Perivale Gallery’s 7th Annual In the Spirit of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven Show

Artist Ivan Wheale joins Perivale Gallery owner Shannon McMullan at Perivale Gallery. photo by Michael Erskine

Since 2015, Perivale Gallery has annually challenged each of its over 50 artists and artisans, as well as invited guest artists, to produce one piece of work inspired by the Group of Seven for a show originally entitled “In the Spirit of the Group of Seven”. This challenge was readily embraced by the gallery’s many artists, including a number of invited guest artists and the resulting exhibition proved to be a great success, not only for the gallery, but for tourism to Manitoulin Island in general. “We found that many of our visitors had travelled to Manitoulin Island for the first time precisely to see the show.”  Given the resounding success of the first exhibition, it was decided that this would become an annual event, but would embrace as well, the inspiration of the iconic artist, Tom Thomson. Hence “In the Spirit of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven” has become the name of the show which is held annually during the last week of July and the first week of August at Perivale Gallery

Since 2016, Shannon has been a member of Northeastern Ontario Tourism’s Group of Seven Product Marketing Team. Provincially, the Group of Seven is seen as a cultural asset to market as a tourism experience. The team explores and develops initiatives with that Group of Seven theme.

  • In Canada in the early 20th century, a colonial mindset determined that, in general, European art, particularly Dutch art was superior. It was almost impossible for Canadians to find artistic reflections of their own natural environment!  A Dutch pastoral scene would be much more likely to figure prominently  in a Canadian art collection of substance  than works reflecting our unique and distinctly beautiful rugged Canadian landscape.  Canadian artists had previously been strongly influenced by their European counterparts and had limited themselves to those styles.  First, Tom Thomson, broke free of those colonial constraints, later followed by the Group of Seven and developed a distinct painting style to express a nationalistic feeling. Their artistic works, inspired through direct contact with nature have come to symbolize what is the distinctly Canadian identity that we now celebrate today.
  • The TTGof7 show opens  Saturday, July 24th at the gallery at 10am and runs DAILY 10 – 5 until August 8th
  • Images of all of the works in the show will be available on line as of 7am on July 21st https://www.perivalegallery.com/in-the-spirit-of-tom-thomson-and-the-group-of-seven/
  • All visitors to the show  … even the kids… will have an opportunity to vote for their top 3 favourite pieces for the People’s Choice Award.
  • Votes can also be made on the Perivale Gallery Facebook page by liking the artists’ works.