Oshawa Express Column 1/Dreaming Big

This fall I'm trying out writing for a local paper, the Oshawa Express. I'm writing about the art scene from the RMG perspective. I'm thinking this article should have been placed second in the series, since it doesn't explain what "RMG" is in long form...but oh well, you send the columns, they edit and print them I guess! I've got a couple more in the bag but otherwise I really need to get writing. I'm playing it down but I'm pretty excited about it, cause now I'm officially published and everything. It's not groundbreaking literature, but it's great experience and keeps me writing regularly, something I set about doing in 2007 and have managed to stick to as a general plan.

Maybe that book I dream about writing really will happen someday? I'm sure eventually a topic will come to me. Or I'll settle on one of the characters that lives in my head. Or, I'll decide it's time to tell a few of those stories people seem to like so much, that I seem to like telling so much, once I've had a martini. Or two. Like the one about crashing Fashion Week, parking in the VIP section and getting in through the bathroom exit. That's a good one.

I like dreaming big. I think it's healthy. Not like "I wish I had $10,000,000!" big, but big like "it would be nice to be a published author someday," which to me seemed pretty big when I first dreamed it back in '07, since I had no real writing experience and hadn't ever been published anywhere. I have always had lofty goals, and sometimes I push them back thinking, "Oh, that will never happen," to make myself feel less sad/pressured/worried about them in the short term but then secretly (even from myself) I try to make them happen. I say secretly from myself because I think sometimes I even try to forget the goal so that the road there won't seem so long and impossible. To help myself avoid inevitable over-thinking.

Having a column in the paper was one of these random goals that I didn't over-think, and now it's happened. That means my next goals get to be bigger and more ambitious, I think. Ah, who am I kidding. I've already set bigger goals, and forgotten about them.

Anyhow I thought I'd compile the columns here as well. I'm not sure how long they'll maintain them on their website so I'd like to have my own archive.

Here you go.

Understanding art takes involvement
Have you ever felt intimidated in an art gallery? Perhaps you feel like you don’t understand what you are looking at, or that you aren’t acting the ‘right way.’ Galleries and museums are facing this challenge across the country. Those of us who are comfortable within the walls of a gallery know an important secret.
The rules of an art gallery are very simple: Please don’t touch or take pictures. From there, it’s a go!
Library voices are not required.

So if it is as simple as two tiny rules, why aren’t people hanging out in art galleries all the time? Art shouldn’t be viewed as something precious and elitist. Rather, art is the ultimate equalizer. We all have an opinion and all opinions are equally valid. Sure, there are experts and historians that may have education that leads them to see art in a different way from others, or to recognize some fiscal value that some might miss, but the reality is your experience in looking at art is unique to you and that’s all that matters. What you dislike, and better still, what you like, can be equally enjoyable.

It is important to remember that art isn’t just what you see in the gallery. More accessible art forms include film, music and literature. If you wouldn’t feel odd expressing your opinion about a movie without a film history degree, why should you feel out of place expressing your love for a recent exhibition of paintings?

Recently the RMG has begun ‘tweeting’ in an effort to gain insight and feedback from the community. It is the hope of the gallery that people might visit and ‘tweet’ about their experiences. Tweeting has a limit of 140 characters, no more than a text message, and just the right length to offer an opinion. While galleries offer online views of their collection and books provide pretty reproductions, there is truly nothing better than seeing a piece of art in real life.

The size, the colour, the texture, are better experienced in person. The next time you are looking for a lazy Sunday activity, pop into the RMG, find your favourite (or least favourite) item, and tweet us (@theRMG).
We’d love to hear what you think.

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