McMichael Exhibition

He was a master craftsman working in stained glass. She spoke in adoration of her creative Grampa, crediting him for setting her on a path of great love and appreciation for art.

Each birthday he would give her a generous sum with two stipulations. First, she was to invest in original art ( of any genre). Secondly, it had to be created by a woman. 

Why women, she wondered? Women often have disadvantages, he explained. They usually make less than their male counterparts, face exclusion or discrimination in the industry.

She wasn’t to purchase work just because it was made by a female. His instructions were to be discerning, collect what she loves and not settle for mediocrity in the work. “Collect the good stuff”

new 8×10 oil on canvas

Respectful of his gift and teachings, she began collecting art at a very young age. Now a woman with grown children of her own, her collection is vast and diverse. She still spends a generous sum each birthday on female created art.

We spoke of the disadvantages for female artists still exist around the world today. 

Artsy reports female artists are undervalued, making 37% less than men.  

In 2018 CBC reported women were paid less in all creative fields but dance. In fine art women averaged making 65% than male counterparts. 

These articles focus financial inequality, not all the disadvantages women continue to face. 

new work in progress

Historically, female artists in Canada often worked in the shadows of male artists like the iconic Group of Seven. A new exhibit at the McMichael Gallery titled “ Uninvited” features amazing female artists who lived and worked during the times of the Group.

The idea for the exhibit came about while “planning celebrations for the Group of Seven’s 100th anniversary in 2020. An exhibition honouring the Group’s all-male members. { On} Sept. 10, the McMichael open{ed} an exhibition honouring women who were not invited to become part of the Group. It’s a long list.”

While the men of the Group of Seven did invite several women to exhibit alongside them, none were invited to become part of the select club, even painter Anne Savage or sculptor Elizabeth Wyn Wood, whose vision and aesthetics were close to that of the Group.

The Uninvited project was stickhandled by the McMichael’s chief curator, Sarah Milroy. She assembled a remarkable list of 31 artists, some now famous and others still largely unknown, for the exhibition and the book, where they are profiled by a variety of scholars. More than 200 artworks, mainly from the 1920s and 1930s, are featured in the book and exhibition. There are also dozens of works by Indigenous women whose names are lost to history.” 

~McMichael weblink. 

The volume and diversity of work is astounding, I was captivated watching the video. Sarah offers insight into these incredible artworks that otherwise may go unnoticed. 

This creative group of spunky, trail blazing, intelligent and witty women are much to be admired alongside their incredible art.

My friend, and her Grampa would be impressed. 

Thanks to the McMichael for this eye opening exhibit, accompanying catalogue ( it’s on my wish list) and video. ( see you tube link).

Special thanks to my patrons, recent and long time collectors of my work, it’s a delightful privilege to be a part of your lives in art.

All work shown is available, please email me to purchase. I will post the new Forest painting completed next time.