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Recognizing our talented women

Story & images: Shauna McCarthy

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) celebrated their second week of The Women in Art series on Thursday, Oct. 7.

Toronto artists Lindy Fyfe joined about 20 others to discuss her exhibition, Confluence, and her unique approach to art.

“We’ve been getting very positive feedback,” said Jacquie Severs, in charge of marketing and communications at the gallery.

“Last night we had a lot of questions, really interesting questions and a lot of interaction with the audience, even the artist was surprised,” she laughed.

Severs describes Lindy Fyfe’s work as bold and very different. Fyfe does not shy away from colour — her vibrant paintings pop out from the gallery walls.

The next event of the five part series takes place next week on Oct. 14 with a lecture presented by Canadian author and artist Jane Lind.

Severs explains that although art galleries seem to attract an older crowd and families, the RMG is exploring different ways to draw in a more youthful audience.

“We’re always looking for new and interesting ways to attract students,” she said. “We try to mix it up throughout the year, for example in March we’ll be having a spring concert series.”

Looking forward to the winter and early spring seasons as a chance to hit that target audience, Severs explains that there will be a larger focus on fashion and music-oriented subjects as well as illustrations and comics.

Another issue for the gallery is that many students, and the public in general, may not be aware of the services and events offered by the RMG.

Students enrolled in Durham College’s Media, Art and Design programs could benefit from attending the Women in Art series, especially considering the majority of the event is free of charge.

Students have and possibly will miss out on future events because of the visibility issue. Severs explains the RMG is making a serious effort this year to promote the relationship between local students and the gallery.

“In the spring, we are working on a workshop that’s targeted towards students coming out of the Foundations in Art and Design at Durham College,” she said. “Especially with the students coming downtown (UOIT) we are trying to encourage more partnerships.”

The Women in Art series wraps up Oct. 28 with the Ontario premiere of Winds in Heaven. This new documentary by Michael Ostroff showcases the life and work of famous Canadian artist Emily Carr.

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