As you can see from this photo I’m having a delightful time! Recently I had the privilege of taking a group of people from Siloam Mission through the Winnipeg Art Gallery. I usually give tours to school groups so I am always a little apprehensive when I’m asked to guide adults. I needn’t have worried! The experience with the Siloam community was great ! In this photo we are looking at a painting by the great Canadian artist Emily Carr. One of my tour participants knew so much about Emily and her work. I learned a lot from him. And there were other people on my tour who taught me things about Chagall and Rembrandt and Inuit whale bone sculptures and the art of scrimshaw. I had heard of Siloam and the work they do but I have never visited their location on Princess Street. It was an eye-opening experience to meet and learn from the Siloam Mission folks. In this photo we are looking at work by Winnipeg’s own Wanda Koop. Wanda who has an important international presence in the art world hails from inner city Winnipeg and took her first art classes at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. She won those lessons in a contest and it set her on the road to a remarkable career. The Siloam visitors were so interested in her story.
One of the reasons I love working at the Winnipeg Art Gallery is because it is a place that tries to be welcoming and invitational to everyone and as a result I get to meet so many interesting and amazing people. I hope Siloam Mission will come back for another visit. If they do I’ll be the first guide in line to offer to lead the tour.
Note: The photos in the post were taken by Al Foster and are used here with his kind permission.