Saturday, May 25, 2013

Margaret C and The Gates Gallery in Brighton Ontario

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Margaret C and The Gates Gallery in Brighton Ontario

I was just informed last evening that the Brighton Gates Gallery has discontinued my art show a little early. Too bad and a little disappointing to say the least.  Next week I will extract the work and move it back home.

It appears that there has been a double booking of some sort… or internal politics of some sort… who knows???

Flash back...
Oh boy… what a flash back for me.  In fact the flash back is to the year 1992 and a Gallery in Yorkton, Saskatchewan that saw “flames” of the same sort take place in their effort to reach out to the community.  Artists were waiting with very good shows and one person blew it all up.

(I am not certain about Brighton and The Gates Gallery… nor what might have happened.)

Why would one person get away with it?  How could it happen? In Yorkton’s case I am sure it was pure and simple jealousy.  In fact I was suspicious of that when it happened and even more convinced when I witnessed the incidents that followed.

Who would do such a thing?  The name in Yorkton’s case was dear “Margaret C”.  Margaret C fancied herself as an “artistic person know it all”. Nope she couldn’t paint, draw or create anything at all. But she knew people who did… and she knew people in the creative world that she schmoozed with.  She knew actors, actresses and directors of movies etc.  She hobnobbed in the elite circles of the Artistic World of Art Patrons that had money to splash around.  She knew people that were the controllers of all things artistic in the larger community of the Prairie.  They were People that came out for large cocktail parties, acted phony as all get out, and stood in front of the art work for photographs to be taken of them. They were called “Patrons”. People that knew nothing about Art and couldn’t draw a Stick Man but thought they were the Cat’s Meow – were more likely the Cat’s other end.

Margaret C was a piece of something else.  Margaret C had British roots – everyone knew that. And having that kind of heritage she flaunted it as well.  Her artistic abilities – or at least what she thought she had were away above what he local Riffraff possessed.  The local Riffraff being Ukrainian, Rumanian and Aboriginal people that painted silly things of their culture – or whatever they did in “that other culture”. Yep Margaret C was a piece of work – and that “piece” was not in the artistic sense!

Margaret C was a pain in the Cat’s other end… and a real problem in the Gallery as well as to all local artist’s community.

How do I know all this?  Well I was a volunteer on the Gallery Board of Directors, the folk that were in the know of what was happening in the art world.  More than that we had moved from the Toronto area – making us somewhat valuable as a new outsider – inserted into the local Riffraff’s world.  At least that is what Margaret C seemed to imply when she took me aside to recruit me for the position.

Actually Margaret C was in need of an ally to move the vote her way when she acted out in her nutsy way.  And I guess she assumed that I would follow her anywhere if she gave me the opportunity to “serve” on the elite Gallery Board of Directors.

I cannot share the whole story of all Margaret C’s goings on. It would simply sound ridiculous I am sure. But I can share that when I felt like walking away from the stupid things Margaret C did and said on the Board of Directors… the other Board of Director members begged me to stay on… and not be thrown by Margaret C’s antics.  I was caught in the middle of it all and it made me sick!!

Valuable staff quit – or were fired because of Margaret C getting her way. I mean if it wasn’t done Margaret C would walk away and then what would the poor Gallery do without any connections with the big world outside the little Gallery.

What a bunch of Bull Crap!  On the prairie they use other words for things like this!!!  They call it “Government”… they call it “Ottawa”… and they will have little to do with it.

And that was the way it was in the community. Everyone knew about Margaret C and what she was like.  And every one of the Riffraff avoided that place called the Gallery.

Flash back!  Hokey Mokey – double over. A Margaret C flash back!

Now I don’t know about Brighton’s case but after a while you start getting the same old vibes… and it smells funny all over again.

Back to Saskatchewan again… and Margaret C…
I did quit and get away from the stupidity… and my reason that I gave was that my plan was again to begin producing my art. I needed time to produce my pieces of art with less and less time for the Board of Directors. Not true but it worked.

I did enter the next Art Competition – a juried show and won hands down. My work blew people away.  It was then automatically propelled from the local gallery and became the local community’s entry in the Provincial Competition… and at that highest level it won again.  It had so moved people that they often stood wiping tears from their eyes – or walked away with a very sober look on their faces.

The Art Patrons that Margaret C associated with were blown away… and asked if any of the show pieces were for sale. They asked what my next plans were for what I had done. One of largest galleries in Western Canada had their curator at the show. She asked me to contact her when the show was complete… and they would consider showing my work.  That was the high moment in my life.

Margaret C beamed with pride as she introduced me as an artist from her community.  Bull Crap!

Fast Forward to The Gates in Brighton…
The show that had won the accolades way back then… is now the one in The Gates…in Brighton.  And would you or could you have thought that a ruckus would come from yet another showing.  Nope I am not sure that I was the reason… or that my art work was the reason… but I am sure that Margaret C is involved somewhere – or maybe her ghost is.


~ Murray Lincoln ~

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