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Day Sixteen: Confession

Authored by: WAG Staff on April 23, 2013

I don't get art.

It's the sixteenth day of my internship at the WAG, so a confession seems appropriate. Of all the arts, I have a toughest time "getting into" the visual arts. Painting, drawing, sculpture and their cousins all slip through my fingers, so to speak. Sure, I can wrap my head around the forms, the shapes and the colours (ooo, the colours!). But I can't usually grasp the deeper meanings hidden in the layers of paint, the curves of the stone; not until a guide explains them and I nod in a way that indicates, "Oh yes, I knew that."

I have a tough time grasping the significance of artwork. And it makes me feel stupid, particularly working at a gallery surrounded by people who are in the know.

But there are regular visitors to the gallery who encourage me. Every day it seems there's a group of school kids taking a tour or doing a workshop in one of the exhibitions, almost always painting or sketching based on what they're viewing. They're not worried about grasping the deeper meaning of the pieces. They embrace them as they find them. They use them as springboards for their own imaginations.

Do I want to peg my artistic appreciation level at Grade 4? Not forever. But it's a legit place to start.

So if you're worried about not knowing the significance of all the pieces in the WAG, particularly the masterpieces arriving on May 11, you're welcome to join me for a walk through the galleries. I'll be the one enjoying the colours.

by Matthew TenBruggencate

Matthew TenBruggencate is an actor, director, freelance writer and Creative Communications student who is interning at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

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