When I was 6 years old, my parents brought me to the gallery for a special Chinese New Year event. I remember how special it was because I was wearing a traditional Chinese outfit. That night I met the Mayor of Markham and a photographer captured a picture of me inside the gallery. Later that year, the photo of me at the event was used in the Markham Programs book and 6 year old me thought I was famous!
When I was 5 years old my parents enrolled me for the first time at art camp in the McKay house. 15 years later I’m still spending my summers at the Varley, only this time around I’m teaching the 5 year olds.
I’ve always seen the Varley Art Gallery as an educational art hub and community for Markham. I have learned so much from the people I’ve met at the gallery and through the artworks which have been displayed. The Varley Art Gallery really does an amazing job sharing art with everyone, no matter what age someone is. It is important that people are comfortable around art. Luckily for me, at a very young age, I got great exposure to great art from the Varley.
I have the Varley Art Gallery and its community to thank for inspiring and motivating me to pursue art in post-secondary studies. Without this space, I would not be able to say that I am committed to making my own career path to do what I love; create art. My first encounters with art and oldest memories of creating art all involve the Varley.