SAMU Gray Gallery Presents Moments Recaptured

About the Exhibit

For this exhibition, my work reflects on my family’s past and how this affects my personal identity as an aspiring artist. Three out of four of these works are paintings based off of old polaroid photo portraits of my family members. A lot of the time, recapturing these old portraits through the medium of painting allows me to feel more connected to my family during a time that is not currently accessible to me. Each painting is rendered quite realistically with some exploration of colour in order to bring these past moments back to life.

The first piece, ‘Splash’, is a portrait of my maternal grandfather swimming. Despite never meeting my grandfather, he has played a significant role in me pursuing art. As a photographer, my grandfather is one of the only family members other than myself to pursue an artistic practice. My second portrait ,’Volkswagen For Sale’, is another portrait of my grandfather. The third portrait, ‘Washing Up’ is of my mother around the age I am today. My mother has played a strong influence in my strong work ethic as an artist. Finally, I have a self portrait, ‘Introspection’. By including myself along with the young portraits of my grandfather and my mother, this is a display of each of our generations linked together, and how my past family influences have informed who I am today.

Learn More About the Exhibit

About the Artist

Gwynne McMaster is a multidisciplinary artist whose current practice involves motion, memories, and mundane moments. Gwynne aims to connect with her audience through visual storytelling using the mediums of traditional animation, painting, drawing, and film. Gwynne is particularly drawn to cinema and the notion that art can be brought to life on screen. Along with this, Gwynne’s work is inspired by the Canadian outdoor environment that surrounds her, as well old family photographs. In 2017, Gwynne won the Fort Saskatchewan Art in and Public Places Award (Youth Category) for her Painting, Old Barn. On multiple occasions from 2017-2019, Gwynne also had her paintings displayed at Fort Saskatchewan City Hall. Gwynne is currently in her final semester of her Fine Arts Diploma at Macewan University and will be attending Vancouver Film School for classical animation this following September.

Follow Gwynne’s artwork on Instagram. 


Volkswagon For Sale


Washing Up





Tips for Maintaining Emotional Wellbeing

Wellbeing blogs are written by the SAMU Wellbeing Assistant, Lauren Rundell.


Emotional wellbeing is the ability to practice stress-management techniques, be resilient and generate positive emotions. People with good emotional wellbeing are better able to deal with life’s challenges.

Some ways you can practice emotional wellbeing are:

  • Yoga or Mediation
    • Slowing down your mind and connecting with your body can relieve stress and anxiety and give you a different perspective to help address your worries.
  • Journaling
    • Journaling can include gratitude lists, following prompts, a stream of consciousness writing, art journaling or anything you want.
    • Journaling can promote emotional intelligence by helping you explore your emotions and where they come from and alleviate stress.
  • Online Resources like SAMU’s Peer Support
    • SAMU’s Peer Support service is great for when you just need someone to listen. Volunteers provide a confidential space for you to vent about whatever you need.
  • Online Therapy or MacEwan’s Wellness and Psychological Services
    • If you need more than just someone to vent to, there are options available such as online therapy.
    • MacEwan’s Wellness and Psychological Services also offer individual and group counselling sessions to students to help build emotional resilience skills.
  • Reach Out to a Close Friend or Family Member
    • Reaching out and talking to someone you trust about your troubles can provide you with emotional relief and a support system.

Remaining Social During Antisocial Times

A cup of relaxing tea and a book

Wellbeing blogs are written by the SAMU Wellbeing Assistant, Lauren Rundell.


Social Wellbeing is the ability to communicate and develop meaningful relationships with others and maintain a healthy support network.

Maintaining your social well-being when our typical socializing methods are discouraged can be extremely difficult. To help, here are some ideas of ways you can keep your social life active:

  • Online Game Night
    • There are a lot of different platforms for online gaming. Some people play online games while having a Discord or FaceTime call with the person/people in the game. You can also use screen-sharing to play games like the Jackbox Party Packs together. There are plenty of websites like that are super easy to use and let you play online games for free with your friends.
  • Call a Close Friend or Family Member
    • Texting is great and convenient, but nothing beats hearing the sound of someone’s voice. Phone calls can be a great way to have a more meaningful conversation with someone and build a stronger relationship. You’re probably overdue to call your mom anyway, so you might as well use this opportunity to do so.
  • Netflix or Disney+ Party
    • Streaming platforms like Disney+ and third-party software like com let you watch movies and shows online with your friends for a virtual movie night.
  • Utilize the Outdoors
    • Socially distanced outdoor hangouts are a great way to get in-person interaction without breaking COVID-19 regulations. Hanging out outside allows you to get some fresh air and sunlight along with having as much space as you want to socially distance. Just remember to make sure to respect everyone’s comfort level when it comes to in-person interactions.
  • Group Call Activity Night
    • Cook with your friends over video call, follow a Bob Ross paint tutorial, have a coffee date. The online possibilities are endless!

Wellbeing and Physical Health

Wellbeing blogs are written by the SAMU Wellbeing Assistant, Lauren Rundell.


Physical Wellbeing Blog Post: Ways to Take Care of Your Physical Wellbeing

Physical Wellbeing is the ability to carry out actions without physical limitations such as fatigue or bodily pain. Neglecting physical needs such as sleeping, nutrition and physical activity can negatively affect your emotional and mental wellbeing. It’s important to ensure we are meeting our physical needs.


Ways to Manage Physical Wellbeing:

  • Physical Activity
    • Although people usually think of things like going to the gym or running, physical activity can be any activity you enjoy that allows you to move your body. By finding a physical activity that you enjoy doing, you can better make this part of your routine.
    • Some examples of physical activities:
      • Fitness classes; either from a fitness center or videos online
      • Going for a walk or a run outside to get some fresh air and sunlight
      • Dancing, either in a class or just by yourself for fun
      • Biking to your favourite café or through a nice area
  • Eating Well
    • Eating foods that make your body feel good significantly affects your body and mind’s ability to function well. A balanced diet usually includes eating foods that contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. However, remembering how much you’ve eaten of each can be a stressful task and healthy eating shouldn’t be stressful. By loosely keeping track of what you’ve eaten and how you feel after can help you become better attuned with your body’s needs and what foods you should consume to fulfill those needs.
  • Sleep
    • Getting enough sleep is as important to your bodily health as eating well and physical activity. Arguably one of the most neglected aspects of students’ physical health, sleeping allows the body to repair itself from daily tolls and ensure that it continues functioning properly. Good sleep can help with concentration and memory and also lowers the risk of physical and mental illnesses. Like other aspects of physical health, listening to your body and allowing yourself to sleep when you need to will help you feel your best.

Getting Involved In The Community

Wellbeing blogs are written by the SAMU Wellbeing Assistant, Lauren Rundell.


Societal Wellbeing is the ability to participate in a thriving community, culture and environment.

Participating in and becoming aware of your local community can help you feel more connected to your society as a whole. Here are some ways to get involved:

  • Make Sustainable Lifestyle Changes
    • These can be simple changes such as switching from single-use to reusable options like reusable food containers, water bottles, metal straws, etc.
    • You can also opt for low-waste and package-free products, buying second-hand, shopping locally if that’s an option available to you, and repurposing objects like take-out containers.
  • Support Local Businesses and Artists
    • Buying from local businesses helps support your community and is more sustainable while also providing a more fulfilling shopping experience. Typically, when you shop from a local business, you know who you are supporting because they’re often the person helping you in the store.
    • Supporting local artists is a great way to promote cultural growth in your community. Although we can’t go to concerts right now, following an artists’ social media pages, checking out their music streaming pages, checking out SAMU’s online Gray Gallery, and attending online-events are all effortless ways to support local artists.
  • Watch out for Online Events and Showcases
    • Even though nearly everything seems to be online these days, there are still online (and some in-person) events around the city for you to attend. By checking out local directories like com,,’s event page, and, you’ll undoubtedly find something to spark your interest.
  • Volunteering or Donating
    • Volunteering or donating to local non-profit organizations can be a great and easy way to support your local community. You can find a good list of local non-profit organizations
  • Educate Yourself on Local Issues
    • If you’re looking to get more involved, there are ways to do so. This can be in the form of keeping yourself up to date on local social and political issues, supporting local advocates and getting involved in local or student governance (like SAMU’s Students Council).

How to Make Extra $$$ as a Student

Wellbeing blogs are written by the SAMU Wellbeing Assistant, Lauren Rundell.


Economic Wellbeing is the ability to make informed economic choices and feel a sense of security, satisfaction, and personal fulfillment in one’s finances and economic pursuits.

Maintaining economic wellbeing as a student can be challenging. It’s important to be aware of your finances, where they come from and where they go to add stability to your life as you pursue your education. Some ways to make some extra money as a student include:

  • Get a Paper Route
    • Getting a paper route is a very easy way to make extra money during the year, plus you get exercise too!
  • Sell Old Belongings
    • As the saying goes, one person’s trash in another person’s treasure. Rather than tossing them, you can sell them either online on platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji. Selling unwanted items eliminates unnecessary clutter in your home, gives you some extra cash and is better for the environment!
  • Find Easy Short-Term Gigs
    • Whether it’s seasonal activities such as shovelling, mowing lawns, etc., or tutoring or part-time contracted work to do on top of your regular job, there are lots of options for part-time work to help support your wallet.
  • Monetize Your Hobby
    • Obviously, the point of developing a hobby isn’t just for monetary purposes, but it doesn’t hurt either. If you do something crafty like fine art, knitting, embordering, etc., you can sell your creations online on websites like If you have a unique skill like playing an instrument or computer programming, you can give lessons on the basics. This method lets you get creative and choose something you’re passionate about to share with others and, let’s not forget, to make money doing it.
  • Apply for Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries
    • This may seem obvious for students, but many students don’t apply for scholarships even when they should. Scholarships are a great way to supplement your income, help take some financial strain off your academics, and are great to put on your resume!
  • Level UP from MacEwan Careers and Experience
    • Level UP is a program that lets students work on short-term projects, using skills they already have, and get paid to do it. Projects can be completed by either be individuals or groups and are a great way to build your resume and network. FAQs can be found at