Curator’s Choice: Holly King

In 2012, the RMG was gifted Solitude by Holly King. I placed the work in the permanent collection exhibition Objects May Be Closer Than They Appear, the following year. Now, we have an opportunity to celebrate King’s work in a larger way with the mid-career retrospective Edging Towards the Mysterious.

Solitude is earlier than any of the work in the new exhibition. King practices mise en scène photography. Her process begins by staging her landscape settings in her studio using various props and materials. She then photographs the theatrical fabrications—the end result is the creation of “imaginary landscapes that hover between reality and fiction.”  In Solitude, a horizon line helps to differentiate the dominating sky and the water. Two small islands, made of found foliage, are surrounded by the immense, never ending blue sky and water, giving, as the title suggests, a sense of remoteness. The island’s remoteness prompts thoughts of untouched/unexplored nature—a welcomed retreat. However, the materiality of the staged setting in this photograph—the painterly quality of the sky and the foliage used to suggest land—reminds the viewer of the artificiality of the waterscape. King’s sharp focus photography does not allow the viewer to mistake the landscape as real, but encourages instilling their own personal experiences through their memories and imagination with both the objects used and the constructed environment. The tension between illusion and reality in King’s work becomes a journey for the viewer to explore.-

– Linda Jansma, Senior Curator

A look through the lens…

This winter, the RMG shifts its focus to exploring how artists view the world through images. Photography is used to document history, to capture a memory, to tell a story or to create an imaginary landscape. We invite you to consider capturing these moments and the role of the artist behind the lens when you visit.

The Other NFB: The National Film Board of Canada’s Still Photography Division, 1941-1971 is an exhibition exploring our national identity and history by showing how Canada was presented to the world. Through this collection of images, we see a slice of Canadian life at this important time in history. This exhibition serves as a reminder of how photography informs our national identity. How do you relate to these images? How does the photograph relate to your personal narrative or family story?

In Their Stories: Unidentified Portraits from the Thomas Bouckley Collection we are taking a different approach to historical photography. In this exhibition, we put out a call for writers to create narratives for a selection of unidentified portraits from our collection of historical Oshawa photographs. The stories we received were varied, creative and shine a new and exciting look into the possible lives of these people. We encourage you to think about these unidentified subjects and the lives they may have lived.

We take another look at the photographic image in Holly King: Edging Towards the Mysterious. In this mid-career retrospective, the artist presents a series of idealistic and beautiful landscapes. At first glance, you hope these are real— possible utopian escapes. But at second glance you feel a sense of loneliness and anxiety from something unsettling in the landscape. This feeling is caused by King’s use of staged photography. By manufacturing her landscapes, we are forced to question the image we are presented with— is it real, is it fake, or are we lost in our imaginations?

In April, we will celebrate the CONTACT Photography Festival with an exhibition by RMG Exposed winner Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock entitled Familiarity in the Foreign. The images represent the quiet moments that she found among the chaos of travel, as well as memories of places visited.

In conjunction with our photography exhibitions, we are excited to offer accompanying programming. Please join us for a symposium, featuring The Other NFB, that will examine Canada and Canadian identity through visual image. A tour of the exhibition will be given by curator Carol Payne, followed by an interactive discussion with 5 panelists. This will be an invigorating day so register early to guarantee your spot!

RMG Holiday Hours

We hope you will visit the RMG this holiday season. Please note our holiday hours:
Closed: December 24, 25, 26, 2015 (Access via John Street)
12pm – 7pm: December 27 (Access via John Street)
12pm – 4pm: December 28, 29, 30, 2015
Closed: December 31, 2015
Closed: January 1, 2016
12pm – 4pm: January 2, 3, 2016

Happy holidays from the RMG!

The RMG Celebrates Hometown Hockey

This holiday season, visit the RMG as we celebrate Rogers Hometown Hockey in Oshawa with a special display in our lobby! We have gathered together artworks and historical photographs from our collection, as well as incorporated a display of hockey-inspired artwork by Peterborough artist Jeffrey Macklin. Learn more about the display below and visit us with your family (and hockey fans)!

Photos from the Thomas Bouckley Collection:

vintage photo

Dupont Hockey Team, c. 1919

Dupont Hockey Team, 1919
Eleven team members pose for their photograph on the open-air ice rink at the General Motors plant at Division Street and Elgin Street. This hockey team was the American Championship Team, 1919-20.

photo of hockey team

Cedar Dale Hockey Team, c. 1925

Cedar Dale Hockey Team, c. 1925
The official team picture is photographed by G. Potter, a professional photographer. All team members are identified.
Back row, left to right: Wes. Kirkpatrick, Howard Gunn, Matthew Redmond, Bill Jackson, Lou King, Charles Barriage.
Second row, left to right: Bill Lloyd, Willfred Whalen, Tom Riordan, Fred King, Norman Mallett.
Seated in front is Hugh King, probably the mascot, and a cocker spaniel dog.

photo of hockey

Bishop Bethune College outdoor hockey rink, c. 1925

Bishop Bethune College outdoor hockey rink, c. 1925
A girls’ hockey team plays at the back of Bishop Bethune College. The private school for girls was sponsored by the Church of England, and operated from 1889 until 1932 at 240 Simcoe Street South.

Sculpture from our Collection

hockey player

Donna Gordon (Canadian, b. 1942), The Save, 1992, painted papier-maché with wood, stainless steel

The Save
Donna Gordon (Canadian, b. 1942)
painted papier-maché with wood, stainless steel
1992

“Donna has embraced the often misunderstood and little known art of papier maché. She feels the medium has, as yet, untapped potential for creative expression and innovation. She believes that…paper maché is a building process that artistically evolves, growing almost organically to take on a shape which is meaningful to both the artist and her audience.” – The Russell Gallery of Fine Art

Contemporary Hockey Puck Artwork by Jeffrey Macklin

artwork display

Jeffrey Macklin is a Peterborough based artist, working primarily with relief printing (letterpress) and mixed media. He often employs words as visual triggers, as well as Canadiana and present-day/historical pop-culture icons and figures in both his print work and his mixed media pieces.

Macklin prints relief from the raised surfaces of hand-set wood and lead type. When he requires an image for a broadside or chapbook project, he carves from lino-block, plywood or end-grain hardwood. He also uses old neglected wood boards and rough cut plywood for backgrounds or texture, and in 2014 he begun using found hockey pucks.

Hockey pucks are resilient, pliable, and easy to carve. Printing from the surface of unusual materials has always been a primary driver in Macklin’s letterpress shop.

Important changes to parking for the RMG: December 22 to 28 for Rogers Hometown Hockey

Rogers Hometown Hockey is coming to Oshawa City Hall over the holidays. The free hockey festival will wrap around City Hall, the McLaughlin Branch of the Oshawa Public Libraries and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG).

The Rogers Hometown Hockey crew will roll into Oshawa on Tuesday, December 22 to set up for the event. As a result, parking restrictions and road closures will be in effect.

map

Beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 22 until 1:00 a.m. on Monday, December 28:

  • Road closure: Bagot Street, from Centre Street to Queen Street will be closed.
  • Parking access: To access public or employee parking, use John Street (enter via the Durham Continuing Education – E.A. Lovell school). There will be no through-traffic from Bagot or Queen Streets.
  • On-street parking spaces: on Bagot Street, from Centre Street to Queen Street (in front of the OPL, the RMG and City Hall entrance) will not be available.
  • Public and employee parking: will be available in Lot 50 behind The RMG (enter from John Street).
  • Overflow Parking: will be available at the Durham Continuing Education – E.A. Lovell school (enter from John Street).

Thank you for your patience regarding these parking interruptions.
For more information on the Rogers Hometown Hockey festivities (December 26 & 27), visit www.oshawa.ca/RHH.

RMG Shop Volunteer Field Trip

Here at the RMG we have a beautiful boutique showcasing local artisans. A team of dedicated volunteers make sales and provide customer service, while Carla Sinclair, our Manager of Community and Volunteer Development buys new merchandise and contracts consignment work. Our vision moving into 2016 is to support even more Canadian handcrafted items while providing meaningful opportunities for our amazing volunteers.

These goals influenced Sinclair to initiate a field trip with her volunteers. A group of 8 ventured to Peterborough on the weekend for a day of art show hopping and lunch, guided by the RMG’s Leslie Menaugh. Leslie manages our Public Programs and ArtReach. She is connected with a large community of Artists in the Peterborough area and offered to helm the art tour, introducing our eager crew to some wonderfully talented folks!

“It’s so important that the volunteers know each other and bond. When Carla asked for location suggestions for the trip, two really exciting art shows came to mind. The Focus fair, downtown Peterborough and Eddy Creek. This is my personal stance but my sense is that the RMG wants to adopt an economic model that starts with community building. We do this with our volunteers in designing these kinds of programs. Bringing people together. Looking for work produced in Ontario has become very important in bringing awareness to how fruitful this area is in terms of creativity. “ – Leslie Menaugh, Manager of Public Programs, The RMG

Eddy Creek
Feedback from the volunteers was phenomenal.

“What a great outing to Peterborough we had! Not only did we get to give some input on shop merchandise we also got to meet the artisans. On top of that, as a new comer, I got to meet other shop volunteers and have lunch with them in a great little bistro. It’s really nice how courteous and respectful everyone is.” – Timothy Cadan, RMG Shop Volunteer

“I didn’t realize there were so many “local artists” that do such beautiful and innovative art right on our own doorstep. I especially enjoyed meeting and speaking with each artist. If they agree to consign their work in the RMG gift shop, we can honestly speak about the artist and promote their work. I do hope we can do this again. Speaking for myself, I feel more included and a part of the RMG team.” Pat Bayus, RMG Shop Volunteer

This is the kind of magic that happens when you have a dedicated group working towards a common goal. Visit the RMG shop to chat with a volunteer, view stunning Canadian made art and participate in the cultural community at the heart of Oshawa.

Happy Holidays from the RMG!

Wishing you and your family all the best for the holiday season! See you in 2016!

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Illianna Wotton

Illianna Wotton is a grade 11 student at O’Neill Collegiate in Oshawa.  She has been volunteering with the RMG for many years and is currently completing a co-op placement with our Manager of Community and Volunteer Development. Illianna’s trademark has become the creation of the beautiful and informative signage on display for our monthly community event, RMG Fridays. We sat down with her to learn more about her time at the RMG.

The RMG: How did you get involved with volunteering at the RMG?

Illianna: When our family first moved to Oshawa, we realized there was an art gallery really close by; and when we attended our first RMG Fridays, my parents wanted to volunteer and help with this amazing space. As I grew older, I began to fall into the same sort of path, and started to volunteer as well.

sign for event

The RMG: Why were you interested in volunteering in an art gallery?

Illianna: I’m generally an artsy person, and I like the vibe that galleries give off. Since they needed volunteers, I thought “hey, why not volunteer somewhere fun”. And when I discovered it was possible to have a co-op placement here, I jumped on the opportunity.

a volunteer working

The RMG: What have you been doing during your placement at the gallery?

Illianna: It’s been a whole lot, honestly- Everything from data entry, to working in the gift shop, to organizing the libraries, to helping kickstart a new program for the Youth of Oshawa here in the gallery. I know that whenever I come to work in the morning, I don’t know for sure what I’ll be doing because it’s such an eclectically organized job.

The RMG: What is one thing you want to share about the RMG?

Illianna: The fact that everything looks a lot easier than it is. The way that this staff pulls every event off so flawlessly is astounding, but behind the scenes, there are a million tiny little tasks that need to be done. And it’s done once a month for RMG Fridays, once a year for RMG Exposed – every event you see here took careful planning and immaculate execution to get it the way it is and it’s just really satisfying being a part of that and seeing it become something fantastic.

a volunteer working

The RMG: What is your favourite museum?

Illianna: I think my favourite museum is the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal; I went to Montreal for a family trip on my sister’s birthday, and they had a beautiful installation outside of these spinning prisms with gels and lights and bells inside that made music when you spun them around. That got me hooked, and the museum itself was so cool. I’m a fan of more contemporary art so that was a fantastic place to be.

The RMG: What is your first memory of art?

Illianna: As a kid, when I lived in Toronto with a small television set, I remember watching a TV show called Art Attack and trying to drag yarn across my living room floor to make a picture like the guy on TV did. It didn’t turn out very well, but I remember having fun while I did it.

a volunteer working

The RMG Gift Guide 2015

Vol ‘n’ Tell is an ongoing series of blog posts written by RMG Volunteers. Meghyn Cox is new to Oshawa, a yoga teacher, and graphic designer.

Whether you’re looking to spend $1 or $100, we’ve rounded up some of the most stunning and heartfelt gift options around—each and every item (whether it’s handmade, locally crafted, just plain adorable, or decadent) are gifts we’d love to give and receive.

For the Entertainer

bowls
We all have someone on our holiday list who seems to have everything. Well, there is an easy pleaser for all of these well­stocked, entertaining folks: a big beautiful bowl. From holding keys, fruit, or serving a delicious pasta, a hand turned wooden bowl will always be useful! This no­fail gift is a great idea for the Entertainer on your list, what better gift to give than a locally turned, gorgeously handcrafted wooden serving bowl? Bowls start at $50 each.

cocktail kit

A great stocking stuffer for the Entertainer on your holiday list a hand crafted wooden cocktail muddler for their holiday drink making! Perfect for crushing mint for your mojitos or fruit for specialty cocktails, this muddler is hand carved from a variety of wood by Darren Neil. Made in Oshawa, ON. Items start at $20 each.

For the Spa Savvy

soap
Why not give the gift of a spa day? Perfect for the guy or gal that loves a good tub or shower, AIDE bodycare products are perfect for pampering. Products vary from handmade soaps, scrubs, lip balms and face serums that are scrumptious, decadent, and oh­so­lovely. Soaps are created using the traditional cold­process technique and feature popular scents as Vintage Rose, Lavender, Organic Oatmeal, and Sweet Orange. AIDE Bodycare is a cold process soap + apothecary company rooted in natural ingredients & uplifting body care products. Each item is made by hand in small batches from their studio in Oshawa, Canada. Featuring natural deodorant, lip balm, bar of soap, and loofah­ body care kits start at $30 each.

For the Little Ones

baby clothes
These gorgeous 100% alpaca knit children’s clothes are something we all wish we could fit into! Tenderfield’s creator, Bree Zorel, of Toronto, ON created a collaborative line of knitwear for sale that supports the creators in Melipilla, a province of Chile. Each handwoven piece starts at $34 each.

wooden train

Know a train lover? This hand crafted train is both toy AND a piece of art! All pieces hand carved from a variety of wood by Ron Stuart. Made in the Oshawa, ON. Hand carved train is only $70.

For the Collector

Everyone knows someone who loves OWLS! Maybe it’s their cute big eyes or soft pillowy appearance. For the owl lover out there, why not gift one our precious copper colored Owl votive holder? Or a sweet holiday owl ornament to brighten their tree, desk, or car!? Check out these cuties for the owl lover in your life. Owl accessories start at $5 each.

For the Down to Earth

necklace on a purple sweater
Tap into the cosmos with pieces made with gemstones, jewels, and rocks from our Earth’s center. We’re thrilled to showcase jewelry and accessories from Hen Jewelry, handcrafted in London, Ontario. Genevieve Smolders, the creative drive behind Hen + Bear Jewelry, draws inspiration comes from both Aboriginal and Bohemian cultures, nature, and raw materials. Materials used include: gold, white gold & silver plate, brass & vintage brass charms, semi­-precious stones, and a touch of love. Products start at $25 each.

Under $20 Holiday Guide
For those of us with several people to shop for, check out our U​nder $20 Holiday Guide f​eaturing our newest additions to the RMG Gift shop all under $20.

tote bag    holiday cards

  • RMG banner tote bags!­ In partnership with Amie Scott from Oshawa’s The Labor District, we have re-purposed the fabric from our banners to create one of a kind tote bags! $18
  • Cleverly written comedic book with illustrations paying homage to artists. $15
  • Soy blend jar candles scented with essential oils $20
  • Jeffrey Macklin art print holiday cards $5
  • Hedore Gionet hooked ornaments $10

candles   santa ornaments

Interview with Gallery A artist Mike Drolet

Mike Drolet has is our Gallery A ArtLab artist is residence from November 3, 2015 to January 3, 2015. Prior to his artist talk on December 6, we sat down with Mike to learn more about his work and what he has been up to during his residency.

The RMG: Hi Mike, Please tell us about yourself?

Mike Drolet: Hello RMG blog readers! I am originally from Whitby, Ontario and studied Fine Art at the University of Ottawa. In 2014 I completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a minor in psychology and a specialization in sculpture.

RMG: What materials do you work with?

MD: Although I don’t want to limit myself to a specific set of materials, generally I use materials that are traditionally sought after for construction, for example, wood, metal and concrete. I am always looking into expanding and incorporating new materials for new pieces to enable different compositions.

Art Lab

Mike Drolet, 2015

RMG: Why were you interested in Gallery A’s Art Lab residency? What have you made while working as an artist in residence?

MD: What first got me interested in the residency was the studio space that was available to work in to work in. The lab is quite large which for my work is essential. Additionally, the Gallery A space is a massive benefit for any artist to have. As many artists may know, documentation is almost, if not as important as creating/ having artwork. Having access to Gallery A allows for the opportunity to take great photos of the new pieces created during the Art Lab and even older pieces in case you don’t have any. The Gallery A space in conjunction with the Art Lab also provides a solid foundation for an artist to show their work to the public, which as an emerging artist is invaluable.

Besides the benefits the residency provides towards my artistic practice in terms of resume and documentation building, my stay at the gallery has also posed a unique set of problems, none of which I consider to be negative in any sense. Due to the nature of my practice, I produce a lot of aromatic “pollution” (dust, vapors, sparks etc) where generally the best place to run through these processes is outside. As my time slot for the residency was during the winter months it made nearly impossible to cast concrete or wield. These obstacles have forced me to change my approach towards creating works and from what I believe resulted in a unique set of sculptures I would have not done otherwise. So I encourage artists of all disciplines to apply, accept the rules and guidelines of the gallery, and push your creative practice further in new ways.

In terms of what I’ve made during the residency, I have completed a total of seven sculptures, possibly eight as one sculpture may become a part of a larger installation of multiples. I have also had much more time to work on maquettes for future projects and past ideas. I plan on completing two more works before my end date in the space at least, that’s my goal.

art project

Mike Drolet, 2015

RMG: Can you please tell us a bit about your exhibition on view in Gallery A?

MD: The exhibition Equipoise on view now in Gallery A is essentially a synopsis of my sculptural work that focuses on Precarious Balance. I use a minimalistic approach to comment and compose structures within the genre of abstract-expressionism. Every piece installed in the show uses its own weight to maintain the planned composition. The piece entitled Moon was actually the first piece that I had done in the theme of balance. All the other pieces in the exhibition were made just before I began my residency or during.

RMG: What inspires you? Is there a particular artist’s work that has influenced your practice?

MD: I can’t say that there is any one thing or person that has inspired me in terms of my artistic practice. My practice is more often the result of past experiences, research into various aspects of sculptural elements such as materiality and composition. Considering all these things applying them to two-dimensional drawings and realizing them in the third-dimension is where my ideas usually synthesize.

That being said, Chris Burden and his show “Extreme Measures” was definitely something that had some influence towards how I thought about composition and sculpture I would say. I still really enjoy his bridge works and his piece “Beam Drop, 2008.”

artwork

Mike Drolet, 2015