Interview with Pete Smith – The first Gallery A A.I.R.

“Hot Topics” blog posts come from the desk of Sam Mogelonsky, our Communications & Social Media Coordinator.

From December 1, 2014 to February 1, 2015, Gallery A will welcome its first Artist in Residence (A.I.R.) Pete Smith. The RMG caught up with Pete to discuss his upcoming residency and plan of work while at the RMG. Keep watching this space for updates on his project or visit the gallery! For more information about his project, visit

RMG: Hi Pete! Firstly, who are you? What is your work about?

PS: I am an artist, writer and educator who lives in Bowmanville. Primarily rooted in painting (and the discourse that surrounds it’s contemporary production), my work negotiates the intersection between the analogue and digital, the painterly and the graphic, the human and the post-human. In this sense, I consider my works metaphors for the overall digital presence in contemporary life.

RMG:  What inspired you to make work?

PS: My current interest in digital technology as a conduit for image making came through a course I was asked to teach at OCAD University. In this class, I was required to learn the Adobe Flash animation program. It ended up completely changing my art practice (and really my life, quite frankly.)


RMG: Why were you interested in the Gallery A residency at the RMG?

PS: I was approached about the program last winter, and it sounded like a lot of fun. As an educator and a parent, I’m pretty limited in terms of artist residency opportunities. Consequently, I’ve never done one before. The fact that it was at such an amazing public institution with such a rich history of supporting Canadian abstract painting made the opportunity even more exciting. It sounds kinda trite and cliché, but I really am just so happy to be here.


RMG:  What will you be doing during your residency? What do you hope to achieve?

PS: Hopefully a whole lot. Elizabeth Sweeney, (Manager of Public Programs and ArtReach), asked me to do something I hadn’t done before… So I’m definitely doing that here. The basic idea is that I will be remixing the RMG’s permanent collection of works by Jock Macdonald. Originally, my show was supposed to run in February concurrently with that exhibition. Things have changed a bit from that (it now opens in January), but there will still be some overlap with the Macdonald survey show. Linda Jansma and I will be giving our talks on same day.


RMG: Can you tell us a bit more about your Jock Macdonald re-mix video? What was the inspiration for it and how did you make it?

PS: The Jock Macdonald animation is called “JMDRP_2(Double Parker Mix)”. It was made in flash animation. The music is a mash-up I made of a Charlie Parker song. It’s two versions of the same song that have had their time signatures manipulated played over top of each other at the same time. All of the imagery that I make during my 9 week residency will be rooted in still imagery selected from this animation. JMDRP stands for Jock Macdonald Remix Project.


Video stills taken from: Copyright Pete Smith, 2014.

Pete Smith is an artist, critic and sometimes curator based in Southern Ontario. He has exhibited his work extensively since completing his BFA from York University in 1998 and his MFA from the University of Guelph in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include: Blind Carbon Copy at P | M Gallery in Toronto (2012), New Drawings at Colorida Gallery in Lisbon (2012), Newspaper Drawings at Joan Ferneyhough Contemporary in North Bay, Ontario (2010) and Proverbs for Paranoids at Elissa Cristall Gallery in Vancouver (2009). Smith has given public presentations on the state of contemporary painting as well as on his own work at The University of Western Ontario (2009), OCAD University (2007), The University Art Association of Canada Conference (2007) and the University of the Fraser Valley (2008). His writings on art have appeared in Canadian Art and Border Crossings magazines. He has held teaching positions at The University of Guelph, The University of Western Ontario and The University of Toronto. Currently, he is a lecturer in the Drawing and Painting Department at OCAD University. Visit

Noel Harding is the recipient of the TORONTO 2015 Public Sculpture Commission

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG), in collaboration with the City of Oshawa, is excited to announce that artist Noel Harding will be commissioned to build a site-specific sculpture in celebration of the City’s participation in the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

The sculpture will be installed in the spring of 2015, adjacent to the General Motors Centre (GM Centre), Durham Region’s premier sports and recreation facility, and the venue of the boxing and weightlifting events at next year’s TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. The final commission consists of a $150,000 budget, which includes all fees, materials, fabrication and installation costs. The cost of the commission will be provided through the RMG’s restricted Acquisitions Endowment.

“The Selection Committee was impressed by Noel Harding’s submission that shows a real understanding and appreciation of the site and intentions of the project. The RMG is thrilled to be able to facilitate this exciting addition to our downtown,” said Gabrielle Peacock, Chief Executive Officer of The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

As an artist, Noel Harding produced video art in the 70’s, video projection and installation in the 80’s, kinetic installations and sculpture as theatre in the 90’s. His work for the last 20 years is in public art where landscape and environment are paramount. In general, his work is an engagement in public urban realities: planning, envisioning, and mapping.  He has exhibited and lectured internationally and his work is included in collections at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the City of Amsterdam and the Hara Museum, Tokyo. Visit the artist’s website.

The commission installation is set to take place by May 15, 2015 and the RMG will be posting updates about the commission as it develops. Please visit for more information.

Vintage Oshawa Photo Blog

“Hot Topics” blog posts come from the desk of Sam Mogelonsky, our Communications & Social Media Coordinator.

Have you visited Every Thursday for #ThrowBackThursday we will be posting a photograph from the Thomas Bouckley Collection on the blog, as well as on our facebook page. These are amazing images that show the exciting history of our community.

The Collection was donated to the RMG by the late Thomas Bouckley, amateur historian and collector of Oshawa’s history. The entire computerized collection comprises over 2,300 historical photographs of Oshawa and about 100 works are featured in three exhibitions per year. Click here to Browse the online database.

The Vintage Oshawa blog is a place to share Bouckley historical images, as well as a place for residents of Oshawa to share their vintage photographs of Oshawa’s past, helping to create a visual history of the city. Please submit your images and caption information to help us grow this online collection. Questions? Submit your photo!


Image: R.S. Williams Piano Workers, 1910


The RMG Remembers

Today the RMG remembers Canada’s fallen. With 2014 marking the 100th anniversary of World War One, we have the following special programming at the gallery:

Oshawa and the First World War: Selections from the Thomas Bouckley Collection
Until 18 January 2015

When Canada entered the Great War on August 4, 1914, the lives of Canadians across the country were changed forever. For the men who fought on the frontlines and the families that supported them from the home front, WWI was unlike anything Canadians had experienced. Canada’s contribution to the war led to growing autonomy and independence for the nation, but it came at a great price and many Oshawa men lost their lives.

The building of the new Oshawa Armouries was completed in 1914, and by September 1916, men from across Durham Region joined Ontario County’s 116th Battalion. They went on to fight in some of the great battles of the war including Vimy Ridge, Valenciennes and Passchendaele. On the homefront, local businesses worked hard to contribute to the war effort by manufacturing goods to support their family members, friends and neighbours fighting overseas. The Thomas Bouckley Collection’s large number of photographs taken in Oshawa during World War One act as a reminder of the great sacrifice that was made by the Oshawa community.

This exhibition is a part of the WWI Commemorative Project: Oshawa Faithful and Ready. The RMG, the Oshawa Community Museum & Archives, Trent University (Oshawa), Oshawa Public Libraries, Ontario Regiment Museum, Heritage Oshawa, City of Oshawa and Rogers TV have partnered to deliver an ambitious program throughout the year that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI. Curated by Megan White.

Exhibition: The Wildman Collection: Posters from the Great War
Until 1 February, 2015

With a population of approximately eight million people, Canada, during World War I, managed to raise an army of 600,000, a navy of 9,600, send over 20,000 men to serve in the British Royal Flying Corps and over 3,000 nurses with the medical corps. There were approximately 60,000 Canadian military casualties and close to 150,000 wounded from 1914-1918.

Propaganda posters played their own role during the Great War. A relatively inexpensive means of mass communication, posters were primarily used to promote enlistment in the forces, raise funds through Victory Bonds, encourage the population against waste, and increase industrial and agricultural production. The tone of early posters was almost festive, as the Allies assumed the war would be over quickly. The images were often naïve and word heavy, appealing to the pride of the young men they were targeting. However, as the war continued and the list of casualties grew, the tone of the posters began to change—the need for new recruits was urgent.

The Wildman collection of war posters was initially a secondary collection: around 1998 Christine and Craig Wildman, both history enthusiasts, decided to augment a collection of rare ephemera with related war posters. The poster collection now numbers over 100, and encompasses posters from both Allied and Central Power countries. We are grateful to the Wildmans for sharing their passion as part of RMG’s commemoration of the beginning of the Great War. Curated by Linda Jansma.

Collectors Talk: Craig Wildman
Thursday, 13 November at 7pm
Join to learn about the history of WWI posters and their use as a form of mass communication. Local collector Craig Wildman takes us through his and his wife Christine’s collection of posters featured in the exhibition The Wildman Collection: Posters from the Great War. This lecture is part of the 100th Commemoration of WWI: Oshawa Faithful and Ready programing happening throughout the year. Free admission, no registration required.

Lecture: Nursing Sisters of WW1 
Sunday, 30 November from 1-2pm
Nursing Sisters of WW1: a presentation by Sher Leetooze. This talk is being held in conjunction to The Wildman Collection: Posters from the Great War.


Image: Anonymous Bring him Home with the Victory Loan, 1918

RMG Fridays December: Swing into the Holidays

Welcome winter on Friday 5 November from 7-10pm with a knockout double performance by Dave Statham and the Swing Shift Little Big Band! Step back in time in our photobooth & check out the high-energy dance troupe, That Swing! We present our December event in partnership with the Rotary Club of Oshawa.

David Statham:

Bees’ Knees Dance:

On the first Friday of the month, join the RMG in celebrating local talent. The gallery buzzes with live musical performances, interactive art experiences, open gallery spaces, social mingling and more. Suitable for music lovers, youth, families, date nights, and culture-vultures.

Free to attend | 7-10pm | Cash Bar | All ages welcome.

Follow the twitter feed at #RMGFridays!

The RMG is grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their support of this programming.

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is a part of two OAAG Awards

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is a part of two OAAG Awards:

  • Ken Ogawa wins of an OAAG Design Award for The Collaborationists: Jennifer Marman & Daniel Borins
  • John Kissick wins an OAAG Curatorial Writing Award for “Racing to the un-finish line: The DrawingsRon Shuebrook” in Ron Shuebrook: Drawings


The 2014 Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) Awards were presented on 5 November, 2014 at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. The Awards are annual, province-wide, juried awards of artistic merit and excellence. They recognize the new exhibitions, publications, programs and community partnerships commissioned and produced by Ontario’s public art galleries over the previous year.

At the ceremony, Ken Ogawa, who was nominated by The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and Art Gallery of Hamilton, received a Design Award for the catalogue accompanying the exhibition The Collaborationists: Jennifer Marman & Daniel Borins. The 104-page catalogue features essays, as well as full-color photography, and was printed by Sonic, with photography by Rafael Goldchain and John Jones. A digital copy of the catalogue can be viewed at

“The OAAG awards are particularly important as they represent the best in work from Ontario art galleries, as reviewed by our peers. We are very pleased that Ken Ogawa is the recipient of this prestigious award for The Collaborationists for this stunning catalogue.” – Linda Jansma, Senior Curator, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery

“We are delighted for Ken Ogawa and congratulate him on this esteemed award. The award also speaks to the dedication and creativity of the artists Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins, who brought Ken to the project, which we are so pleased to have been a part of.” – Melissa Bennett, Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Hamilton

The exhibition was organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Hamilton and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, in collaboration with the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Windsor, and was curated by Linda Jansma and Melissa Bennett. The touring exhibition was held/will be held at the following venues:

The Art Gallery of Hamilton (Hamilton, Ontario): 12 June – 29 September, 2013
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, Ontario): 16 November, 2013 – 26 January, 2014.
The Art Gallery of Southern Alberta (Lethbridge, Alberta): 15 February – 13 April, 2014
The Art Gallery of Windsor (Windsor, Ontario): 22 April – 5 June, 2016

As well, John Kissick, who was nominated by The Thames Art Gallery, with The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery and the Kelowna Art Gallery, received a Curatorial Writing Award of a Short Text (Under 2,000 words) for the essay “Racing to the un-finish line: The Drawings—Ron Shuebrook” in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition Ron Shuebrook: Drawings. The 46-page catalogue features essays by Melanie Authier, Robert Enright, John Kissick, David Urban, as well as full-color photography.

“We are thrilled for John Kissick on the receipt of this well deserved award. The OAAG awards recognize excellence in curatorial writing across Ontario galleries and we are grateful that our nomination of this dedicated curator and writer was acknowledged.” – Carl Lavoy, Director/Curator, Thames Art Gallery

Ron Shuebrook: Drawings is curated by John Kissick and organized by the Thames Art Gallery in collaboration with the Kelowna Art Gallery, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, MSVU Art Gallery and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery. The touring exhibition was held/will be held at the following venues:

Thames Art Gallery (Chatham, Ontario): August 16 – October 6, 2013
Macdonald Stewart Art Centre (Guelph, Ontario): January 23 – April 27, 2014
MSVU Art Gallery (Halifax, Nova Scotia): May 24 – August 10, 2014
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, Ontario): October 11, 2014 – January 25, 2015
Kelowna Art Gallery (Kelowna, British Columbia): March 7 – April 26, 2015