Ryan Ringer, Canada

Residency Period: 1 November 2014 - 31 October 2015


Ryan Ringer is a multidisciplinary performance artist who was the founding director of Methinks, a community-based production group, and Project 165, an artist-run gallery and studio space in Toronto. His work has been featured on CBC Radio and Television, Canadian Art Magazine, the Toronto Star, and other media outlets and has been exhibited throughout Canada and the US. Ryan resides in Toronto.

URL: ryanringer.com

On-hiatus Proposal Summary

After many years of running an art space (Project 165) while tirelessly directing various overlapping and back-to-back collaborative and independent projects, Ryan decided to break from the art game for a while to get his personal life together. While not wanting to be creating art per se, yet still desiring a creative outlet, Ryan decided to focus on becoming a more mindful bartender and drink-maker. During his hiatus, Ryan and his fiance will open a cafe-cocktail bar in Toronto called Grey Tiger. He will document the process of building and opening Grey Tiger, examining the creative aspects of this process and the connection between his art practice and hospitality career. Or, more to the point: he will examine the fine art of living as an artist on hiatus while taking a good look at where he's been, where he's at, and where he's going. He will paint a portrait of an individual finding his way back to art - or, rather, redefining his practice - by getting lost and finding himself through hard work and meditation.

Final Report




recent comments

The Art Battle Continues

So vandals hit us again. More tags. And bleeding cat eyes. (The cat eyes happened while I was working in the shop. I stepped out to grab a coffee, locked the door, and when I turned around the black paint was still leaking down the wall.) So we hit back with more paste-up action – and Illuminati Cat was born! Bam!

While it’s a bit annoying – all this back-and-forth with facelace brats – (jeez, I sound like a crotchety old man) – we’ve quite enjoyed the battle. It’s caused a lot of interest from passers-by on the street, a bit of online buzz, and helped us further define our general Grey Tiger vision. It’s even inspired fresh ideas for decorating our washrooms. 

In some way – and this is most interesting – it’s helped to make the artistic part of this whole endeavour come more to the fore. It’s helped to soften the edges of the project – you know, paying bills and all that – and serves as a reminder that art – actually being artistically engaged through the process – is crucial. We’re artists. Which means being aware of and engaged with our surroundings – not just inside our shop, not just with the business, but with the neighbourhood itself – the city and its people, faceless or not – in a very particular way. 

On another level it makes me think about – and be more sensitive to – how we are helping to gentrify our neighbourhood – something I once railed against as a younger artist – and how certain people feel feel and react to the changing face of Bloordale. We’re in a position of great responsibility and influence. While we’re doing something good – not just for us but, in the eyes of many of our neighbours, the neighbourhood – we are also helping to usher-in a kind of unwelcomed change for some other neighbours. 

That’s some heavy stuff, to say the least. I’m not yet sure how I feel about it. 

Funny: the so-called vandals seem to have have done us a favour. They’ve helped to remind us of our position and direction. They’ve inspired a lot of interesting conversation and contemplation. And they’ve inadvertantly become participants in the making of Grey Tiger. …

Anyway, yeah, so that happened. And there’s more to come. More amazing, mysterious, creative activities, thoughts and feelings to report very soon. …


Leave a Comment (2)

Ryan wrote on Apr 21:

Yes. A very special conversation indeed. A special happening. A lot of our neighbours think it's a fun and healthy response to tagging. And very other day, it seems, from inside we hear people talk about it as they pass by our shop, or we catch people being photographed in front of it.

milena kosec wrote on Apr 18:

I don’t feel this as the art battle but as very special conversation with the neighborhood. Probable it will and as friendship.