By Morgan Lawrence, Education Assistant at the Art Gallery of Windsor
Having grown up and lived in Windsor for most of my life, there were a few things I did all the time: I would go to the two libraries near me, to the many (many) parks around Windsor-Essex, to the splash pads, and swimming at the beach. Even with all of those fun things, by far my favorite thing I would do as a young kid was going to the Art Gallery of Windsor and spending hours looking at the art, going to Sundays (now Saturdays) in the Studio, or participating in the camps that would be held at the Gallery. I truly learned to love art from my childhood times spent at the AGW.
Fast-forward several years, and I find myself in the position of returning to the AGW as a staff member, and having been the person who helped organize and then run the Gallery’s 2021 summer camps and art activities for kids — the same art activities that I loved so much when I was young.
As a short introduction of who I am and what I’ve been doing at the Gallery: my name is Morgan Lawrence, I am studying to be a teacher at the University of Windsor, I am currently the AGW’s Education Assistant, where I organized and ran the Gallery’s summer art activities and summer camps, and where I currently work at the AGW’s booth for the Downtown Windsor Farmer’s Market every Saturday (you can drop by and say hi from 9am-1pm every Saturday until December 11th!).
The experience of coming back to the Gallery and seeing it behind the scenes, and being able to call this Gallery my place of work has been affirming for my choice in career: I always knew I wanted to teach, but now I have the proof for myself. The time spent with the kids who have come to our camps both in-person and online has shown me the joy you can get from seeing the passion for art reflected in the eyes of the kids. It was like going back in time, being face-to-face with myself, and seeing the passion and the love for art in its many forms. It has reminded me of how making art can make you feel and how it doesn’t have to be “good” for it to be art. Art is about expression, about fun, about anything you want it to be about: that is the beauty of art in any and all forms. After the hard year and a half that we were all stuck inside, having this time to rediscover my passion — outside of the insanity that is online classes at university — and to be creative and expressive has changed my outlook and has changed my approach to myself.