Volunteer and Membership Event

 

Jessica Moffitt, RMG Communications Intern, spent her winter semester at Durham College working alongside Sam Mogelonsky, Manager of Marketing and Communications. Over the duration of her placement, Jessica learned about social media management, writing and marketing, but really found her niche in event management. Assisting our Manager of Community and Volunteer Development, Carla Sinclair, Jessica helped plan and orchestrate The RMG’s annual volunteer appreciation event. On April 17, the RMG celebrated our volunteers and members and Jess was there helping out and capturing the event during her Volunteer Week Instagram takeover.

elsy and member

Volunteers. They are the backbone of almost any non-profit organization and add so much heart and soul wherever they donate their time and talents. The volunteers at the RMG are a prime example of the dedication it takes to make an organization and community thrive, which is why we take the time every year to thank them with the RMG Volunteer Appreciation Lunch and Membership event.

volunteer

This year’s event featured a delicious spread of spring themed salads and sandwiches from Pilar’s catering in Oshawa, along with thank you gifts from the RMG and an recognition scroll from Oshawa’s MP Colin Carrie. Volunteers of all ages and interests mingled as they enjoyed their lunch at Arthur’s on the 4th which was gleaming with the warm spring sunshine.

guitarist

After lunch and speeches from Carla Sinclair, Manager of Community and Volunteer Development and Donna Raetsen-Kemp, CEO, guests headed down to the Isabel McLaughlin Gallery for the Membership Event featuring a presentation from Charlotte Hale, Toronto gallery owner and fine art photography collector. Introduced by Oshawa Mayor John Henry, Hale guided the audience through the art of purchasing and collecting fine art photography from a beginner’s perspective. The talk concluded with a spread of desserts, coffee, tea and a live acoustic guitar performance by Elijah Mabana.

presentation

The RMG is humbled by the energy and commitment our volunteers extend to the gallery each and everyday. We look forward to celebrating their involvement in the cultural community for years to come.

lobby with people

Victoria’s Co-op at the RMG

My name is Victoria Orjalo, and I am a Grade 12 student at Monsignor Paul Dwyer. I picked the RMG to do my Co-op placement because I am interested in studying and teaching art and am an aspiring artist. The RMG is the perfect fit and I am very fortunate to be a Gallery Studio Co-op student. Here five days a week, I have absorbed the extraordinary effort put into the Gallery Studio and school programs. I enjoy the incredible dedication of staff bringing joy to clay, watercolour and acrylic classes, as well as the fun school programs that includes a studio activity and a gallery tour. While working here I’ve helped children create art, worked on databases, done event setup and gained a deeper understanding of principals and fundamentals of art.

One of my favourite jobs is designing and constructing the event board for OPG Second Sundays and other family events. Each board has a different theme and I get the responsibility of designing them. My favourite board that I have done would have to be the Valentine’s Day Event board, which I designed based on the old styled handmade Valentine’s Day cards. The most satisfying part is the creative freedom and the enthusiastic reaction from people seeing it.

I have learned important life skills such as multitasking under pressure, working with children of all ages and being an engaging speaker. The studio is a great space for comical and creative thinkers. Having the opportunity to be behind the scenes of an art gallery has made me even more excited to start a career in art.

My experience at the RMG has been fantastic. The staff is passionate and are amazing to be around. Anyone thinking of doing a Co-op program should definitely check it out.

Victoria Orjalo

Victoria Orjalo

 

Experiencing the RMG through Inartistic Eyes

Samantha Pender is a Durham College public relations student completing her winter placement at the RMG as a communications intern.

 

Before I came to the RMG as a communications intern, I admittedly knew very little in the way of art. Being artistically challenged myself, I had never thought to explore art before coming here. But taking one look around the gallery immediately changed my thinking about art and how to appreciate it, despite lacking my own artistic skills.

Being a communications intern, I don’t get to spend much of my time looking through the galleries of the RMG. When I have been able to sneak away, however, I am always taken aback by the art surrounding me. While looking at the manipulated art and beautifully shot landscapes from Holly King, the wondrous abstract of Painters 11, and the many other different kinds of art throughout the RMG, I realized that you don’t really need to know that much about art to appreciate it.

Yes, understanding the style, medium or perspective of the artist can be helpful, but when it comes down to it, art is art. It’s a beautiful and absurd peak into the creative mind of a talented soul, and that is something I won’t be overlooking again.

Interning at the RMG has opened my mind to many things, not just the beauty of art. Researching content for Museum Week, was able to catch a glimpse into the history of Oshawa and see the familiar streets of today as an almost completely different town in black and white. I learned about architecture and came to appreciate different aspects of a building, something I knew nothing about. My supervisor, Sam, broadened my horizons by instilling the importance of learning things outside my comfort zone, something not to be taken for granted.

Working for a non-profit organization so deeply rooted in the community has been a great experience for me, as giving back to the community is something I care very much about. Seeing how the RMG dedicates so much time to the community through RMG Fridays – I worked on the RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary – as well as weekend family activities like OPG Second Sundays has only grown my love and appreciation for the gallery over the past three months.

Samantha Pender, 'Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl' from the Other NFB

Samantha Pender, RMG Communications Intern, with ‘Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl’ from the Other NFB

Interview with Volunteer Meg Cox

For National Volunteer Week Canada, we sat down with RMG volunteer Meg Cox to learn more about what she loves most about the RMG.

The RMG: Why did you choose to volunteer at the RMG? 

Meg Cox: I had just moved to Oshawa and knew that galleries draw interesting, creative people- I was looking to get involved in an active community, and with volunteering at the RMG- I found one!

RMG: What’s your favourite part of the gallery?

MC: It’s a tie between the Isabel McLaughlin Gallery, housing the permanent collection, and the RMG shop. The gallery space is stunning, serene and peaceful- it encourages viewers to linger. The RMG Shop is an incredible resource for locally sourced and crafted gifts. It is the perfect place to shop for birthdays and holiday – always something unique to find!

RMG: What work of art is your favourite/has had an impact on your and why?

MC: I’m crushing on Holly King’s installation: Edging Towards the Mysterious. Her work it exciting and makes you want to slow down, unravel the pieces and puzzle them together.

RMG: What do you enjoy most about leading yoga at the RMG?

MC: The community we’ve created- the ability to connect art and yoga in a beautiful space- encouraging wellness in downtown Oshawa, the list goes on! We practice in the Isabel McLaughlin Gallery, where the theme of the permanent collection’s theme is movement – there is no better place to unwind after a day than in shavasana, surrounded by art.

yoga instructor

Jessica Moffitt’s Internship at the RMG

Jessica Moffitt it a Public Relations student at Durham College and is doing her placement in the Communications department at the RMG.

When I walked through the doors of The RMG prepared to interview for a once a week internship, I didn’t feel the usual pre-interview stress that you would expect. Instead I felt excited and confident. The building was bright and full of natural lighting that made everything in the lobby shine. I knew I wouldn’t be able to find a better internship opportunity than this.

I am a second year public relations student at Durham College. As part of my program, I was required to find and secure a non-profit communications placement in the community to experience life in the industry. As soon as I saw the list of available placements I knew right away that the RMG was going to be the perfect fit for me.

For as long as I can remember I have always loved the arts. Whether it was printmaking, painting, drawing or playing around in Photoshop, art has always been part of my life. I visited the gallery quite often in high school (I was part of the O’Neill Visual Arts Program) and through many trips I became familiar with The RMG.

My experience here has been fantastic and I have learned so many things that I know will be an asset to my future endeavors. It is great to come to placement every Monday and be surrounded by so many creative and inspiring individuals who are all working toward a common goal. Taking part in different creative projects such as contributing to the RMG Blog, working with staff members to plan the Volunteer Luncheon and Membership Event, as well as working on the galleries various social media accounts has been a great way to take my education to the next level and gain experience.

I am very grateful for my time spent at the RMG and I would highly recommend applying to anyone that is in need of a position for their education. I guarantee you will go home at the end of the day feeling confident and proud that you were able to contribute to a vital part of the community and be a part of such an amazing organization.

 

Armand Ali’s Co-Op at the RMG

Armand Ali is a Grade 12 Co-Op student from Ajax High School who has been working with our curatorial team this winter. We were looking for a new work from our collection to hang in our elevator lobby space, and asked Armand to select one from the vault. He chose Arnaud Maggs’ Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, 2005, due to his interest in colour theory and patterns.

Born in Montreal, Maggs trained as a graphic designer and worked as a commercial photographer in the 1960s. At the age of 47, he became a visual artist concentrating on photography and conceptualism. Maggs’ work often references historical documents and his interest in systems of classification.

This work is 2 of 13 plates referencing an 1821 book, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, used by Charles Darwin to observe, identify and catalogue nature in South America. The charts, organized according to colour terms, reflect a colonial view of the world.

volunteer

Armand Ali during his Co-Op placement

 

My name is Armand Ali, and I am a grade 12 student attending Ajax High School. I chose to do my Co-Op placement at the RMG because I wanted to work somewhere that was relevant to my interests. I am a young artist seeking to learn more about art, and the art world in general. Working at the gallery has given me insight to the day to day operations of an art gallery. Some of the things that I have had an opportunity to work on are: assisting with exhibition design and installation, database work, event setup, social media organization, along with assisting with merchandise management in the gift shop.

I have learnt many useful skills at the gallery, for example how a collections management database works, how to navigate through the vault, as well as how to install artwork. I’ve had the opportunity to do research on various artists, which gave me the chance to learn about contemporary and historical Canadian artists.

Most recently, the curatorial staff asked me to choose an artwork to put on display outside of the elevators. I chose two works by Arnaud Maggs. This was a thrilling experience for me because they gave me freedom to choose whatever I wanted, and I was in charge of not only the selection but preparing the space, and installing it myself. While doing research on Arnaud Maggs, I learnt some pretty interesting information about his work and his life.

It has been I wonderful experience working at the RMG. I have learnt a lot and the people here are very kind and enjoyable to work with.

Museum Week Fun

Samantha Pender and Jessica Moffitt are second year Public Relations students at Durham College and the RMG’s communications interns for the winter.

 

It’s that time of year again! Museums and art galleries around the world will be coming together on the Internet to celebrate one of the most exciting calendar weeks. That’s right, it’s time for #MuseumWeek!

exterior of gallery

Photo by Michael Cullen

Museum week is a social media gathering of museums and galleries across the world to share cool things with their audience. There are seven days with seven hashtags, each a different theme that dictates the tweet/fact about the museum. Here is this year’s lineup:
Monday – #SecretsMW

Tuesday – #PeopleMW

Wednesday – #ArchitectureMW

Thursday – #HeritageMW

Friday – #FutureMW

Saturday – #ZoomMW

Sunday – #LoveMW
Our communications interns, Jessica and Sam have been preparing for this exciting week, learning all the in’s and out’s of the RMG to share with you on Twitter. With about three to five tweets a day, fans of the RMG can expect to learn plenty of new and exciting things about their favourite Oshawa art gallery!

Monday through Wednesday was researched and planned by Sam, who had a great time digging into rich, Oshawa history and learning about architecture. The gallery is deeply rooted in the McLaughlin family history, so you can expect to learn a bit about one of Oshawa’s most famous families and their affiliation with the RMG on Tuesday’s #people.

Queens Hotel, Oshawa

Queens Hotel, Oshawa

The building itself is also touched by fame, designed and built by a famous Canadian architect – don’t worry, you’ll find out who during Museum Week on Wednesday’s #architecture! Sam was able to really learn about the bare bones of the building, exploring not only the physical architecture, but also the culture of the building and architect as well.

Sam also searched up some little known facts about the RMG that we will be sharing to kick off the week on the first day of #secrets!

Unidentified Portrait

Unidentified Portrait from the Thomas Bouckley Collection. Collection of The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

Jess, who planned out Thursday through Sunday, had fun diving into her hometown #heritage and learning all about Oshawa! Seeing old black and white photos from The Thomas Bouckley Collection was a highlight for her, getting a glimpse of what the city looked like long before we were here.

After going back in history, Jess looked forward to the #future of the RMG – we don’t want to ruin anything, but it the future looks bright. She also digs deep into a few key pieces in the gallery for #zoom, sharing interesting stories while she takes a closer look. Sunday is all about #love, and Jess had plenty of that to share. What’s not to love about the RMG?

RMG Friday

Museum Hack. Photo by Mat Calverley.

Jess and Sam can’t wait to share everything they learned about the RMG with you during #MuseumWeek! Make sure you check out our Twitter feed @theRMG so you can learn it all too!

Interview with Kevin Alexander Hache, Co-Op Student

Kevin Alexander Hache is a Clarington Central Secondary student in his senior year. Joining the RMG team as a co-op student in the Education department, he spent most of his time providing in-studio support. In addition to Kevin’s eager disposition and great energy with the kids, we found that Kevin also had an amazing aptitude for 3D design. Keep reading to see what he accomplished!

Last fall I found myself without a co-op placement. This dilemma was quickly solved by going home after school and searching for places that connected with my interests.  I decided to approach The Robert McLaughlin Gallery because I am an artist in the high skills major program for technology at school.  After connecting with Jennifer Treleaven in the Education department, I had finally found a suitable co-op placement! I learned how to focus, develop a work ethic, manage timelines and incorporate my technology skills.

Working with RMG staff as a co-op student is thrilling. I feel capable to express my creativity to everyone freely. One day the opportunity to create a digital 3D model of the RMG building surfaced. It’s been over one year since I started 3D modeling. Using a free software called Blender, I designed a replica (to scale) of the gallery for staff to use when designing and planning exhibitions. (If you have an interest in CG (computer graphics), check out Blender.com online. Voila! Your turn to learn.)

3D rendering

3D rendering of the RMG, Kevin Hache, 2016

The project was a very fun process overall and my skills developed as I worked on the piece. I needed to examine the entire gallery, measure every corner and develop techniques to make the job more efficient. My mind is like a matrix with this type of work. Creating things out of nothing is why I love art.  Like the architecture of this building, the creative process is so unique! I committed to the task never doubting my abilities and pulled off 4 models (meshes) of the space. I must say that this type of work makes me happy and provides a sense of accomplishment.

3D rendering

3D rendering of the RMG, Kevin Hache, 2016

Daily work at The Robert McLaughlin has really made me feel like I’m pointed in the right direction in life. The excitement of teaching kids how to paint or sculpt gave me a sense of leadership and responsibility.

3D rendering of the RMG, Kevin Hache, 2016

3D rendering of the RMG, Kevin Hache, 2016

I am grateful to Jennifer for letting me participate in this thriving community. I enjoy spending time with the team, and helping out with all the programs. I especially liked connecting with every one of the volunteers and employees, I see them all as great workers. I’m positive that other co-op students who have a creative mind will find the thrill and excitement in this placement.

– Kevin Alexander Hache, 2016

3D

3D rendering of the RMG, Kevin Hache, 2016

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.

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 MusĂ©e d’Art Contemporain de MontrĂ©al; 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