NOVEMBER 20, 2020 TO MARCH 20, 2021
Main Gallery

Vignettes: A Journey into the Collection


It’s funny, the power a title has to impact and inform one's level of potential interest, engagement, understanding, and ultimately an investment in a subject. This brings to mind that old adage, “don’t judge a book by the cover…” I love the act of coming up with titles for exhibitions, sometimes they are the impetus for the exhibition and other times one seeks to find a title that ties together the exhibition. At its best, the title is enticing, luring you in, and serves as a point of departure for further exploration. At its worst, the title serves as a frank and direct description of what one can expect to discover.

In looking for a title for this exhibition, I was trying to find a descriptive word that would best exemplify not only the collection but also the ever-changing nature of what might be on display, as we work to rediscover, document, and bring to light the rich and fascinating history, individual stories, complex personalities, and incredible beauty that lies within our collections.

I have always loved the word vignette. Exploring the dictionary’s definition, it describes something that has one or more of the following attributes:

1) A picture (such as an engraving or photograph) that shades off gradually into the surrounding paper

2) The pictorial part of a postage stamp design as distinguished from the frame

3) A short descriptive literary sketch

4) A brief incident or scene (as in a play or movie)

5) A small decorative design or picture

In consideration of the above, individually and collectively a collection of objects such as ours are in themselves a unique vignette in a much larger narrative. They not only tell the history of the gallery, but our community, region, province, country, and ultimately our evolution over a period of time. Ultimately this is your collection and we invite you down to explore the works that form the basis of our collection.

With that in mind, we invite you to join our Collections Manager, McKaila Ferguson, as she delves into our storage vault in our ongoing commitment to digitizes our Permanent Collection, and make our impressive holdings available for scholars and the public to explore through our website. Over the next few months, the main gallery will become an open studio, with a constantly evolving and revolving selection of works from our permanent collection.

Paul Crawford, Curator