Manitoulin’s Anong Beam joins Franklin Carmichael paintings in new Art Gallery of Sudbury exhibit exploring Georgian Bay

SUDBURY­­––The five Franklin Carmichael paintings recently donated to the Art Gallery of Sudbury (AGS) by the Carmichael family will be on public display for the first time as part of the Festival of the Seven exhibit ‘A Visual Voyage: Navigating Georgian Bay.’ Also part of this greatly anticipated exhibit will be work from Manitoulin artist Anong Beam.

This art exhibition features recent paintings and prints by seven contemporary artists who live and work in and around Georgian Bay, Sudbury and along the crescent of communities from Midland to Manitoulin Island. The selected artists include; John Hartman, Ed Bartram, Anong Beam, Alan Stein, John Stopciati, Pierre Sabourin and Kelvin Smith, along with an extraordinary collection of the work of Franklin Carmichael. The exhibit demonstrates how the landscape of rocks, trees and water—all features that so affected members of the Group of Seven—continue to inspire these contemporary artists and inform their artwork.

From her studio at Kagawong on Manitoulin Island, Anong Beam creates deeply meditative and timeless responses to her place bounded by land, water and sky. She finds in the landscape of home a deeply creative reservoir of subjects that speaks to the nature of memory and place, the enduring ties that a person and a family have to the land. Beam’s art tells eternal truths that can be gleaned from the simple act of standing, looking and dissolving into the land’s and water’s embrace.

The second annual Festival of the Seven features special exhibitions, interactive excursions, musical performances, art, film, education workshops and the celebration of the Waddington’s book ‘In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven’. The Festival highlights the significant impact the Sudbury, Killarney and La Cloche areas had on Franklin Carmichael, A.Y. Jackson, The Group of Seven and their contemporaries.

“Franklin Carmichael was inspired by and celebrated the unique landscape and culture of the Sudbury and district basin,” explained AGS Director Karen Tait Peacock. “We envision, as part of AGS’s initiative of renewal to create an exciting, sustainable art gallery, and the Festival of the Seven is part of this as it serves to celebrate this special part of Northern Ontario and its art.”

Festival activities have expanded to include events in La Cloche, Manitouln Island, Killarney, French River and at the Art Gallery of Sudbury. A full calendar of events, including a special performance by Ian Tamblyn, is available at www.artsudbury.org.

The Group of Seven, of which Franklin Carmichael was the youngest and, a founding member, was famous for its members distinct paintings of Central and Northern Ontario landscapes. Franklin Carmichael was also a member of several other influential artist groups that helped steer the direction of modern art in Canada. He was most well known for his delicate watercolours and his deep passion for the scenery of Northern Ontario, and particularly La Cloche Mountains near Sudbury where he eventually built a cottage.

‘A Visual Voyage: Navigating Georgian Bay’ will be on display Tuesday, July 1 to Monday, September 1 as part of ‘Festival of the Seven’ detailed at www.artsudbury.org. All are welcome to the opening reception at the AGS/GAS on Thursday, July 3 from 5-7 pm.