As an avid traveller and someone who has lived abroad, what do you think the arts and arts organizations bring to a community?
Both the arts and their communities provide connection to the place you’re in and the ones you miss, or can only imagine. I’ve lived in four cities in the last five years, and arts venues have always been a touchstone for me when I’m finding my feet in a new place, whether in volunteering at a theatre or getting lost in the winding alcoves of a gallery. Art transcends language and sparks conversation; art ultimately brings people together (to make it, to share it, to witness it), and that’s a powerful, wonderful thing.
You are one of KWAG’s newest Partner Club members; tell us why you joined and what you hope to get out of your membership.
I joined out of a sense of curiosity, I think! I’m enthusiastic about (albeit untrained in) visual art, and the exhibitions KWAG brings to our Region are thought-provoking while often telling an unexpected story. From modern Mennonite illustrations by Meg Harder in the last Main Gallery exhibition to the brilliant fever dreams of Kent Monkman, the pieces stay with me well after I leave the gallery. After returning to KW after three years in San Francisco, becoming a member has also been a good way to re-connect with the Waterloo Region community through Partner Club events.
What is your earliest memory of visiting an art gallery, where was it and what did you see?
My earliest memory is of a private gallery; my uncle-through-marriage is artist Terry McCue, and I always looked forward to visiting his home just outside of Edmonton, as one of the tall loft walls has always been a rotating display: his art, that of friends, photographs of family trips, and small mementoes. I’d mark time by the changes on the wall, notice changes in his style over the years, and, as I grew up, ask about what he chose to paint and why.
If you could spend a day in the life of any artist – living or deceased – who would it be and why?
While I’d love to sit down with many artists to talk over a pint, I’m not sure I’d want to walk in too many of their shoes. But for a day? Maybe Andy Warhol, for the vivacity of the Factory and his world.
What's your favourite book or film about art?
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay introduced me to Michael Chabon’s works just before moving to SF (so, later, reading Telegraph Avenue after exploring Oakland in person meant that book came to life in a completely different way). The art of Kavalier and Clay is comic-book art, but still, I think it fits.