In Our Minds

July 6th, 2019 – February 2nd, 2020

William Ronald (Canadian, 1926 – 1998), J’accuse, 1956, oil on canvas, Purchase, 1971.


This exhibition was produced in partnership with Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.

In February, we partnered with Jordon Beenen, Ian Hakes, and Lori Lane-Murphy, Ambassadors of Hope for Ontario Shores Centre of Mental Health Sciences, to develop a community-driven Painters Eleven exhibition. At the RMG we believe partnerships create important opportunities to positively reflect the creativity and diversity of our communities, and help deepen engagement with our Permanent Collection.

A central part of the RMG’s Permanent Collection is a significant number of works by Painters Eleven, a collective of abstract artists, who founded their group at Alexandra Luke’s cottage located on the boundary of Oshawa and Whitby, not far from Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences. Abstract expressionist works are often created with a spirit of spontaneity and the bold use of colour and form can evoke different emotions. The immediacy and affective qualities of the work drew Jordon, Lori, and Ian to engage with Painters Eleven, allowing them to connect to the work through the lens of mental illness. They each chose works that resonated with them personally and creatively responded, expressing their stories, through writing, art, and performance.

Throughout this collaboration Jordon, Ian and Lori shared stories of their lived experience with mental illness, explored Painters Eleven, and participated in the exhibition development. The resulting exhibition, In Our Minds, includes personal reflections and highlights the power and importance of art to drive community conversation about mental illness. This partnership has been one of meaningful exchanges, relationship building, openness, and enlightenment—a journey that has left a lasting impression on participants and staff alike.