Expanding on his ongoing study of the toxic legacy of Canada’s post-nuclear landscape, Noah Scheinman has spent his time in the RBC Emerging Artist Residency Program exploring the landscape and histories of Durham Region. From the nuclear reactor complex in Pickering to General Motors in Oshawa, Scheinman’s work investigates the conceptual and ecological impacts of land development in the region as well as the energy regimes that have powered its symbols, spaces, and social life. HEAVY/WATER/MACHINE considers the intimacy people have with their environments and poses questions about the layers of contamination implicit in extractive and technoscientific enterprise.

Noah Scheinman, Research Images: (left) Nuclear Power Station at Pickering, 8/3/1971, source: Toronto Star Archives; (right) Crossing the Marsh at Beachfront Park. Images courtesy the artist.

The RBC Emerging Artist Residency Program is generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation’s Emerging Artist Project.

Related Programming:

Exhibition Opening and Panel Talk

October 14, 2023


World-builders, shapeshifters

World-builders, shapeshifters reimagines the gallery space as a venue for decolonial love, joy, and abundance. Activated through community-informed programming and grounded in methodologies of care and collaboration, the exhibition invites artists Alex Jacobs-Blum, Kat Brown Akootchook, Kay Nadjiwon, Natalie King, Nishina Shapwaykeesic-Loft, and Sheri Osden Nault to co-create a world that prioritizes and celebrates queer and Indigenous stories, perspectives, and desires.

The exhibition seeks to provide space to present new and ambitious works while offering opportunities for collaboration and support through mentorship and ongoing gathering. Dreaming together, we will realize a vibrant and immersive environment that allows both artists and visitors to step into an alternative, joyful future.

Alex Jacobs-Blum is a Hodinöhsö:ni’ and German visual artist and curator based in Ohron:wakon (Hamilton, ON). Alex’s deep passion for community, relationship building, uplifting youth and challenging settler colonialism are integral to her practice and methodology. She strives to empower change by pushing boundaries to disrupt institutional spaces.

Alex received a Bachelor of Photography at Sheridan College in 2015, where she was awarded the Canon Award of Excellence for Narrative Photography for her thesis. Since then, Alex’s artistic work has been exhibited at the University of Ottawa, Centre[3] for Artistic + Social Practice, the Woodland Cultural Centre, and Critical Distance Centre for Curators. She is currently McMaster Museum of Art’s BIPOC Curatorial Mentee.

Kat Brown Akootchook is a Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe visual artist and educator belonging to the Oneida Nation of the Thames, Bear Clan. She is a multidisciplinary beadworker and creator known for her printmaking and design. She blends contemporary & traditional elements with a sense of humour and a heart for activism. She often uses her art to call attention to Indigenous rights movements and youth education.

Kat currently splits her time between Southern California and her homelands of Southern Ontario. She is most known for her “Land Back” design, which she created at the Native Action for Mauna Kea, and can be seen on t-shirts across Turtle Island. Her beadwork and designs are used for authentic contemporary Native representation on television and by musicians.

One of her biggest goals is to be that auntie who helps and breaks down the gatekeeping that can sometimes prevent Native people from accessing traditions which have been forcibly taken from us – reclaiming our land, ways, and expression is an honour and a joy.

Kay Nadjiwon is a two-spirit/non-binary Anishinaabe lens-based artist working in Treaty 13. They are currently completing their BFA in Photography at Toronto Metropolitan University and are an MFA candidate. Their artistic practice focuses on issues of identity, memory, trauma and belonging. Nadjiwon uses archival materials, alternative processes and interdisciplinary methods to situate feelings of grief as a site for social connection. Their practice includes photography, video, collage and installation.

Natalie King is a queer interdisciplinary Anishinaabe (Algonquin) artist, facilitator and member of Timiskaming First Nation. King’s arts practice ranges from video, painting, sculpture and installation as well as community engagement, curation and arts administration. King is currently a Programming Coordinator at Xpace Cultural Centre in Tkaronto.

Often involving portrayals of queer femmes, King’s works are about embracing the ambiguity and multiplicities of identity within the Anishinaabe queer femme experience(s). King’s practice operates from a firmly critical, anti-colonial, non-oppressive, and future-bound perspective, reclaiming the realities of lived liv es through frameworks of desire and survivance.

King’s recent exhibitions include Come and Get Your Love at Arsenal Contemporary, Toronto (2022), Proud Joy at Nuit Blanche Toronto (2022), Bursting with Love at Harbourfront Centre (2021) PAGEANT curated by Ryan Rice at Centre[3] in Hamilton (2021), and (Re)membering and (Re)imagining: the Joyous Star Peoples of Turtle Island at Hearth Garage (2021). King has extensive mural making practice that includes a permanent mural currently on at the Art Gallery of Burlington. King holds a BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD University (2018). King is currently GalleryTPW’s 2023 Curatorial Research Fellow.

Nishina Shapwaykeesic-Loft is Kanien’kehá:ka from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. She is a 2S queer, multi-disciplinary artist in a wide spectrum of mediums. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from York University in Theatre Production and Design.

She works in the theatre industry with a specialization in costuming. She is a mural artist working with StART as a project coordinator and an indigenous advisor. She is the Associate Programmer for the Toronto Queer Film Festival and has worked in programming for imagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival. She continues to grow within her field and explore new opportunities.

Sheri Osden Nault is an artist, community worker, and Assistant Professor in Studio Arts at the University of Western Ontario. Their work spans mediums including sculpture, performance, installation, and more; integrating cultural, social, and experimental creative processes. Their work considers embodied connections between human and non-human beings, land-based relationships, and kinship sensibilities as an Indigenous Futurist framework. Methodologically, they prioritize tactile ways of knowing, and learning from more than human kin. Their research is grounded in their experiences as Michif, nêhiyaw, and Two-Spirit, and engages with decolonizing methodologies, queer theory, ecological theory, and intersectional and Indigenous feminisms. They are a member of the Indigenous tattoo revival movement in so-called Canada, and run the annual community project, Gifts for Two-Spirit Youth.

Recent notable exhibitions include bringing to light what came from inside, as part of the Images Festival, Toronto; BEHOLD|EN, at the Art Gallery of Alberta, Kwaatanihtowwakiw – A Hard Birth, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2022; Hononga at Hoea! Gallery in Aotearoa (New Zealand), 2021; Where the Shoreline Meets the Water, the ArQuives, Toronto, 2020; Off-Centre at the Dunlop Art Gallery, 2019; and Li Salay at the Art Gallery of Alberta, 2018.

This exhibition is supported in part by the Maada’ookii Committee, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

RMG Friday: Harvest

Join us in celebrating the harvest season! The night will feature music from Matthew Holtby and Darren Roy Clarke. We will also be hosting a breathwork mediation seminar will take place in Arthur’s by Julie Brar. In the lobby, Dine and Style will be presenting a small autumn bounty.

Join Farah in the Studio downstairs between sets to try out paper quilling. We will use designs inspired by the autumn season to created intricate artwork. No experience required!

In the Lookout, DRIFF will be screening a short film at 7:10pm and 8:30pm.

Engaged to be Engaged by Joseph Covello (13 mins)

On the brink of proposing, a hopeless romantic confronts her true fears and insecurities as she imagines all the ways it could backfire. Meanwhile, her boyfriend is facing a similar predicament.

Community, Breath and the Power of Cellular Nutrition

Come to this informative talk that brings together the community using the power of breath, meditation and regeneratively grown foods. Julie will be guiding you through powerful yet simple breathing exercises that will help you to calm your nervous system. She will also be sharing the power of high vibration regeneratively grown foods and how that help to lift your physical and spiritual practice. Transitioning from summer to fall is a powerful time to reflect and come together as a community. Please bring a journal, pen, yoga mat and a cushion to sit on.

Session is 90 minutes with time for Q & A. Registration is required.

Julie Brar is an award-winning Holistic Nutritionist and Regenerative Health Practitioner who is passionate about supporting others to better health. Julie also holds several yoga certifications and taught yoga for several years prior to moving into Regenerative Health.

Julie specializes in helping men and women who desire to create the best health possible through regenerative health practices. Julie has used nutrition, detoxification protocols and various holistic health practices to reverse her Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism diagnosis. She uses similar tools for clients whether they want to improve an autoimmune condition or simply release weight. She has multiple programs for individuals and groups online. 

Julie is also a published author in a collaborative book project, The Courage to Change, which hit the bestseller list on Amazon under Motivation in 2019.

Warkworth’s Matthew Holtby, has been honing his craft as a songwriter and performer for nearly two decades, producing original and emotive music that strikes a chord with audiences. Recently embarking on a new adventure as a solo artist, he has channeled his influences from the music he grew up with into his latest collection, featuring songs and stories that touch on themes of love, loss, and redemption. His music has been gaining recognition, including rotation on CBC Radio. A new album is set for release later this year.

Singer, songwriter, guitarist Darren Roy Clarke writes songs that map the highways of his heart. Blending delicate roots, confessional country, and heartbreak folk, his music reveals a road-worn journey of the soul. Darren spins introspective vignettes in his distinctive tenor voice, accompanying himself with expressive, exploratory guitar that is as integral to these tails as his lyrics.

Hailing from the cozy, artsy hamlet of Warkwarth, ON, Darren has been writing and performing for over 30 years, opening for the likes of Jason Collett, Craig Cardiff, and the Good Lovelies.

Alexandra Luke: Life and Art

Refreshments served. Open to the Public. Registration encouraged.

Join us to learn about the life and art of artist Alexandra Luke. Guest lecturer Margaret Rodgers (artist, curator, writer) is the author of the book Locating Alexandra. Alexandra Luke (i.e. Margaret McLaughlin, 1901-1967) was an important artist linked to the beginnings of abstract painting in Canada and a founding member of Painters Eleven, Ontario’s first abstract painting group (1953-1960). Rodgers will share her knowledge and research about Alexandra Luke to compliment the current exhibition at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Alexandra Luke: Push and Pull, on view until January 14th.

Couzyn van Heuvelen: CAMP

We are unfortunately postponing the opening of Couzyn van Heuvelen’s exhibition CAMP until October 14, 2023.  We appreciate your understanding and hope to see you at the gallery, soon. 

If you had registered for the Feast following the artist remarks, please note that this has been cancelled.  If you require further information about the Feast cancellation, please reach out to info@rmg.on.ca.

Born in Iqaluit, Nunavut, but living predominantly in Southern Ontario, Couzyn van Heuvelen’s artistic practice explores Inuit cultural sovereignty and the tools and technologies of living on the land. Known for his large-scale sculptural works, van Heuvelen’s playful approach seamlessly blends traditional practices with contemporary materials and fabrication processes, asserting the resiliency and adaptability of Inuit culture.

The four sculptural installations in this exhibition build from van Heuvelen’s earlier investigations into hunting and fishing practices by shifting focus to the chores and communal spaces that take shape around the harvesting and preparation of food. Drawing on the seasonal practice of setting up camp in warmer months, van Heuvelen participates in the celebration that takes place when Northern communities gather to hunt and fish together. It’s here where skills are passed from one generation to the next and the sustenance provided by the land is gathered, then shared with friends and neighbours. Van Heuvelen honours these practices in his work, reenacting the processes of fleshing seal, tanning hides, drying pitsik, and filleting char in materials new and familiar to his artistic practice, including wool, glass, and steel.

This work is shaped by the artist’s own formative experiences with his family and his desire to connect with the love and labour of his homelands. He demonstrates how the camp is a site for shared learning, community-building, and joy. Situating viewers in this conceptual and cultural space, CAMP addresses the critical role of land-based practices in Inuit self-determination, food sovereignty in the North, and the pleasures of celebrating in community around food.

Couzyn van Heuvelen is an Inuk sculptor and multi-disciplinary installation artist. Born in Iqaluit, Nunavut, but living in Southern Ontario for most of his life, van Heuvelen’s work explores Inuit culture and identity, new and old technologies, and personal narratives. While rooted in the history and traditions of Inuit art, his work strays from established Inuit art making methods and explores a range of fabrication processes. His use of unconventional materials and fabrication processes, combined with elements of Inuit culture, mirrors his own process of exploring how traditional practices continue to influence his everyday life.

Van Heuvelen holds a BFA from York University and an MFA from NSCAD University. His work has been included in many group exhibitions across Canada, including the inaugural exhibition INUA at WAG-Qaumajuq (2020), the touring exhibition ᐊᕙᑖᓂᑦ ᑕᒪᐃᓐᓂᑦ ᓄᓇᑐᐃᓐᓇᓂᑦ Among All These Tundras (2018–19), and Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity at the Power Plant (2022). Van Heuvelen is currently represented by Fazakas Gallery in Vancouver, BC.

The artist gratefully acknowledges support from the Canada Council for the Arts for this exhibition.

This exhibition is presented with support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario.

About Time

Time can be saved, wasted, and lost, but not stopped. We can have all the time in the world yet no time at all. Time as a concept is one of the great mysteries of the world. It is defined as the continued sequence of existence and events in the past, present, and future. Generally speaking, it measures duration; in more philosophical terms it is debated as being either linear or cyclical; and in science, the modern understanding of time is based on Einstein’s theory of relativity. This exhibition explores how artists have marked the passage of time through seasons and hours, aging, captured moments, and referencing the past.

Art can be a reflection of our times—it has the power to express and capture moments through light, colour, subject, or social commentary on contemporary issues. The RMG is dedicated to collecting with intention in order to reflect the diverse voices and contemporary issues that make up the continuing story of Canadian art. Since 1967, the gallery’s Permanent Collection of over 4,700 artworks has evolved through the acquisition of new artwork and the exploration of different themes and topics through exhibitions. Featuring a variety of works from the Permanent Collection, this exhibition reflects on the inevitable passing of time and the lessons we can learn from the past.

This exhibition is supported by:

Noah Scheinman: Exhibition Opening and Panel Talk

Please join us to celebrate the opening of HEAVY/WATER/MACHINE by RBC Emerging Artist in Residence, Noah Scheinman. Let us know you’re coming with an RSVP.

Gathering with collaborators and researchers, the artist will speak about his relationship to the toxic legacy of Canada’s post-nuclear landscape. The conversation will bring together different perspectives on the interconnected networks of ecosystems and industry that constitute our environment and invite the panelists to respond to some of the questions posed by Noah’s exhibition.

Refreshments will be served following the panel.

Please stay tuned for more information about the panelists!

Seating will be available. If there is anything else we can do to support your participation, please reach out to Hannah at hkeating@rmg.on.ca.

CAMP: Exhibition Opening and Fall Feast

Please note that this event has been cancelled. If you require further information, please reach out to info@rmg.on.ca.

Celebrate the first day of fall with us! The RMG invites you to attend the opening reception of Couzyn van Heuvelen’s solo exhibition, CAMP, with an artist talk, and fall feast in our newly re-opened Backyard.

Registration for the feast is now full, but everyone is welcome to join us for the opening reception from 3-5pm. We hope to see you there!

Remarks and an artist talk + tour with Couzyn will take place in the exhibition around 3:30pm. Dinner will be served around 5pm. 

While you’re here, we’re also happy to open and celebrate two new permanent collection exhibitions: About Time and Alexandra Luke: Push and Pull. Check them out!

We are pleased to offer this event during Oshawa’s CONVERGENCE festival, an exciting music and art experience in downtown Oshawa.

For information on our facilities, please click here. If you have questions about the event or other requests, please email Hannah at hkeating@rmg.on.ca.

Civic Conversations: Speculative Mapping for the Star Glyph Garden

With Karyn Recollet and Jon Johnson

This event is free and open to anyone, but registration is limitedto 12.

Please register to save your spot!

Speculative Mapping for the Star Glyph Garden is a gathering for setting intentions and asking questions about what is possible when we are led by an ethic of care. Designed for the RMG’s new backyard, the Star Glyph Garden will be a rock garden that welcomes visitors to consider the constellation of people and more-than-human beings that make up this community. The design itself is informed by Indigenous storytelling, as well as the future-oriented cosmology and landing practices of Karyn Recollet and Jon Johnson.

This event is the first in our new Civic Conversations series, which asks: What are we willing to risk to protect, strengthen, and nourish our world and each other? We invite artists and activists from various disciplines to guide us towards stirring questions that challenge us to converse honestly about what is at stake in the way we relate to ourselves, each other, and the places where we live.

Within the context of the RMG’s newly renovated backyard space, this event will provoke thinking and conversation around settler gardening practices and the distinct potential the Star Glyph Garden holds for radical relationality. As a group, participants will be led through a lightly curated mapping process. Karyn will offer prompts that invite reflections and will gather participants into relation. Ephemeral fragments will be left on the site as offerings of love and promise in preparation for the planting of the rock garden, which will take place at a later date.

Participants will be invited to join the artists and gallery staff in a picnic lunch.

Please come prepared to be outside with appropriate clothing, sun protection, and water. The RMG is delighted to provide all participants with a boxed lunch. We have seating and picnic tables, but if you wish, you may choose to bring a picnic blanket for lunch.

For information on our facilities, please click here. If you have any questions about the event or other requests, please email Hannah at hkeating@rmg.on.ca.

Karyn Recollet (Cree, born in Sturgeon Lake First Nation, SK, Canada; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) is an Assistant Professor in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto. An urban Cree scholar/artist/writer, Recollet’s work focuses on urban Indigenous art-making practices as complex forms of urban glyphing- expressing an expansive understanding of land pedagogy that exceeds the terrestrial. Recollet is in conversation with dance choreographers, Black and Indigenous futurist thinkers, and Indigenous and Black geographers as ways to theorize and activate relationality through forms of land-ing in rupturous times.

Jon Johnson’s research is focused on urban land-based Indigenous Knowledge in Toronto and their representation through oral and digital forms of storytelling. He works actively within Toronto’s Indigenous community in his capacity as a lead organizer for First Story Toronto, an Indigenous-led community-based organization that researches and shares Toronto’s Indigenous presence through popular education initiatives such as storytelling tours of the city and its freely-available smartphone application.

This program is supported by TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment, The City of Oshawa, and The Regional Municipality of Durham.

Nourish: Seniors Art Competition and Exhibition 2023

August 19 – September 27, 2023

Exhibition Opening and Awards Reception: Wednesday, August 23, 2:30 pm (no registration required)

The Seniors Art Competition and Exhibition is a showcase of creativity and technical skill among members of the Oshawa Senior Community Centres, Oshawa Public Libraries, and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery. Featuring paintings, drawings, sculpture, and more, this annual community exhibition is structured around a competition theme. This year, the theme is nourish.

2023 Winners:

In the NOVICE category…

The RUNNER UP is Marian Vink for her sculpture Dance.

The WINNER is Renate Belzing. The jury describes Renates’s mixed media artwork, titled Life Finds a Way as “a unique and cohesive interpretation of a weathered landscape.” They were excited by her use of materials, which capture “a windswept scene with impressive depth, scale and colour.” The textures and tactile nature of the work transported them to the beach!

In the HOBBY category…

The RUNNER UP is Kim McIntyre for her work Wood Nymph.

The WINNER is Grant F. Benham for his piece Savannah Traffic (Trade to Nourish a Nation) which the jury describes as “a beautiful, well-composed work with a great sense of movement, both in form and subject matter. The creative approach to the theme points to the complex systems that support human life on a global scale. Technically, the work is strong and expressive, and the jury loved the expert use of a modest canvas to capture such a monumental concept.”

In the OPEN category…

The RUNNER UP is Marijatta Beasley for her collage Fun with Fruit.

The WINNER is Darryl Thorogood for his painting Eugene,which the jury describes as “an expressive work of painstaking detail that captures an ordinary moment with great feeling and pride. Darryl’s interpretation of the theme points to the importance of farming and his treatment of his medium is both captivating and impressive.”

Congratulations to all the winners!

The Seniors Art Competition and Exhibition is co-hosted by The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa Senior Community Centres, and the Oshawa Public Libraries.