The Varley Art Gallery to me is a community that embodies creativity, exploration, innovation, inclusiveness and education. I first became associated with the gallery when I was five years old and attended the March Break Art Camp. I had always been a creative, artistic yet messy kid and the Varley seemed like the right place to explore that. Apparently, my artistic abilities developed so greatly during that week, I was front-page news in the Economist and Sun. I believe my clay sculpture was named Man in Chair, a classic figure with a young artistic touch.
The Varley then came back into my life at the age of sixteen when I interviewed for a high school student co-op position. This co-op program allows students to get a taste of the work world and find university or college programs that would best suit one’s career path of interest. I decided that I wanted to go to Western University for Art History and Museum and Curatorial Studies, which I am currently in today. The co-op position at the Varley was my first in-gallery work experience and for me, solidified that I was on the right track with what I wanted to do in the future. I not only really enjoyed the gallery atmosphere but also the people I was so privileged to work with and meet along the way.
Today I am currently going into my fourth year at Western and was so lucky to be hired with the Varley-McKay Art Foundation this summer as a Gallery Animateur. As a Gallery Animateur I have been exposed to the hard work it takes to curate great exhibitions and I have broadened my knowledge of the gallery’s history as well as all the community events and involvement that take place inside and outside of the gallery. It seems that my experience with the Varley Art Gallery has come full circle to where I now get to watch over campers, interact with the co-op students, provide tours, and explore and create gallery activities. I have truly grown up with the gallery and cherish every opportunity I have been given. Based on my track record, I will probably be back again one day soon!