Community News

How Do People Find Them?: Stephanie Pollard on the Value of RMG Fridays

November 28th, 2016

They’re artists in Oshawa…as in ‘GM town’ Oshawa?
But they’re based in Toronto right?
So where do they get support for their work?
How do people find them?
(Do they even have an Instagram account?)
Who comes out to see their work, do they know where to find them?

RMG Fridays is where artists and art lovers get together to experience and share the local creativity buzzing at home.
On the first Friday of each month at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) in Oshawa, a quiet 72 Queen St. comes to life by welcoming a stream of admirers that moves easily to and from the displays of local artists and businesses.

“We’re showing visitors what Oshawa has to offer, in Oshawa,” said RMG’s volunteer manager Carla Sinclair. “People can ask the artists questions, talk to business owners, and get a great night out with family and friends-minus the expensive drinks and parking.”

Jay Dart was October’s First Friday artist with his ongoing creation of the land Yawnder, a place where inspiration lives and takes shape.
“Yawnder is my mental landscape. When people are going into that creative space, they go somewhere-their ideas come from the back of their mind that they can’t quite describe. It’s a little abstract and for me, that is Yawnder,” he said. The exhibit gives visitors a chance to take a walk in Dart’s Yawnder through the story’s main character Jiggs, as well as discover their own Yawnders by creating idea geists and including them in the exhibit.

Not far from Yawnder in the gallery’s lower level, local filmmakers showcase their work as part of RMG Fridays’ Friday Film Feature. Councilwoman-turned community activist Amy McQuaid-England took viewers to the South Patch community garden, one of the too-few practical steps taken to address the lack of access to fresh, locally grown food for residents living in Oshawa’s high needs areas. The decision to switch from politics to filmmaking seems to align with McQuaid-England’s focus on bringing sustainable and lasting change to her community, as the short film became the bronze winner at the 2016 International Film Awards.
Business-wise, Isabella’s Chocolate Cafe and the Auto Workers Community Credit Union (AWCCU) had displays where audiences could make their financial goals known, or sample an array of Yawnder themed baked treats respectively.

Creative manager of the AWCCU Meghyn Cox emphasized that each time local supporters – whether in the arts or otherwise-get together, the larger community reaches new levels.

“It’s about bringing people together and making things happen in Oshawa, Durham-it just gets bigger from there. The more we’re involved with community, everything gets better,” she said.

Be sure to check out the next RMG Friday on December 2, from 7-10 p.m.

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