The Ryerson Gallery was founded in 1990, when Mr. Albert White offered the Film and Photography Department exhibition space at 80 Spadina Avenue.
Under the direction of the Dept. chair, Don Snyder, more than fifty students, faculty, alumni and friends transformed Suite 316 into the school’s first off-campus exhibition space. The gallery opened on November 30th of that year. Since then, the Gallery has continued to expand, and has encouraged an active year-round exhibition schedule.
Ballast Holdings Ltd., property managers for 80 Spadina, invited the Gallery to move to its present larger space in Suite 305 in February of 1992. Stephen Bulger, a graduate of the Department who now runs his own gallery on Queen Street West, was the first Gallery Manager.
His position was taken over by J. P. St. Pierre who oversaw the Gallery operations for the next two years.
In 1996, Philip Taylor, a Ryerson staff and Continuing Education faculty member, managed a very successful series of exhibitions. In 1997 the gallery exhibition committee, headed by Robert Burley and Debra Friedman, included both faculty and student members and in 1998 it came under the direction of Image Arts faculty member Douglas Clark.
Robert Burley conducted the gallery with support from the School of Image Arts staff, faculty and students from 1999 to early 2003. In 2003, it was taken over by School of Image Arts faculty and independent curator, David Harris. In 2007, Image Arts faculty member Katy McCormick became gallery director. An artist, educator, and curator, McCormick was exhibition coordinator and managing editor at Gallery 44 centre for contemporary photography from 2000-2006. She currently teaches in the undergraduate photography studies and the new MFA in documentary media program.
In 2010 the gallery was renamed the IMA Gallery. Our current gallery director is founding member Don Snyder, who was Chair of the School of Image Arts from 2005-2010. Snyder teaches in the Photography Studies undergraduate program as well as the Documentary Media MFA program. Don Snyder has been an instrumental figure in supporting this gallery throughout the past twenty years and continues to do so today.