From the desk of Linda Jansma, Curator.
It’s a word that Maralynn Cherry brought up different times in her talk at Bowmanville’s Visual Art Centre last Friday evening.
The context was Maralynn’s farewell fête as she is retiring from her position as the art centre’s Curator. I felt privileged to be one of some 75 people who came to wish Maralynn well and thank her for what she brought to the visual arts in the Durham Region.
I’ve known Maralynn for many years having curated her work into a two-person exhibition, as well as engaged her as a writer for one of our publications. We also participated in a series of Curatorial workshops many years ago that were held at the VAC. Maralynn is an intelligent, creative, inquisitive and compassionate individual and all of those attributes were made clear through the work of the artists she brought into the VAC and the beautifully crafted essays that she wrote.
Maralynn speaks with Sean McQuay at her farewell event. Photo by Jean-Michel Komarnicki
Back to hospitality. Maralynn has made the VAC a place where both artists and visitors are made to feel welcome. She was able to encourage and accommodate visions and share those with the curious, the inquisitive and the knowledgeable. She finished her talk by stating that in the end, it’s about the artist. It sounds obvious, but in the midst of grant writing, fund raising, facility management, programming, etc., we can lose sight of the fact that without the artist and the art, there’s not much for us to work with. Maralynn understands that and deeply values and respects the artistic vision. As an artist herself, this may be one of the reasons she’s moving beyond the VAC—she has spent years encouraging artists and now needs to more fully and deeply engage with her own artistic practice.
From one Durham Region curator to another: thank you Maralynn.