Friday, September 7, 2012

Gallery Visit

I was recently able to visit the McMichael Collection of Art which features a permanent collection of many works from Tom Thompson, the Group of Seven, and their contemporaries, Inuit and first Nations artists, as well as changing exhibitions from other Canadian artists.
Formerly the home of Robert and Signe McMichael, the buildings have expanded to house over 5000 works of art. Their private art collection was dedicated to the works of Canadian artists, especially those who were inspired by the beauty of the natural landscape.

As their mass of paintings accumulated through purchases and donations, their private gallery received hundreds of visitors and the McMichaels eventually decided to donate their entire collection, as well as their home and land, to the province of Ontario. The gallery has continued to grow and is now also home to the cemetery where the McMichaels and six of the Group of Seven are buried.

I love the location of the gallery. Surrounded by forest, it is reminiscent of the scenery that inspired the artists within.

The exhibitions I saw included "Fashionality: Dress and Identity in Canadian Art" which had some beautiful and interesting works-some that I loved were by Nicole Dextras, who's pieces in the show are based around transience and environmental sustainability within fashion.  I also loved the encaustic paintings by Jacques Payette, they had a beautiful ethereal and romantic quality which I find fits in greatly with encaustic. Something about the texture and light qualities of beeswax.

McMichael gallery is definitely worth a visit and I look forward to seeing their next exhibition!

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