RMG announces project team for community arts greenspace

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (the RMG) is planning big changes to expand public access and use of the large greenspace behind the gallery, transforming it into a community arts greenspace by spring 2023.  So far this year the RMG has hosted three RMG Friday events outdoors, with over 500 attendees at a performance by local bands Dizzy and Wooly in May.  The space is also regularly used by RMG summer camps.

Lauren Gould, CEO at the RMG, shares “Our goal is to create a significant outdoor space through creative placemaking and placekeeping that will lead to greater community well-being for all.  This greenspace will encourage people to come downtown and experience a recreational and cultural hub.  We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be working with LeuWebb Projects and Brook McIlroy to bring this project to life.”  

The project will include:

  • Improving the greenspace through accessible, artist-designed gathering and play spaces
  • Addition of a permanent shade structure and seating
  • Creation of an Indigenous medicine and butterfly garden in collaboration with our partners
  • Adapting and creatively using the slope to improve access throughout the space
  • Creating a welcoming gathering space on our front steps
  • Commissioning and restoration of public artwork(s)

Additionally, to align with the RMG’s goals of improving greenspace and providing a safe and secure area to support expanded programs and services, the City of Oshawa funded and installed a perimeter fence in the outdoor space in fall 2021.

“The City of Oshawa is eagerly looking forward to seeing the completion of the RMG’s arts greenspace. This community outdoor space will be a feature in the heart of our city that will be enjoyed by community members and will attract new visitors to the downtown,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter.

Community consultation is vital to the project team.   The RMG recruited an advisory circle of community members to provide feedback at key milestones, and PROCESS consultants have actively gathered feedback at RMG events.

LeuWebb Projects shared “We’re excited to be a part of this creative initiative for a new type of greenspace and are looking forward to collaboratively building on the great work taking place at RMG to open up even more access to arts and culture for communities in Oshawa and the Durham region.”

The RMG is an asset for Oshawa and Durham residents and this project will develop a creative, community space for all to use and enjoy.  Follow the RMG on social media and subscribe to their e-newsletter to keep up to date on the design as it develops and learn how to get involved.

About the Project Team

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) is the largest public art gallery in Durham Region.  We believe that art cultivates connected and caring communities.  As an artist-centered and community-oriented public art gallery in Durham Region, we bring people from diverse backgrounds together to engage with art that inspires new perspectives, generates meaningful conversations, and creates a sense of belonging.  We build relationships with diverse artists and communities through art. The RMG works in collaboration with artists, partners, and audiences to present dynamic and inspiring collections, exhibitions, and programs in an inclusive and equitable environment.

Today, the RMG’s collection of over 4,700 works focuses on telling the continuing story of Canadian abstraction.  Each year we present Permanent Collection exhibitions alongside special exhibitions of contemporary art and artists.  We prioritize engaging diverse audiences in new and familiar ways through our programming.  We foster community connections and partnerships to create a greater sense of belonging.  We reimagine the gallery, making space for all.  Annually, we welcome 38,000 visitors and 10,000 participants to engage in our: exhibitions, education programs, volunteering opportunities, event spaces, shop, artist-in-residence program, and digital programming.  Admission to the RMG is FREE and we typically offer over 100 free public programs each year.

LeuWebb Projects

LeuWebb Projects is the creative union between artists Christine Leu and Alan Webb, through which they apply their professional design backgrounds to produce moments of beauty in the public realm. Since 2011, they have created more than 20 site-specific artworks across the world. With each piece, Leu and Webb summon their shared artistic and architectural expertise in exploring how a site’s qualities can serve as metaphors for storytelling and critical discourse.

Art and architecture share an integral relationship, meeting at many points including visual, spatial and tactile expression. The unique approach of LeuWebb Projects lives within the space shared by art and architecture, their practice fueling hybrid forms and new directions within the contemporary visual arts tradition. Light, texture and sound are key components of their practice that they weave together through the innovative use of materials and responsive technologies to create art that is not only seen, but also experienced.

Brook McIlroy

Brook McIlroy is an award-winning landscape architecture, planning, urban design, and architecture firm with offices in Toronto, Thunder Bay, and Winnipeg. As a unique, multi-disciplinary practice, we design projects as whole environments, addressing all scales and facets from community visions to detailed design and construction administration of parks, streets, buildings, and infrastructure. Over 21 years, we have worked extensively with municipalities, post-secondary institutions, and private developers in the design and creation of streetscapes, parks, public art, waterfronts, and design guidelines. Our progressive focus on the public realm and placemaking cerates lively, people-oriented spaces that combine landscape architecture with cultural interpretation and programming.

We work in the medium of the built and natural environments driven by a belief that we have been given an incredible gift in Canada, and an opportunity to get it right – to create environments where people can prosper and thrive while protecting the land, water, air and the other species that make life possible. This work is driven by a uniquely Canadian design ethos derived from research into place, diverse cultures, Indigenous world views, sustainability, natural materials, and the application of new technologies.

PROCESS

PROCESS is a strategy, engagement, communications, and planning studio. Through creative, collaborative, equitable and community-driven approaches, we transform how we plan, tell new stories and implement change.

People are at the centre of our work. Our curiosity drives us to solve complex problems and leads to responsive and meaningful outcomes.

Get to Know Us – Membership Co-ordinator, Elsy Gould

At the RMG, we often get asked about what we do each day, how we got into the crazy museum world and also what skills would be needed to do our jobs. With graduation looming for many college and university students, we will be profiling members of our team to shed some light on what it is we do behind the scenes!

Today we sat down with Membership Co-ordinator Elsy Gould to learn more about her daily routine and how she came to the gallery.

selfie

Selfie with Elsy Gould and Norah O’Donnell

The RMG: What’s a typical day like for you?

Elsy Gould: Every day at the RMG is different! I am always in communication with our members to let them know what is happening as well as welcoming new members to the Gallery. I also help at the Information desk, so I am meeting new faces as they come in to check out new exhibitions. I enjoy listening to the Membership feedback.

My days can include:

  • Updating Gallery Members’ accounts – send renewal notices, process memberships, prepare tax receipts
  • Planning our annual Membership appreciation event.
  • Updating our members with a monthly news letter
  • Assisting our CEO as required and helping to plan meetings
  • Coordinating between Board of Trustees and the RMG and sssembling reports for the bi-monthly Board of Trustee meetings
  • Preparing the weekly banking forms and assisting with finances
  • Assisting at the Information desk and answering visitor questions

RMG: How did you get into this field?

EG: My interest in the arts and office administration experience lead me to the RMG. A number of years ago, an opportunity presented itself and I have enjoyed being at the Gallery ever since.

 

curling team

RMG Curling Team- Olinda, Elsy, Jason, Sam

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

EG: Recently, I was trained on our new membership management software; it was both interesting and engaging! I think a good sense of humour and customer service is key for this role.

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

EG: I enjoy chatting and mingling with our members, new and old, while listing to the music at RMG Fridays!

RMG Staff Jennifer, Elsy, Cheryl-Ann and Norah

RMG Staff Jennifer, Elsy, Cheryl-Ann and Norah

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

EG: My computer, my day planner, members, volunteers and my RMG colleagues.

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

EG: I enjoy biking, cross-country skiing, movies and going through my collection of cookbooks and trying new recipes. I also love yoga so you’ll find me at the yoga studio!

rmg exposed

RMG exposed 2015 planning team- Megan, Elsy, Norah, Sam and Jason

Museum Week Fun

Samantha Pender and Jessica Moffitt are second year Public Relations students at Durham College and the RMG’s communications interns for the winter.

 

It’s that time of year again! Museums and art galleries around the world will be coming together on the Internet to celebrate one of the most exciting calendar weeks. That’s right, it’s time for #MuseumWeek!

exterior of gallery

Photo by Michael Cullen

Museum week is a social media gathering of museums and galleries across the world to share cool things with their audience. There are seven days with seven hashtags, each a different theme that dictates the tweet/fact about the museum. Here is this year’s lineup:
Monday – #SecretsMW

Tuesday – #PeopleMW

Wednesday – #ArchitectureMW

Thursday – #HeritageMW

Friday – #FutureMW

Saturday – #ZoomMW

Sunday – #LoveMW
Our communications interns, Jessica and Sam have been preparing for this exciting week, learning all the in’s and out’s of the RMG to share with you on Twitter. With about three to five tweets a day, fans of the RMG can expect to learn plenty of new and exciting things about their favourite Oshawa art gallery!

Monday through Wednesday was researched and planned by Sam, who had a great time digging into rich, Oshawa history and learning about architecture. The gallery is deeply rooted in the McLaughlin family history, so you can expect to learn a bit about one of Oshawa’s most famous families and their affiliation with the RMG on Tuesday’s #people.

Queens Hotel, Oshawa

Queens Hotel, Oshawa

The building itself is also touched by fame, designed and built by a famous Canadian architect – don’t worry, you’ll find out who during Museum Week on Wednesday’s #architecture! Sam was able to really learn about the bare bones of the building, exploring not only the physical architecture, but also the culture of the building and architect as well.

Sam also searched up some little known facts about the RMG that we will be sharing to kick off the week on the first day of #secrets!

Unidentified Portrait

Unidentified Portrait from the Thomas Bouckley Collection. Collection of The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

Jess, who planned out Thursday through Sunday, had fun diving into her hometown #heritage and learning all about Oshawa! Seeing old black and white photos from The Thomas Bouckley Collection was a highlight for her, getting a glimpse of what the city looked like long before we were here.

After going back in history, Jess looked forward to the #future of the RMG – we don’t want to ruin anything, but it the future looks bright. She also digs deep into a few key pieces in the gallery for #zoom, sharing interesting stories while she takes a closer look. Sunday is all about #love, and Jess had plenty of that to share. What’s not to love about the RMG?

RMG Friday

Museum Hack. Photo by Mat Calverley.

Jess and Sam can’t wait to share everything they learned about the RMG with you during #MuseumWeek! Make sure you check out our Twitter feed @theRMG so you can learn it all too!

Get to know us! Sam Mogelonsky, Manager of Marketing and Communications

At the RMG, we often get asked about what we do each day, how we got into the crazy museum world and also what skills would be needed to do our jobs. With graduation looming for many college and university students, we will be profiling members of our team to shed some light on what it is we do behind the scenes!

To start, we sat down with Sam Mogelonsky, who is the voice behind the RMG’s digital platforms, to learn more about her day and how she came to the gallery.

 

The RMG: What’s a typical day like for you?

Sam Mogelonsky: Firstly, no day is the same for me! My job is a lot like a party mix—part writing, part design, part print, part digital, but very fast paced. The first thing I do each day is open up all of our social media feeds and check in to see if we have had any questions over night on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Then I’ll typically write a morning post about something happening either later that day or upcoming at the gallery. I also have a master list of every upcoming deadline for advertising materials so I check that daily to make sure I get everything designed and delivered in time.

Once I have my morning postings and general emails taken care of, I will focus on an upcoming project or deadline. It could be designing our upcoming newsletter, writing press releases for exhibitions, updating our website, helping to design signage for the gallery or more long term planning for events such as RMG Fridays or fundraising. At the moment, I have two PR interns from Durham College so I am trying to impart some marketing wisdom on them by showing them hands on tools, like Google Analytics and HootSuite. There’s always something that comes up in a rush that needs some finessing or a design eye. I check in on social media about every few hours and will be posting throughout the day to stay in the conversation.

 

artist

Sam at Making Methods, 2013

RMG: How did you get into this field?

SM: I started at the RMG about a year and a half ago. I had exhibited at the gallery in Making Methods (2013) and was captivated by the space and also loved working with Senior Curator Linda Jansma. Before that, I was working for a boutique advertising agency, managing the studio and web development. My past clients in the ad world have included car companies, telecom, hotels, tourism destinations, charities, restaurants, and even a dog food company! I was also doing a bunch of design and marketing projects for my friends in the art world—mainly designing websites and running social media campaigns for artists and galleries… and I still do this on the side.

I always had a keen eye for advertising and design, with my first projects being posters for my high school’s musicals. I grew up in a household surrounded by art and was always very interested in how to communicate visually. Since I studied fine art and am now an artist as well, understanding how people communicate and interact is key to my practice.

 

RMG Exposed

RMG Exposed 2015, staff and volunteers shot

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

SM: I think the main skills are being able to communicate clearly in words and visual imagery, which I got from my undergrad in fine art and art history at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and my Master’s Degree in sculpture from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, UK. Writing and story telling has always been key to my many roles which writing for art history and critical thinking definitely teaches you!

The more technical skills I have just picked up… in undergrad, I wanted a website for my graduation, so I taught myself how to build a website (note, in 2006 something like Squarespace didn’t exist so you had to code direct with HTML and CSS). For web building now, I use WordPress. The first site I built took quite a while to figure out, but now I’ve made over 30 websites so I can probably whip a small one up pretty quickly.

When I wanted to make projects that required image editing or video, I taught myself how to do it using online tutorials and working with friends. When I first started, I had a hacked copy of Quark Xpress and learned by using dummy books and really thinking about typography. It’s a lot of trial and error and practice… use InDesign a few times and you will forget the features—use it every single day and it becomes second nature.

Social media is a whole new beast! Being the bridge between the digital and analogue generations, (I got Facebook in 2005 and was one of the first among my friends to have it in London when I moved to the UK) I grew up before every moment was digitized. There’s so much out there and I think the way we engage with social platforms will continue to shift and evolve as we build the internet together. As the voice of the gallery online, I do my best to keep up with digital trends and am always looking for the next network we should branch into.

Hootsuite dash

Hootsuite social dashboard for the RMG

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

SM: Meeting the artists, seeing the collection and learning from my team. The most exciting moment of an exhibition is definitely when I get to meet the artist behind the work and learn more about their practice. I have been able to meet so many wonderful artists through working here (Coral Short, Pete Smith, Ron Shuebrook, Holly king, to name a few). They have really shone a light on what’s happening in Canadian art today and been inspiring.

I am also exceptionally proud of the new RMG website we launched in winter 2015 (that houses this article)! It was really fantastic to work with Junction Design on this project and ensure we made a site that worked for the many needs of the gallery, while providing a great user experience.

OAAG speaker

At the OAAG conference at the Art Gallery of Windsor in 2015, speaking about RMG Fridays and building a community

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

SM: iPhone, MacBook Pro, Google Drive, Adobe CS and Instagram.

museum selfie

At the AGO for #MuseumSelfieDay with the Floor Burger by Claes Oldenburg

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

SM: At the moment, my life outside of work is mainly focused on art – making it, seeing it and reading about it. When I’m not at the RMG, I’m probably on a gallery crawl, in the studio or curled up reading articles on Hyperallergic, Canadian Art, Sculpture or Juxtapose. I love good wine and food so that’s my other go-to, a good bottle of VQA and a tasty meal, especially if it involves oysters. Anyone who hangs out with me knows I love anything that sparkles, so I am always on the hunt for awesome vintage pieces with glitter. I am a big dog lover, so I try to spend as much time with my parent’s adopted 120lb Bouvier puppy, Hondo, as I can. I also have a sweet spot for bad ‘80’s and ‘90’s action movies. Die Hard is a masterpiece. Yipee Ki Yay!

 

For more, follow Sam at @sammogelonsky

Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer at the RMG

Are you interested in art? Do you love helping with events? Do you have a passion for education? Then volunteering at the RMG is the place for you!

With countless opportunities to choose from, there are positions available for any age, skill set or interest. These are our top 5 reasons to volunteer, what are yours?

OPG Sundays

1. Give Back

Sure, volunteering at the RMG helps you to build a repertoire of skills. It also has a huge impact on our community. Did you attend art classes during March Break? Have you had a memorable RMG Fridays out with friends? Those experiences would not have been possible without our stellar volunteer team!

 

female volunteers

2. Be Creative

There is nothing better than leaving work and feeling inspired. The RMG offers a creative, relaxed and inspiring atmosphere where you can learn and grow. Sam Mogelonsky, Manager of Marketing and Communications, says “having volunteers is critical to keep our voice fresh. I love working with creative young minds who want to learn and bring their skills to the table.”

Carla Sinclair, Manager of Community and Volunteer Development, sums it up to a tee, saying that she “loves meeting new volunteers and hearing their interests, skills and talents to see how they can work with our team of staff. Volunteers have the ability to use their strengths, gain new skills and develop an array of contacts while donating their time to the gallery. Our staff has so much gratitude for all of the amazing energy volunteers give to this vibrant, cultural space called the RMG.”

 

RMG Exposed volunteers

Photo by Grant Cole.

3. Build that Resume!

Regardless of if you are completing your high-school community service hours, doing a post-secondary field placement or simply looking to give back to the community, we’ll have a spot for you! Volunteers work on everything from helping with events, to handling artworks to instructing young minds.

Are you interested in education? Help out with art camps or OPG Second Sundays and learn in our studio. Are you a social media whizz? Help us with marketing and communications and build our following. Do you live for music and live events? Get involved with RMG Fridays and help us bring new talent to Oshawa. Are you an artist or in a museum studies program? Our curatorial volunteers will get hands-on experience by helping with exhibition installations and archival research.

“No matter what the task, I always try to ensure that what a volunteer is working on will be helpful for their resume,” says Associate Curator, Sonya Jones. With multiple outlets for every skill-set, the RMG is the perfect place to lend your time and build your resume with relevant skills.

 

art gallery interior

4. Be Surrounded by Art

Beautiful, airy spaces full of art are only steps away! The stunning renovation by noted architect Arthur Erickson will to fill you with inspiration as you walk into the office everyday. We believe opportunities for teamwork, brainstorming and collaboration, so we have an open-door policy (or no doors at all!) We guarantee you’ll be showing up to work early just to browse the exhibitions.

 

RMG Fridays

Photo by Linda Ryde.

5. Create Contacts 

With multiple events, visiting artists, staff and volunteers, there is no shortage of contacts and networking opportunities at the RMG. With such a friendly environment, it’s easy to approach anyone for a casual chat. Stick around for RMG Friday and get to know people in the arts and Oshawa community and listen to great music with your new friends!

 

To apply now, click here and fill out our online application. For more information, please contact Carla Sinclair at [email protected], or call 905-576-3000. We look forward to meeting you!

 

#MuseumSelfieDay at the RMG

Wednesday January 20, 2016 was #MuseumSelfie Day and the RMG’s staff and guests got into it by snapping some pretty fabulous and creative photos in the gallery.

carla

Carla Sinclair, Manager of Community and Volunteer Development, gets expressive with Rita Letendre.

donna

Donna Raetsen-Kemp, CEO, gets up close and personal with Jock Macdonald.

leslie

Leslie Menagh, Manager of Public Programs and Art Reach, poses with work by Gallery A artist Janice McHaffie.

Staff from the Oshawa Public Library get a sweet selfie with a photo by Holly King.

steve

Steve Dick, Manager of Protection Services, does his best Vanna White impersonation with our new banner.

Linda

Senior Curator Linda Jansma mimics a work by Michael Snow.

sam

Sam Mogelonsky, Manager of Marketing and Communications, gets mysterious with a photo by Holly King.

Olinda

Olinda Casimiro, Director of Finance and Administration, hanging out with Elvis by Tony Scherman.

Sonya

Sonya Jones, Associate Curator, gets a bright idea from a Ray Mead drawing.

alessandra

Curatorial volunteer Alessanra Cirelli, takes a selfie while framing.

par

Parvathi Bhat, Gallery Educator, poses with her favourite Jack Bush.

cassey

RMG enthusiast Cassy Goulding dropped by for this quick snap in the lobby.

Interview with Kevin Alexander Hache, Co-Op Student

Kevin Alexander Hache is a Clarington Central Secondary student in his senior year. Joining the RMG team as a co-op student in the Education department, he spent most of his time providing in-studio support. In addition to Kevin’s eager disposition and great energy with the kids, we found that Kevin also had an amazing aptitude for 3D design. Keep reading to see what he accomplished!

Last fall I found myself without a co-op placement. This dilemma was quickly solved by going home after school and searching for places that connected with my interests.  I decided to approach The Robert McLaughlin Gallery because I am an artist in the high skills major program for technology at school.  After connecting with Jennifer Treleaven in the Education department, I had finally found a suitable co-op placement! I learned how to focus, develop a work ethic, manage timelines and incorporate my technology skills.

Working with RMG staff as a co-op student is thrilling. I feel capable to express my creativity to everyone freely. One day the opportunity to create a digital 3D model of the RMG building surfaced. It’s been over one year since I started 3D modeling. Using a free software called Blender, I designed a replica (to scale) of the gallery for staff to use when designing and planning exhibitions. (If you have an interest in CG (computer graphics), check out Blender.com online. Voila! Your turn to learn.)

3D rendering

3D rendering of the RMG, Kevin Hache, 2016

The project was a very fun process overall and my skills developed as I worked on the piece. I needed to examine the entire gallery, measure every corner and develop techniques to make the job more efficient. My mind is like a matrix with this type of work. Creating things out of nothing is why I love art.  Like the architecture of this building, the creative process is so unique! I committed to the task never doubting my abilities and pulled off 4 models (meshes) of the space. I must say that this type of work makes me happy and provides a sense of accomplishment.

3D rendering

3D rendering of the RMG, Kevin Hache, 2016

Daily work at The Robert McLaughlin has really made me feel like I’m pointed in the right direction in life. The excitement of teaching kids how to paint or sculpt gave me a sense of leadership and responsibility.

3D rendering of the RMG, Kevin Hache, 2016

3D rendering of the RMG, Kevin Hache, 2016

I am grateful to Jennifer for letting me participate in this thriving community. I enjoy spending time with the team, and helping out with all the programs. I especially liked connecting with every one of the volunteers and employees, I see them all as great workers. I’m positive that other co-op students who have a creative mind will find the thrill and excitement in this placement.

– Kevin Alexander Hache, 2016

3D

3D rendering of the RMG, Kevin Hache, 2016

A look through the lens…

This winter, the RMG shifts its focus to exploring how artists view the world through images. Photography is used to document history, to capture a memory, to tell a story or to create an imaginary landscape. We invite you to consider capturing these moments and the role of the artist behind the lens when you visit.

The Other NFB: The National Film Board of Canada’s Still Photography Division, 1941-1971 is an exhibition exploring our national identity and history by showing how Canada was presented to the world. Through this collection of images, we see a slice of Canadian life at this important time in history. This exhibition serves as a reminder of how photography informs our national identity. How do you relate to these images? How does the photograph relate to your personal narrative or family story?

In Their Stories: Unidentified Portraits from the Thomas Bouckley Collection we are taking a different approach to historical photography. In this exhibition, we put out a call for writers to create narratives for a selection of unidentified portraits from our collection of historical Oshawa photographs. The stories we received were varied, creative and shine a new and exciting look into the possible lives of these people. We encourage you to think about these unidentified subjects and the lives they may have lived.

We take another look at the photographic image in Holly King: Edging Towards the Mysterious. In this mid-career retrospective, the artist presents a series of idealistic and beautiful landscapes. At first glance, you hope these are real— possible utopian escapes. But at second glance you feel a sense of loneliness and anxiety from something unsettling in the landscape. This feeling is caused by King’s use of staged photography. By manufacturing her landscapes, we are forced to question the image we are presented with— is it real, is it fake, or are we lost in our imaginations?

In April, we will celebrate the CONTACT Photography Festival with an exhibition by RMG Exposed winner Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock entitled Familiarity in the Foreign. The images represent the quiet moments that she found among the chaos of travel, as well as memories of places visited.

In conjunction with our photography exhibitions, we are excited to offer accompanying programming. Please join us for a symposium, featuring The Other NFB, that will examine Canada and Canadian identity through visual image. A tour of the exhibition will be given by curator Carol Payne, followed by an interactive discussion with 5 panelists. This will be an invigorating day so register early to guarantee your spot!

RMG Holiday Hours

We hope you will visit the RMG this holiday season. Please note our holiday hours:
Closed: December 24, 25, 26, 2015 (Access via John Street)
12pm – 7pm: December 27 (Access via John Street)
12pm – 4pm: December 28, 29, 30, 2015
Closed: December 31, 2015
Closed: January 1, 2016
12pm – 4pm: January 2, 3, 2016

Happy holidays from the RMG!

Happy Holidays from the RMG!

Wishing you and your family all the best for the holiday season! See you in 2016!