inquiry into primary resource materials and offers workshops, lectures, symposia and publication programs. Finally, we maintain a collection of photography spanning the medium’s history, as well as several artist and journalism archives—including the renowned Black Star Collection of twentieth century photoreportage. For more information, visit
Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 41,500 students, including 2,400 master's and PhD students, 3,200 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past five years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit
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Media Previews:
By appointment, September 8–11, 2020

Media Contact:  
Kristen Dobbin, Ryerson Image Centre,