The Curator’s View comes from the desk of Linda Jansma, Senior Curator at the RMG.
This Saturday, 18 May marks the 34th International Museum Day. The entire month is actually set aside as one in which we can celebrate our collective histories by sharing our heritages, cultures, ambitions and dreams through what’s being offered in museums, art galleries, heritage sites etc. throughout the world. This year, the RMG is one of over 30,000 museums in over 100 countries on five continents that will mark a day in which we examine our place within our community and how we can affect change through our exhibitions, programs, workshops, art classes, and concerts.
2013’s theme, which is set by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) is
Museums (Memory + Creativity) = Social Change
This truly optimistic theme in the form of an equation dynamically gathers several concepts that are essential to define what a museum is today, highlighting the universal nature of those institutions and their positive influence on society.
Currently, we have Richard Harrington: Arctic Photographer installed in our Alexandra Luke I Gallery space. Large-scale black and white photographs of Inuit from the 1950’s showing beautiful, yet, at times, disturbing images. Interestingly, these arresting photographs affected change once viewed in the south. Government assistance was initiated to help relieve some of the suffering that people in the North were experiencing at that time. Harrington, through his creativity, affected social change. The accompanying sculpture by Charlie Sivuarapik provides both critical context and dialogue between a non-Inuit photographer and an Inuit carver who mediates, on a much more personal level, his experience of the North.
In other spaces we share riches from our permanent collection, a collection that is held in trust for future generations. And in yet another gallery, we are hosting the annual juried exhibition of the Oshawa Art Association. 250 people crowded into the gallery on the opening evening to celebrate the talent found within our own community. And, of course, that’s not all—our Imagination Station, CONTACT photography festivalcontribution with the work of Tom Ridout, and collaboration with local seniors to produce an exhibition showing the intersection of our past and present that points towards our future.
As the Senior Curator of the RMG, I feel honoured to be part of a team that is passionate about sharing both Memories and Creativity through art, music, lectures, workshops, art classes, and more.
I hope you can join thousands who will walk into one of those 30,000 museums and galleries on Saturday. There is so much to celebrate!