SPRING BAY— A bright high summer sun shone through the leaves casting a dappled shade onto visitors entering the Perivale Gallery to attend a wine and cheese reception and ribbon cutting for an exhibit of art celebrating the inspiration of Canada’s famed Group of Seven.
Perivale Gallery owner Shannon McMullan and her staff were kept bustling in the days heading up to the exhibit carefully curating the placement of each work to complement the whole.
“It was worth it don’t you think?” beamed Ms. McMullan as she surveyed their handiwork prior to cutting the ribbon before a packed room with internationally renowned artist Ivan Wheale, whose work is also featured in the exhibit. “She’s done a wonderful job putting this together,” said Mr. Wheale.
The works, which include works on loan from Charles Pachter, “the Cézanne of contemporary pop art in Canada,” whose quirky pop images of Canadianna such as royalty riding moose have captured the nation’s contradictory connection with the monarchy, complement those of more local accomplished artists.
“It’s great placement for Kerry,” said photographer Jon Butler, who was on hand in support of his wife’s work. Her outstanding photograph ‘Waddington Lake’ captured a spot visited by A.Y. Jackson in 1941.
Each of the artists exhibiting In the Spirit of the Group of Seven was asked to produce or supply a piece for the show that reflects the spirit of the Group of Seven, noted Ms. McMullan. “Although some of the artists did stretch the instructions a little bit,” she said. The Group of Seven has provided countless artists across the globe with inspiration since the 1920s when the group was first formed.
The Group of Seven, which is also known as the Algonquin School, was a group of Canadian landscape painters from 1920 to 1933, that originally consisting of Franklin Carmichael (1890–1945), Lawren Harris (1885–1970), A. Y. Jackson (1882–1974), Frank Johnston (1888–1949), Arthur Lismer (1885–1969), J. E. H. MacDonald (1873–1932) and Frederick Varley (1881–1969). Later, A. J. Casson (1898–1992) was invited to join in 1926; Edwin Holgate (1892–1977) became a member in 1930; and LeMoine FitzGerald (1890–1956) joined in 1932. Those with rudimentary math skills would pick up on the fact that the group actually has more than seven members. Two artists that are also commonly associated with the group are Tom Thomson (1877–1917) and Emily Carr (1871–1945). Although Mr. Thomson died before the official formation of the Group of Seven, Mr. Thomson is said to have had a significant influence on the group.
The exhibit includes paintings in several media styles, but also sculpture, fibre art and stained glass.
The exhibition runs until August 9 at the Perivale Gallery at 1320 Perivale Road East, Spring Bay and the gallery is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily.