And to conclude our series of “Humans at the Varley”, we have a very special reflection by the one and only Doriana Cabeceiras! Enjoy reading her story. It’s been 20 years in the making.
After graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in Anthropology and from Sir Sandford Fleming College’s Museum Management and Curatorship Program, I was hired by the Varley Art Gallery two weeks prior to its official opening in 1997. What an exciting time to have just graduatedand be part of this historical and nationally significant moment, as the Gallery opened its doors to the Markham community and Canada! Yes, for me it has been 20 unbelievable years!! I have seen the galleries collection grow from Kathleen McKay’s initial donation of approximately 100 works to 500 and have had the pleasure of being part of over 135 exhibitions. A memorable moment for me throughout the years, was witnessing the Gallery’s major expansion project in 2011/2012. A beautiful new exhibition space was created to feature the Gallery’s permanent collection, and second floor offices were built overlooking picturesque Toogood Pond.
Over the years, I’ve worked with the most dedicated, creative and inspiring staff who have been successful in creating a cultural hub within the Markham community. I’m honored to say that some of these colleagues are now great friends. With my main responsibilities of managing the rental, membership and visitor services programs at the Gallery, I’ve also had the great privilege of meeting gifted artists, and incredible volunteers and members of the community. When I’m out and about in Markham, I am always bound to encounter a familiar face. The Varley Art Gallery has been my second home for many years, and it will always remain dear to my heart.