I’m Back At Work

This week I got called back to work at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. I’ve been a guide there since 2012 and when they laid me off in March of 2020 guides were assured we were still staff members and our lay off was temporary. Of course, we had no idea tours would be canceled for such a long time or that the gallery itself would be closed for so many months.

Despite my mask, you can see my happy face as I pose in front of a gorgeous tapestry from Ruth Qaulluaryuk’s piece Four Seasons of the Tundra which is part of the INUA exhibit at the gallery.

Exciting things have happened at the gallery since I left and I admit I got lost on Monday my first day of work as I tried to find my way around the beautiful new Inuit Art Center called Quamajuq. There are many things I have to learn before I give my first tour this coming Tuesday but I am ready and eager to study and prepare.

Photo of me doing art with children on the Winnipeg Art Gallery site

I loved my job at the WAG but I haven’t visited the gallery since I left because honestly, I thought I would cry the whole time I was there. I suspected just being in the space would make me miss my job so much I might not be able to hold it together.

I feel safe going back to the WAG where they have mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and practice social distancing.

Giving folks from Siloam Mission a tour at the art gallery in 2017

Those of you who have been following my blog for a long time know that I love to write about the pieces at the WAG and so be prepared to start seeing posts about the artwork I am learning about and talking about with WAG visitors.

Guiding a group from Winnipeg’s Chinese community at the gallery in 2017

For me, this is one step forward towards a little more normalcy in my life. I couldn’t be happier and while I have learned like everyone else that pandemics are crazy unpredictable things I have my fingers crossed that my return to work will be permanent.

Other posts…..

The Gift Was A Gift

Missing the Winnipeg Art Gallery at Christmas

She Started to Cry

3 Comments

Filed under winnipeg art gallery

3 responses to “I’m Back At Work

  1. pernodel

    There are still no tours down here at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, so instead we’re doing “Ask Me”: we are assigned time slots in which we wander around the gallery and ask visitors if they need information about the art or have any questions about it, and otherwise try to engage them in conversations about it. It’s a fine line between being helpful and being a nuisance interruption to their encounters with the art. But I’ve had some good conversations with people from eight to eighty over the last few Saturday afternoons—especially about our giant Kent Monkman and various installation pieces.

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    • I was actually surprised to get called back. I knew they were hiring some new Inuit and Indigenous guides but enough schools are starting to sign up for tours in 2022 that they want to start training us some of us older employees too, although only three of us returned when invited. I suspect others have found different jobs or don’t feel safe coming back just yet. I think with the 5-11-year-olds getting vaccinated teachers are feeling more comfortable about tours and they need more guides because they want to keep the tour groups small to allow for social distancing. I am curious what Kent Monkman you have.

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