McLaughlin Day in Oshawa

This blog post is from Joan Murray, Director Emeritus.

Billiard Room. Image courtesy Parkwood Estate, copyright the Challener estate.

Billiard Room. Image courtesy Parkwood Estate, copyright the Challener estate.

Frederick Sproston Challener’s inspired mural paintings in Parkwood Estate, commissioned in 1924, are particularly well done. Located in the billiards room and hallway, the murals have a strangely perfect, yet ineffably wry quality which combines romanticism and history. His narrative includes the five daughters of Colonel Sam McLaughlin, including the patron of the Gallery, Miss Isabel McLaughlin, outdoor sports events engaged in by Mr. McLaughlin and his family, and a vision of arcadia with wholesome-looking young children, McLaughlin’s grandchildren. The entire effect is joyous, with just the right mixture of Twentieth-century details to balance the artifice before us with its woodland setting of birch trees and panel of Pan playing his pipe.

Enchanted Wood. Image courtesy Parkwood Estate, copyright the Challener estate.

Enchanted Wood. Image courtesy Parkwood Estate, copyright the Challener estate.

Challener was an artist who returned from a trip to Europe in 1898-99 with a passionate desire—to make murals. Fortunately for him, his wish fell in with a period of expansion in the theatre and architectural scene in Canada and he soon found himself hard at work executing murals in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, London, and Winnipeg. At the same time as his architectural commissions, he painted many easel paintings.

In celebration of McLaughlin Day, we honour here not only Colonel Sam McLaughlin and his wife Adelaide, but Miss Isabel McLaughlin, who was always deeply interested in mural painting, as well as the McLaughlin family, our friends.

Visit Parkwood Estate on McLaughlin Day on the August long weekend, for their wonderful Basement Tours. The tours are held August 3, 4, & 5, do not require pre-booking and will be available from 10:30 to 5:00pm. Admission is $10.00 per person, regardless of age. ($11.30 with the HST)

Click to read more about the basement tours.

Visit Parkwood Estate online.

Free Family Programming for 2013

Happy New Year!

It isn’t an overstatement to say that in 2013 the RMG has big plans to expand our programming to include lots of new free opportunities for families to engage with art. We love our community and we know that families work hard all week and want to hang out on the weekend and have quality family time. We’re hoping that in 2013 you’ll choose the RMG once a month as a place to learn, connect, and communicate with your family through the creative arts.
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In 2012 we launched the incredibly successful OPG Second Sundays program. It’s a free art workshop series on the second Sunday of each month, sponsored by Ontario Power Generation. We had a great response and held many jam-packed art workshops. Due to popular demand, we’re expanding that program this year so that registration is no longer required, and all are welcome! All families should drop-in between 1 and 3pm on the Second Sunday of each month to work with gallery staff on guided art projects with themes celebrating the Lunar New Year as well as our many exhibitions.

Check out the OPG Second Sundays Schedule here.

ImageWe’re also introducing a new space in the gallery that is dedicated to families who want to visit the exhibitions with kids, and provide a chance for them to play, learn, and be inspired by art. Linger in the new Imagination Station! This space is currently being transformed into a family-friendly area with seating, books, toys, craft supplies, and cool interactive tools that will inspire, educate, and engage kids of all ages and abilities. The Imagination Station is launching in February, with an opening party on Family Day, Monday, 18 February. We are opening on Family Day for the first time in 2013 and are offering a free program to families. Come check out what we’re up to from 1-3pm. Enjoy light refreshments and a chance to try out the new Imagination Station (we’re calling it iStation for short!) The following weekend, we begin the regular iStation schedule, with the space being managed by trained educational volunteers who will help manage and guide craft projects, every Saturday and Sunday. 

You might think that was all we planned to offer in early 2013…but you’d be wrong! We’re also hosting a Festival of Colours celebration for families on Sunday 24 March. Phew!

ImageIf you’ve ever considered enrolling kids in our PA Day Camps, March Break Camps or Summer Camps, these free family sessions will help familiarize you and your kids with staff and the facility, so that the transition to full day camps is easy and exciting.

The RMG’s staff and volunteers are looking forward to meeting new families and connecting in new ways our community. If you have any questions about our free family programming, do not hesitate to connect with us. Email us at communications@rmg.on.ca or drop us a line on facebook at www.facebook.com/theRMG