Experiencing the RMG through Inartistic Eyes

Samantha Pender is a Durham College public relations student completing her winter placement at the RMG as a communications intern.

 

Before I came to the RMG as a communications intern, I admittedly knew very little in the way of art. Being artistically challenged myself, I had never thought to explore art before coming here. But taking one look around the gallery immediately changed my thinking about art and how to appreciate it, despite lacking my own artistic skills.

Being a communications intern, I don’t get to spend much of my time looking through the galleries of the RMG. When I have been able to sneak away, however, I am always taken aback by the art surrounding me. While looking at the manipulated art and beautifully shot landscapes from Holly King, the wondrous abstract of Painters 11, and the many other different kinds of art throughout the RMG, I realized that you don’t really need to know that much about art to appreciate it.

Yes, understanding the style, medium or perspective of the artist can be helpful, but when it comes down to it, art is art. It’s a beautiful and absurd peak into the creative mind of a talented soul, and that is something I won’t be overlooking again.

Interning at the RMG has opened my mind to many things, not just the beauty of art. Researching content for Museum Week, was able to catch a glimpse into the history of Oshawa and see the familiar streets of today as an almost completely different town in black and white. I learned about architecture and came to appreciate different aspects of a building, something I knew nothing about. My supervisor, Sam, broadened my horizons by instilling the importance of learning things outside my comfort zone, something not to be taken for granted.

Working for a non-profit organization so deeply rooted in the community has been a great experience for me, as giving back to the community is something I care very much about. Seeing how the RMG dedicates so much time to the community through RMG Fridays – I worked on the RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary – as well as weekend family activities like OPG Second Sundays has only grown my love and appreciation for the gallery over the past three months.

Samantha Pender, 'Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl' from the Other NFB

Samantha Pender, RMG Communications Intern, with ‘Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl’ from the Other NFB

Spend Valentine’s Day at the RMG

Step up your Valentine’s Day game this year! Make a memorable impression on your special someone or have a great day off with the family at the RMG. Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year so you have the perfect opportunity to spend the whole day celebrating with your loved ones at the RMG.

Family making art

For the Family

Start the morning by heading to the RMG’s Valentine’s Day Brunch together and dig into the delicious menu from Pilar’s Catering. The menu features something for everyone in the family, even the pickiest of eaters, with baked goods, a full hot breakfast including everything from bacon to French toast, salads, cheeses, and finally a dessert buffet. With two seating’s available at 10:30am and 12:30pm, you’ll have lots of time to enjoy your quiet Sunday morning before the fun begins. Reservations are required so be sure to book your seats soon before they fill up.

After bunch, you can head down to one of our many galleries to check out the latest exhibitions and pieces from our permanent collection, or bring the little ones down to the studio for the Valentine’s addition of our monthly OPG Second Sundays. Work together to explore various materials to create heart shape inspired activities including sun catchers and garlands using diffusing paper and expressive abstract paintings in the studio. On your way out, be sure to check out the RMG Shop. Young or old, there are plenty of last minute Valentine’s gifts, like the Rob Ryan His n’ Her coffee mug set for mom and dad, or a craft kit and hand-made sock puppets for the little ones. However you choose to celebrate your Valentine’s, the RMG is a great way to go for the whole family.

 

Arthurs of the 4th

Photo by Brilynn Ferguson

The First Date

Start the morning off by surprising your date with a romantic brunch with a panoramic view. Checking out the gallery with your special someone is a great chance to strike up conversation, and ensure there is no first date awkwardness. Talking about art is also a great way to get to know one another whether you’ve been together for 20 years, or you are 20 minutes into your first date.

A great place to start is Holly King’s newest exhibition Edging Toward the Mysterious. This collection consists of various large-scale photographs of her constructed photographs of imagined landscapes. While enjoying the art together, present your loved one with a gift from the RMG Shop. Among the abundance of art catalogues and other popular titles, the RMG Shop has a wide selection of beautiful, locally sourced handmade items such as jewelry, specialty soaps, and teas. Whether the gift is for him or her, the RMG Shop is a great place to come looking for that one of a kind Valentine’s gift that will top off a fantastic date.

necklaces

The 1,000th Date

Whether you and your partner are new to the gallery or not, there are plenty of reasons to make the RMG your Valentine’s destination this year.

After enjoying a delicious brunch in the Arthur’s on the 4th head directly downstairs to our most recent exhibition, The Other NFB. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has long been acclaimed for documentary, animated and feature films, which are among Canada’s iconic cultural products and exports. But few Canadians know that during a pivotal period in the country’s history—the mid-twentieth century—the NFB also functioned as the country’s official photographer, which is where this series of photos stems from. This collection is sure to bring back some memories and spark conversation about times past, making it a Valentine’s day to remember.

Don’t forget to visit the shop and get something special for your special someone! Pick a gift together and get someone you will enjoy in your home, made by a local artisan.

As the afternoon comes to a close and you’ve enjoyed each and every exhibition, remember that your time here at the gallery doesn’t have to end on February 14th. Volunteering as a couple can be a great experience, offering bonding time while doing something great for the community.

Beat the heat this summer at the RMG!

Beat the heat by hiding away in what Mayor John Henry calls one of his “favourite places in Oshawa”. This summer we have something for everyone from amateur art critics and social butterflies to little artists and music aficionados. If a mayoral stamp of approval isn’t enough, here are eight reasons why you should head into the RMG this summer.

1.     Puppet Act: Manipulating the Voice

Cantastoria, or puppet storytelling, is the theme of the latest exhibit at the RMG curated by Linda Jansma. Puppet Act: Manipulating the Voice features marionettes from the Peterborough Museum & Archives collection whose historic puppets, retired from the Peterborough Puppet Guild, present as disturbing caricatures waiting to come to life once more. The exhibition, set to open up at the gallery until September 1, also includes contemporary work from six artists. These puppeteers convey humanistic motifs of fear, manipulation, irony, humour and the battle between good and evil.

2.     Boxing: The Sweet Science

Entering the ring at the RMG just in time for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games is an exhibit that is sure to be a knockout. Boxing is a metaphor for life, filled with battles lost and won. In Boxing: The Sweet Science, curator Linda Jansma captures this expression through pieces that convey the movement, power and elegancy of the sport. Whether you’ve got a ticket to the match at the GM Centre or not, come in to see this great exhibit. Up at the RMG until September 13, 2015.

3.     RMG Fridays

On the first Friday of the month, the gallery is open 7 – 10 p.m. for RMG Fridays. The gallery buzzes with live musical performances from local and emerging talent, interactive art experiences, open gallery spaces, social mingling and more. This FREE (need not to be convinced further) is suitable for music lovers and art enthusiastic big and small. Every RMG Fridays is a family-friendly event and is a hotspot for youth, families and culture-vultures.

July 3, 2015
A Canadian Celebration:
Canada is old. It deserves more than one birthday. At the RMG we’re keeping that maple syrup, apologizing, igloo-dwelling spirit going with indie rockers Canvas and Chris Doucett & The Way Out. Join local artist Monique Ra Brent in Gallery A and chat with Teri Lipman about her collection A Visionary Journey. We’re joined by local arts collective Broken Arts as they gear up for the annual Broken Arts Festival on July 18 in Memorial Park! The PanAm Cruiser will also be stopping by for the evening – learn more about the games!

August 7, 2015 
Summer Sounds
We’re taking a night to celebrate the exhibition that has everyone talking, Puppet Act: Manipulating the Voice. The sounds of Goodnight Sunrise and locals Ivory Park, will occupy the main galleries while Father and son duo Matt and Joe will join us in Gallery A. Join us in learning more about the upcoming Durham Festival.

4.     Gallery A

If you didn’t know already, Gallery A is a professional exhibition and studio space provides accessible opportunities for artist-driven initiates at the RMG.  Each month, the gallery is occupied by a wide range of solo and group projects, curated exhibitions, artist and community collaborations, special events, film screenings, symposiums, and community art projects. And this summer, the talent in Gallery A is shining brighter than the sun!

23 June – 12 July, 2015
Gallery A: Monique Ra Brent: The Painted Soul
Art Lab Studio: Adam White

14 July – 2 August
Motor City Stories
Home to Home

5 – 30 August, 2015
Gallery A: Matthew and Joseph Catalano: Arbor Nimbus

5.     OPG Second Sundays

Every second Sunday of every month, the RMG hosts an afternoon of free family activities. Families of all kinds and sizes are invited to explore exciting exhibitions, art materials and fun hands-on activities together! You will discover things to do throughout the RMG, so you can follow your imagination and experiment with new ideas and projects. Projects suit art lovers of all ages and skill levels. Ideal for children 3 and up, however kids work with their parents & art instructors. Drop-in between 1 and 3 p.m., no registration required!

July 12, 2015
Go Team!

We will be celebrating the 2015 Pan Am Games, RMG style! We will make medals, noise-makers and party decorations to cheer on the athletes.

August 9, 2015
Calling all Artists!
This month we will explore 2D and 3D artworks, from raised salt paintings to mini sculptures, we will create artworks that will surely inspire the artists in all of us!

6.     Talks and Tours
Art education for all ages is both valuable and important here at the gallery. This summer were hosting several talks exploring the messages, themes and meanings within our current exhibitions.

Sunday, June 28, 1 – 3 p.m.
Join us for this lively and entertaining talk with Sean O’Meara – a former amateur boxer, current Oakville city councillor and the sport-organizing chair for boxing at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games! You will also have an opportunity to join Senior Curator Linda Jansma for a guided tour of the special exhibition Boxing: The Sweet Science.

In Gallery A, join artist Monique Ra Brent to learn more about her work and exhibition, The Painted Soul.

Sunday, July 19, 1 – 3 p.m.
Motor City Stories and Home to Home Opening Reception
Join us in Gallery A and celebrate the works and artists features in Motor City Stories and Home to Home.

Sunday, July 19, 1 – 3 p.m.
Spirit of Sport Exhibition Tour
Join Associate Curator Sonya Jones for a tour of Spirit of Sport: Selections from the Thomas Bouckley Collection.

7.     The Permanent Collection

At the RMG, we have an extensive collection of permanent works totalling more than 4,000 works. Often pieces are incorporated into exhibits from our archives. Our current exhibition, Go Figure, was curated by Senior Curator Linda Jansma and explores various aspects of human temperament and how this conception is professed by artists.

8.     Painters 11

Painters 11 began in the fall of 1953 in Oshawa, launching them as Ontario’s first abstract painting group. The group includes members such as Alexandra Luke, Jock Macdonald and Jack Bush – Luke being the catalyst of the group’s formation. The group held their first exhibit under the name “Painters 11” in February 1954 at Roberts Gallery in Toronto, Ontario. The RMG has had a long-term relationship with Painters 11, which explains why the gallery is the owner of the largest collection of the group’s work.

Our Isobel McLaughlin Gallery occupies works by Painters 11, interchangeable from our extensive collection. Be sure to stop by the gallery to see the iconic abstract works by the Canadian group.

 

To stay in the know about all the great events by signing up for our newsletter here https://rmg.on.ca/exhibitions-and-events.php.

 

Vol ‘n’ Tell is an ongoing series of blog posts written by RMG Volunteers. Raechel Bonomo is an art enthusiast and writer from Oshawa, Ont.

Hot Topics: One Weekend in June

Hot Topics come from the desk of Jacquie Severs, the RMG’s Manager, Communications & Social Media

Oshawa’s Downtown revitalization project is an ongoing venture, one that has some starts and stops (as do most worthwhile projects) but it is exciting to watch. In the past three years I’ve worked at the RMG, I’ve seen dramatic change. In this post, I thought I’d share a to-do list for events this coming weekend in the downtown area, all free to attend, all artsy, and all incredible opportunities to participate in the transition of this community.

FRIDAY 7 JUNE

Core21 Oshawa

Core21 Oshawa

Friday evening from 5:30-7pm, drop into CORE21. This new co-working space is the result of many years of discussions around arts incubators and collaborative work spaces, with participation from many community stakeholders and the City of Oshawa economic developers. After an extensive renovation to the former Honest Way department store, CORE21 is opening its doors for guided tours to the facility on Friday. While there you can enter to win a 25 Hour, One Month Co-working Membership.

Check out the facebook event for CORE21.
Visit CORE21 online.

The Coachlites

The Coachlites

The draw for the CORE21 membership will happen at RMG Fridays, our monthly event held here at the RMG from 7-10pm. This event is themed “Welcome Summer”. It will feature live musical performances by Tim Watson and The Coachlites. I realized just today that The Coachlites are named after the Coachlite Roller Gardens, a roller skating rink downtown Oshawa. Have a listen to their debut performance this week and decide for yourself if the name fits! This event also celebrates the opening of two new art exhibitions, we’ll have interactive augmented reality posters from the War of 1812 Oshawa Project, and we’ll be talking about our Vintage Oshawa: Summer in the City project as well.  It will be a busy and diverse night with an incredibly fun crowd. Remember, there’s a cash bar!

Check out the facebook event for RMG Fridays.
Check out the webpage for RMG Fridays.

Wasted Space logo

After RMG Fridays, if you’re interested in seeing more art happening in the community, visit Wasted Space. It is a new art cafe and lounge located just a short walk from the RMG at 74 Celina Street. This comfortable venue is decorated with art by local artists, a plethora of lava lamps, and comfortable sofas. Chantelle Lacoursiere is showing her artwork there on Friday, and they’ll have live music, a DJ, and finger foods to keep your energy up. This is a licensed venue.

Check out the facebook event for this opening.
Become a fan of Wasted Space on facebook.

SATURDAY 8 JUNE 

Saturday is the start of the Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden’s Annual Peony Festival! I’ve been told the peonies are perfectly timed this year and will be spectacular on the weekend. With over 300 varieties to view, this is the 9th Annual event, and it runs 10am to 4pm both Saturday and Sunday at 155 Arena Street. This festival was voted one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals and Events!

Peony Festival Logo

Learn more about the Oshawa Peony Festival.
There is also a Bomb Girls Garden Party at Parkwood Estate as part of the festival!

 Sneak peek of Foreclosure at The Vault. Photo by Will McGuirk.

Sneak peek of Foreclosure at The Vault. Photo by Will McGuirk.

After a stroll in the gardens, stop by a new collaborative art space downtown Oshawa called The Vault. Located on the site of a former bank, the space became available to the Oshawa arts community when landlord Zal Press contacted City Hall to inform them he wanted to open the space to local artists. Opening at 1pm on Saturday, Transition Saturday will have a featured exhibition titled Foreclosure by Mike Berube, a photojournalist. Other artists participating in the show are Jay Dart, Dani Crosby, Grant Cole, Tammy Gay, Shannon Sosoon, Brian Vince, Steven Brown, Erica Podlowski, and Janice McHaffie. The event is at 19 Simcoe Street North and is a fundraiser for Feed The Need. Non-perishable food items will also be collected at the door. 

Read more about Zal Press and his desire to ReNew Oshawa.
Check out the facebook event page for Transition Saturday.

SUNDAY 9 JUNE

OPG Second Sundays

Sunday the RMG hosts OPG Second Sundays. This is a monthly event for families of all kinds and sizes. Drop into the gallery from 1-3pm, explore our exhibitions, and try a hands-on art making activity! This month, inspired by the exhibition Falling in Place and the Oshawa Peony Festival guests can build their own cities and imaginary worlds in full bloom while making big beautiful paper peonies. This monthly series is generously sponsored by Ontario Power Generation.

Learn more about upcoming OPG Second Sundays.
Sunday will be a busy day downtown Oshawa as the Peony Festival continues.
Parkwood Estate’s Bomb Girls Garden Party continues to rage throughout the weekend!

Pride Logo

Pride Durham is a non-profit organization that hosts Pride and social events in Durham Region. Sunday 9 of June is the final event in Pride Week, which includes the 3rd Annual Durham Pride Parade. The parade travels through the downtown area travelling on Centre Street starting at 2:30pm.

Get more details about this year’s Pride festivities at the website.
Become a fan of Pride Durham on facebook.

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.
Image
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