Escape from the Vault

March 23rd, 2017 – March 29th, 2017

Barry Smylie, Pineapple Cat, 1989

Barry Smylie, Pineapple Cat, 1989

This winter, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery hosted its inaugural Junior Curator program. Over the course of two months, 10-year old Sigourney Baker was able to explore our vast permanent collection’s works on paper and create an exhibition of her own design. Her discovery of Pineapple Cat, a 1989 lithograph by artist Barry Smylie, confirmed her focus: animals.

As part of her curatorial journey, Sigourney’s love of animals, and concern for the continual and frightening extinction of various animal species around the world was made meaningful. In her own words, “it was really important to me, and coming here was really cool”.

Sigourney’s own confidence and curiosity for the inner workings of a gallery were invaluable qualities as she investigated various curatorial processes. She herself selected works online and then in person in our vault, learned about mounting and framing, and determined the layout of her exhibition in Gallery A.

In addition to selecting ten pieces by five artists from our permanent collection, Sigourney has included the  works of  two artist from her greater community, as well as one of her own. Her work with The Robert  McLaughlin Gallery is a poignant reminder of art’s function as a community connector, and its ability to reach all ages in a way that is valued and relevant.