Through the COVID-19 quarantine, the ravenous consumption of art can make the hours pass by.
Whether it’s movies, television, games, creating art or a dozen other hobbies, these are some of the things that make life worth living.
During this time, many people are able to rediscover their passions that were often set aside for the hectic lifestyle we have grown accustomed to.
In this spirit, WAG@Home is another antidote to the solitude of social distancing.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), while closed at this time, has made strides in creating online content free and open to the public.
Until the gallery reopens, Stephen Borys, the WAG’s director and CEO, has daily posts sharing some of his favourite pieces, giving them historical and artistic context as well as his own personal anecdotes and musings.
These intimate and thoughtful posts feel as if you are being read to by a wisened old sage.
They range from being funny, insightful and fascinating to absolutely bizarre.
They can be found on the WAG website’s “Stories” page and their social media pages. Following the comments, you can find immediate engagement with Borys and other local art fanatics.
The WAG’s website also includes a full user interface with major categories ranging from Indigenous art to contemporary art to classic art. The search engine features allow you to narrow down artists, date, style and even medium.
Nearly half of the WAG’s permanent collection is comprised of Indigenous artists’ works with techniques including carving, drawing, print, textile and stonework.
In fact, the WAG holds the biggest public collection of modern and contemporary Inuit art in the world. There are hundreds of pages of artwork to comb through, finding new and fascinating pieces each time.
For those who may have missed the phenomenal exhibition by Kent Monkman — Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience — a small sample of the incredible Cree artist’s reinterpretation of Romantic North American styles, depicting scenes of colonial violence and the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experience, is available online.
Since 2017, the WAG’s exhibitions have been recorded and archived on their “Exhibitions” and “Past Exhibitions” webpages. There you will find information on the artists, the works and often extensive supplementary information such as videos and interviews.
While social distancing, one thing to do is appreciate incredible art, even if it’s just to hold back the anxiety for an hour or two.
To experience WAG@Home go to wag.ca.