Meet Alessandra Cirelli, our Assistant Curator

Alessandra Cirelli is the RMG’s new Assistant Curator. You may recognize her as our curatorial intern from last summer – from volunteer to assistant curator, we’re thrilled to welcome her to the team! Come by and say hello.

The RMG: How did you get into this field?

Alessandra Cirelli:  I studied Art and Art History at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College and then completed a graduate certificate at Fleming College in Museum Management and Curatorship (MMC).  I completed an internship here at the RMG in the Curatorial department as a course requirement for my MMC program.  After interning at the RMG, I worked at the Markham Museum in their education and curatorial departments.

Alessandra Cirelli

Alessandra Cirelli helping at RMG Exposed

RMG: What skills or training do you need for your job?

AC: My studies at Fleming College really provided me the proper skills and training for my job, specifically learning Collections Management skills, Curatorial Research and artwork handling.  Currently I am relying on my organizational skills to help me transition into my new position.

Alessandra Cirelli

Alessandra Cirelli at Jessica Field’s workshop in the Art Lab

RMG: What’s your favorite part of your job?

AC: One of my favourite parts of my job is accessioning new works into the collection and cataloguing them so they are accessible to the staff and the public for research or future exhibitions. In addition, I really like the change of pace when exhibition installation week rolls around! I love being able to help hang artwork and get the exhibition space ready for visitors.

Alessandra Cirelli

Alessandra Cirelli at RMG Fridays

RMG: What are 5 things you couldn’t live without in your job?

AC: That’s a tough one, off the top of my head I’d say…

  • Minisis, Online collections Database
  • Artists and artworks hardcopy files
  • Pencils!  Since you can’t have a pen anywhere near the art… I seem to keep one with me everywhere I go now.
  • Colourful Sticky notes
  • An agenda!

RMG: What do you get up to outside of the RMG?

AC: During the summer months, I enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming and going on road trips. Often you can find me with a group of friends enjoying a live band on a patio somewhere in and around the GTA or further, I love exploring new places. I truly enjoy winter… I have been skiing since I was 9 and snowboarding since I was 14.

RMG exposed

Alessandra Cirelli at RMG Exposed



Interview with artist Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock

In the lead up to her solo exhibition Familiarity in the Foreign (on view from April 30 – June 5) at the RMG, we sat down with artist Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock to ask her a few questions about the show and her practice.


The RMG: Hi Lindsay! Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock: Hi RMG! I’m a young Canadian photographer and artist. I grew up in London, Ontario where I had the pleasure of attending the amazing BealArt program. While there I really discovered my love of photography as well as the darkroom. I then earned a bachelor of fine arts from York University in Toronto. I minored in psychology at the same time, which I feel has influenced my artistic practice. After graduating I continued to pursue my art practice, having occasional shows and being awarded grants from the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. Concurrently, I began working in editorial and commercial photography- first as a photo assistant and then as a photographer. In 2014, my husband and I decided to throw all our things in storage and try something new. We’re currently using Mexico City as our base which is giving us the opportunity to spend more time travelling and doing artistic work.

Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock, Mezcaleria, Digital C-Print, 2014

Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock, Mezcaleria, Digital C-Print, 2014

RMG: What materials do you work with? 

LLG: As I mentioned, my photographic practice has two wings so to speak. A gallery based practice and editorial work. However these two ends compliment and inform one another. I’ve learned skills from my experience in editorial that have aided my art, and vice versa. It’s difficult to truly divide one from the other.

These days I primarily shoot with a digital-SLR. Although, whenever I have the chance I like to shoot medium format film. I really love photographing portraits with a medium format camera. I feel like I get to connect with the subject in a different and perhaps more intimate way.


Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock, Wind on the Ferry, Digital C-Print, 2015

RMG: Let’s go back to last fall. Why were you interested in submitting to our fundraising auction RMG Exposed? Please let us know a little more about the piece you submitted, Wind on the Ferry.

LLG: A few years ago I came across the RMG fundraiser, decided to submit and was awarded the documentary prize. I had heard of RMG before but living in Toronto and without a car, I had never been. When I was there for the Exposed event I was blown away by the space and the work there. Toni Hamel’s The Lingering was on exhibition. It was beautiful and captivating and I still think about it regularly. After my initial experience at RMG I of course wanted to support the gallery and submit again.

The piece I submitted in 2015, Wind on the Ferry, was taken last summer during a trip to Ucluelet, BC. While on the ferry I felt a slight nostalgia with faint, and possibly imagined memories. Twenty-five years prior to taking this photo I made the same journey via ferry from mainland British Columbia to Vancouver Island. There was a feeling of the sublime onboard the ferry. An enormous vessel dwarfed by great waters and powerful winds. The curtain caught my attention as it had been pulled out of the window by the wind and was fluttering on the exterior of the ferry. There was something very comforting and domestic about the fabric curtain and at the same time its position was unnerving.


Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock, Coin Operated Binoculars, Digital C-Print, 2015

RMG: What are you most excited about showing to our audience in your exhibition Familiarity in the Foreign? What do you hope visitors get from viewing your photographs?

LLG: For me, the photographs in this exhibition have a quiet, emotive aspect to them. I think they often suggest a story of something that has just happened, or is just about to take place. My hope is that visitors who see my exhibition will find a photo that speaks to them. Something that reminds them of a time or place in their lives, or even a story they’ve heard. I want viewers to be able to enter my photos and be taken somewhere else, to have an emotional response that’s detached from where they in that actual moment. I suppose these are rather lofty goals, but it would be nice.

RMG: One of your works, Coin Operated Binoculars, will be on view in downtown Oshawa in the Core 21 windows. Can you please tell us a bit about that photo and why it was selected it for that space?

LLG: This photo was taken August 2015 at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. I took this at the end of a two week trip that started in Edmonton, Alberta, went to Vancouver Island in British Columbia and ended back in southern Alberta. It was really exciting to see just a fraction of the beautiful and diverse landscapes that exist in Canada. During our trip we had been to some very remote areas, so Lake Louise was a change of pace with so many tourists there. I liked it though, and was drawn to the binoculars because they were a reminder of the history there. No matter how much the world has changed, we still love admiring scenic views. At the same time, focusing on the binoculars blocked out all the other chaos that was happening around me.

This image was chosen for a couple reasons. Aesthetically, I thought it worked well on a large scale and was intelligible from a distance too. Also, I’ve had lots of reactions to this specific photo. The two lenses give the binoculars a humanoid appearance which viewers seem to be intrigued by.


Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock, Coin Operated Binoculars, 2015. Installed at CORE21 Oshawa

RMG: What inspires you? Is there a particular artist’s work that has influenced your practice?

LLG: A lot of my inspiration comes from novelty; seeing a thing or place for the first time. When I’m shooting, a lot of intangible things influence me; an electric feeling in the air, the calmness of a place, the warmth of the morning sun. I’m driven by affect and invented narratives. As far as artists influencing me, it’s hard to choose just one. I spend a lot of time looking at imagery and photo essays. These can be on photo blogs, in magazines, or the websites and Instagram accounts of other artists. I’m also lucky enough to belong to a community of photographers who are also friends. I’m constantly being exposed to new work and ideas.


Volunteer Spotlight: Illianna Wotton

Illianna Wotton is a grade 11 student at O’Neill Collegiate in Oshawa.  She has been volunteering with the RMG for many years and is currently completing a co-op placement with our Manager of Community and Volunteer Development. Illianna’s trademark has become the creation of the beautiful and informative signage on display for our monthly community event, RMG Fridays. We sat down with her to learn more about her time at the RMG.

The RMG: How did you get involved with volunteering at the RMG?

Illianna: When our family first moved to Oshawa, we realized there was an art gallery really close by; and when we attended our first RMG Fridays, my parents wanted to volunteer and help with this amazing space. As I grew older, I began to fall into the same sort of path, and started to volunteer as well.

sign for event

The RMG: Why were you interested in volunteering in an art gallery?

Illianna: I’m generally an artsy person, and I like the vibe that galleries give off. Since they needed volunteers, I thought “hey, why not volunteer somewhere fun”. And when I discovered it was possible to have a co-op placement here, I jumped on the opportunity.

a volunteer working

The RMG: What have you been doing during your placement at the gallery?

Illianna: It’s been a whole lot, honestly- Everything from data entry, to working in the gift shop, to organizing the libraries, to helping kickstart a new program for the Youth of Oshawa here in the gallery. I know that whenever I come to work in the morning, I don’t know for sure what I’ll be doing because it’s such an eclectically organized job.

The RMG: What is one thing you want to share about the RMG?

Illianna: The fact that everything looks a lot easier than it is. The way that this staff pulls every event off so flawlessly is astounding, but behind the scenes, there are a million tiny little tasks that need to be done. And it’s done once a month for RMG Fridays, once a year for RMG Exposed – every event you see here took careful planning and immaculate execution to get it the way it is and it’s just really satisfying being a part of that and seeing it become something fantastic.

a volunteer working

The RMG: What is your favourite museum?

Illianna: I think my favourite museum is the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal; I went to Montreal for a family trip on my sister’s birthday, and they had a beautiful installation outside of these spinning prisms with gels and lights and bells inside that made music when you spun them around. That got me hooked, and the museum itself was so cool. I’m a fan of more contemporary art so that was a fantastic place to be.

The RMG: What is your first memory of art?

Illianna: As a kid, when I lived in Toronto with a small television set, I remember watching a TV show called Art Attack and trying to drag yarn across my living room floor to make a picture like the guy on TV did. It didn’t turn out very well, but I remember having fun while I did it.

a volunteer working

SPIN II by Katrina Jennifer Bedford

Guests at RMG Exposed, the annual juried photography auction and fundraiser for the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, will walk directly into one of the evening’s works of art:  a large-scale projection installation entitled SPIN, by photographer and Durham College Professor, Katrina Jennifer Bedford. We sat down with Sam Mogelonsky, the RMG’s Manager of Marketing and Communications, to learn more about SPIN.

SPIN was first exhibited in 2012 at Nuit Blanche. How did it come to the attention of the RMG, then become part of RMG Exposed 2015?

Katrina Jennifer Bedford is an artist I have been following for a few years. Her work with photography had always interested me, in particular the SPIN project which was presented at Nuit Blanche Toronto and also at Cambridge Galleries Unsilent Night. This project activates the space in such a dynamic way that when we began considering RMG Exposed 2015, I immediately thought of this project and suggested it as an artist project for the event. Katrina was on board and excited about the possibility of re-staging it at the RMG and the collaboration went from there. We were thrilled to receive support from Durham College, where she teaches in the Digital Photography and Video programs, as well as Ed Video for technical support and Posterjack for the production of the SPIN limited edition print.

What’s the significance of installing SPIN in the lobby of the RMG, rather than in a gallery?

We like to think of the entire RMG building as a whole – the experience begins when you walk up the stairs and isn’t confined to one particular gallery space. As much as I enjoy seeing art presented in the “white cube” gallery space, I am equally thrilled and engaged when art is presented in unexpected places, such as corners, hallways, and in this case, our lobby. Besides, the ironic limestone wall in the lobby space is a perfect canvas for a temporary art installation!

How to you hope visitors will feel, or “take away” from SPIN?

I hope people will be as captivated by the project as I was when I first saw it. The simple action of the disco ball rotating in stop motion is almost hypnotic and certainly visually stunning when presented at such a large scale. Since it’s presented at RMG Exposed, I hope people will recognize the significance of both the analogue and digital in photography and video and be inspired to purchase a photograph during the auction, or one of the limited edition prints of SPIN.  I know I will.

How does SPIN enhance the viewing experience of RMG Exposed? Should it influence how guests look at the photographs in the exhibition?

My hope is that the projection will draw the viewer in form outside and they will be engaged and excited about the event from the moment they walk into the RMG. By changing the lobby through the video, I hope that guests will appreciate the transformative properties of art and consider purchasing one of the great photos up at auction to transform their own living spaces. It may or may not have any bearing on how guests view the photographs in the auction, but certainly will provide an amazing backdrop for visitors to enjoy the event!

Can you tell me about the limited edition of SPIN?   

The RMG is thrilled to be collaborating with Katrina on a limited edition of SPIN. The artist print of the project will be available for $50 in support of the RMG’s community outreach programs. The 8×12″ fine art prints are printed with archival ink on 100% cotton Hahnemïhle photo rag. Prints can be purchased in advance at or during the event. Support of this edition is generously provided by Posterjack.

RMG Exposed will be held at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (72 Queen Street), on November 14, 2015, from 7 pm to 10 pm.  Tickets are $30.  


jen-clrAbout the artist: 

Katrina Jennifer Bedford is a photographer, art educator and cultural advocate. She currently holds the position of Professor at Durham College teaching in the Digital Photography and Video Production programs. Jennifer has worked with notable not-for-profit organizations such as the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Cambridge Libraries and Galleries, Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener Area (CAFKA), Art Gallery of Burlington, and Oakville Galleries. Her photographs have been exhibited in Canada and the United States and her photos have been published in Azure magazine, Border Crossings, Canadian Art online, C Magazine and in numerous Canadian exhibition catalogues. For more information visit


This article was originally written for What’s On Oshawa. Please visit

The Intern Files: Tara Mazurk

The Intern Files is an ongoing series of blog posts written by RMG Interns. Tara Mazurk is a third-year Arts Management Student at the University of Toronto.

There’s satisfaction in assisting the RMG in endeavors which build the local community, support artistic practice across Canada, and provide a pedagogical forum for learning and engagement. As the Communications and Events Assistant, I’ve had the opportunity to coordinate artists for RMG Exposed 2012 and progress the development of the RMG’s volunteer program.


The auction at RMG Exposed 2012


With RMG Exposed, I was charged with the task of coordinating incoming submissions, creating a comprehensive database, and acting as a liaison between artists and RMG.  Ultimately, the objective was to create a system which was easily accessible internally, and enhanced communication between parties. I was quick to realize the benefits of this project, both as educational experience and within a broader context.
Currently an undergraduate student in Arts Management, the RMG has been wonderful in giving me a breadth of experience in database management, fundraising and development, and in artistic programming. To coordinate selections for a charitable auction allowed me to realize not only the funding impact for the RMG, but also the indispensable relationship between artist and organization. Those who had submitted work for jury came from various locations across Canada and thus various social, cultural, and educational backgrounds; some selected artists had previously no exhibition experience. This values the placement of emerging artists within an institutional framework, and provides a new forum for discussion, display, and career development.


Guests check out works to be auctioned at RMG Exposed 2012


No stranger to the professional development acquired through volunteering, I had approached the RMG with an eagerness to learn and inherent support of their values and initiatives. Of course, it was in my natural interest to outreach to new volunteers and to align administration of the volunteer program with the RMG’s Strategic Plan. My responsibilities included researching the various venues to which we could reach interested participants. As an extension of internal operations, I helped create a volunteer database which is accessible and easily filtered for volunteer interests, availability, and current status. The RMG’s volunteer resources are invaluable; and we are currently enhancing the portfolio to provide methods for internal evaluation. At the core of everything, this provides a fitting experience and inviting atmosphere to those who are crucial in building and engaging our community.


Tara (left) and another volunteer clowning around at RMG Fridays August 2012