I went to the gallery last week, a pleasure I have been denied for months.
I’m a fairly frequent visitor to the Art Gallery of Ontario; the last time I went to the AGO was February, before COVID-19 shut everything down.
When the gallery announced it was reopening, I booked a ticket, agreeing to the accepted COVID practices: face masks, social distancing and limited numbers.
My primary interest was seeing some of The Group of Seven work from the permanent collection. The 100th anniversary of the group’s first exhibition could not be properly acknowledged in May because of the COVID closure. For months I’ve been feeling that I I’ve been missing out.
We’ve all missed out on something over the past few months, many of us have been unable to attend events far more important than visiting a gallery.
But visiting an art gallery was a slight return to normal for me; something I enjoy, something I appreciate, something I do fairly often.
After The Group of Seven, I simply wandered through much of the gallery. At one point I took out my notebook and just sat in the beautiful building and wrote about how sad it was that this gallery, and so many others, was locked up for months.
Even resting on a flat wall, behind closed doors, art is active.
Art is there to inspire, to soothe and to bring a bit of joy to our complicated lives.
Art is never passive, it always displays a fragment of what life meant at the time.
Art is a reflection; art will show you sorrows and celebrate the soul or the city.
Without boasting, art proudly reflects not only what should be celebrated at the time, but also what should forever be celebrated.
I spent a couple of hours at the AGO last Thursday but I didn’t see all I needed to see, so I went back on Saturday.
You can never see too much art.