This post is by Rachael Dixon Lawrence, a grade 12 student at Father Leo J Austin Secondary School. Rachael is completing a co-op placement.
I chose to do my placement in the curatorial department at the RMG to further my knowledge and skills in art for my future career in animation. Fine art is very important to me because it is a way for people to express themselves in fun and interesting ways. I felt that working in a gallery would help me appreciate how everyone views artworks differently and to learn how art exhibitions are organized and displayed. Working at the RMG has really shown me how much time and effort is put into exhibition planning, and the importance of preserving artworks, photographs, and archival documents.
Before working at the RMG I did not know that Oshawa had such a large collection of artworks, and was not familiar with Painters Eleven or their importance to the gallery. I love how each Painters Eleven member’s style is very different, yet they clearly influenced each other. I have also learned about Oshawa’s history through working with the Thomas Bouckley Collection.
One of my favorite jobs while working at the gallery was assisting with the placement and hanging of artworks for both the Durham Catholic District School Board and the Oshawa Art Association exhibitions. I also have enjoyed organizing hard copy photographs of artworks into files because I get to see a variety of artists and styles in the collection while doing it. I have catalogued books and historical photographs, taken inventory of books and exhibition pamphlets, researched exhibition history, made/hung labels, learned how the dewy decimal system works in the library, and hung artworks.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the RMG and look forward to continuing my studies in fine art and animation.