June 3, 2011
Have you ever looked back at your life and found the roots of a passion that developed later in life? I’ve recently contemplated my love of visual art and where it all began. Although I can’t remember the outing, my parents took me to a show at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) in the Fall of 1976 called Ontario Collects. We were photographed looking at a painting by Robert Reginald Whale–a triple portrait of children. This picture appeared in the Oshawa Times. For me this clipping remains dear to my heart in many ways. It’s a document that shows an early connection with my hometown gallery.
Fast-forward thirty-five years. The RMG recently unveiled their reconditioned permanent collection space with old favorites and some new acquisitions. I was very moved and honored to have a couple of my drawings included in this re-hanging. Roman Street and Record Player are two works from 2009. Seeing these film-inspired works flanked by a Barbara Astman photo and a Norval Morrisseau painting was an eclectic and inspiring curatorial decision, offering multiple interpretive routes (thanks Linda).
Over the years, I was involved with the RMG in many ways: as a visitor, a summer student, an employee, an art instructor, and now an artist in the permanent collection. Reflecting back on this continuum, it’s important to acknowledge the importance of local galleries and the many ways they shape our cultural world view.