In Review – RMG Fridays: Young Minds

By Stephanie Pollard

“I want all my children to have the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.”

-Phyllis Diller

Wind and sputtering rain didn’t stop guests from enjoying May’s First Fridays at RMG, which celebrated Durham’s young people.

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From performances by the Durham Girls’ Choir and spoken word artist Jaylen Stark with the O’Neill C.V.I. dance group, to the Durham Youth Council helping guests brush up on their Canadian history, young people got the spotlight to remind everyone that of all the requirements needed to make a contribution, age isn’t one of them. Kyle Fitzgerald, Chairman for the Durham Youth Council, appreciated the gallery for highlighting the young people who get involved in their communities throughout Durham, and noted that progress comes from everyone working together.

 
“I think we ( baby boomers, Gen. X-ers, and millennials) can view each other a lot better, and I think events like this that bring all generations together are really what’s going to benefit our region most, because we can learn a lot from the older generation, and the older generations can learn a lot from us- it goes both ways,” he said. As if to prove Fitzgerald’s point, guests could take a look at what the kids were up to via Friday’s Film Feature ‘Hero,’ presented by Vincent Massey Public School.

 

RMGFridays_May2017_photosLucyVilleneuve (66)Upstairs, performers and artists were in their elements as guests were introduced to four new exhibits: Saudade de Bahia (May 06, 2017 – June 11, 2017), ab Next (April 29, 2017 – September 03, 2017), Visitor Information (April 29, 2017 – September 19, 2017), and Abstraction: The Rebel Cause (April 22, 2017 – August 27, 2017), along with music by Emily Rocha, VINCE, and Jack of Hearts (Isabel). Food-wise, Gabriella Budani of Nourished on the Go, Oshawa’s very own vegan (!) restaurant, made an appearance to show her support and relieve Durham vegans of the where-can-I-go-for-lunch stress (16 Simcoe St. South).

 
“Well, there were no vegan options in all of Durham when we opened, so I knew there was lots of vegans around and I had a feeling they would be hungry, so I opened Nourished on the Go,” she said. Menu items include salads, soups, pasta dishes, and dessert – specifically a breakthrough full vegan vanilla cake.

 
Check out next month’s First Fridays on June 2 from 7- 10 p.m., where all things PRIDE take centre stage!

Carin Makuz: UpholSTORIES

By: Christy Chase

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Carin Makuz Image couresy of AJ Groen

Carin Makuz is a Durham writer with an interest in the detritus we leave behind us. She started The Litter I See Project (litteriseeproject.com) which matches photos of litter she’s found with short written works by more than 100 Canadian authors, all in support of Frontier College’s literacy programs.

“I’m interested in how casually we drop things on the ground and discard things,” she said.

Her exhibit, which moves into the RMG Gallery A this spring, focuses on something you often see abandoned on the curb – couches.

She wonders who owned them, why they were abandoned and what stories these pieces of upholstered furniture could tell.

So she’s taken photographs of the many sofas she’s found and has asked friends and people she meets for their couch memories.

“I was stunned when everybody had one,” she said.

The exhibit, featuring 40 photos, is a memory project, a way to start conversations, she said. The couch memories she’s gathered will be posted, although no names will be used.

Since couches are great places for conversations, Makuz is hoping to start them with her exhibit.

“I’m going to create a seating area in the gallery to encourage people to stop, sit and have conversations,” she said.

They can also write down their own couch memories.

Makuz added the frames used for the photographs come from thrift shops and have, in a sense, been abandoned themselves.

 

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Christy Chase is a long-time resident of Oshawa, a writer, and former reporter and editor with local newspapers. She now enjoys exploring her artistic side at the RMG.

Recap – RMG Fridays: Adventure Handbook!

By: Stephanie Pollard

In ancient Rome, stones were marked with distances-usually a full, or part of a mile-and placed along the road, hence the word ‘milestones.’ Today, we know milestones as place markers that hold significance in a person’s or entity’s life, big or small. April’s RMG First Fridays celebrates two ongoing milestones: the 50th anniversary of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, and the fourth thesis art exhibition from students in Durham College’s Fine Arts program.

Executive Dean of the college’s Fine Arts program Greg Murphy highlighted the students’ learning and personal journeys, noting that support always makes a difference.

RMGFridays_April (12) “It’s a partnership really. At the end of the day, you (the students) come out with this work with guidance from the faculty, and the faculty (comes) out with a pride in seeing you go through all the pain, joy, and learning that you go through from when you arrived here (Durham) to where you are now and the kind of work you’re producing, congratulations-really, really great work. I’m so happy to see that you stayed through,” he said to a group of budding artists who smiled shyly at a clapping audience. Professor Sean McQuay, Durham College President Don Lovisa and Mayor John Henry were also present.

Meanwhile, art enthusiasts, music lovers, and local get-together supporters made their way through various rooms upstairs, to either listen to musician Rob Moir, watch performances by the Maxwell Heights Dance Company or sample creations from upcoming businesses.

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Norm Reynolds, co-owner of Brew Wizards Board Game Cafe, came to First Fridays to help RMG get a little closer to their next milestone, while encouraging samplers to visit their location (74 Celina St., Oshawa).

“We (work) with a lot of local businesses…we want to give back as much as we expect to receive,” he said. For three dollars, Brew Wizards visitors can access over 300 board games available, and re-fuel on homemade sandwiches, coffees, desserts, and draft beer.  As one of the few (only?) games cafés open to Monopoly masters in Oshawa, it made sense to open a business in Durham.

“We’re all from this part of the world. I grew up in Oshawa, two of the other guys grew up in Oshawa (and) one in Whitby, and we wanted something closer to home-so why not?” Norm said.

The next RMG First Fridays is happening on May 5 from 7 – 10 p.m. See you there!