To mark the centenary year of painter Tom Thomson’s last spring in Algonquin Park, the Algonquin Art Centre will be displaying original Tom Thomson paintings as part of their 2017 art exhibit, “Legacy”. The paintings, “Northern Lake” and “View from a Height, Algonquin Park”, both on loan from private collections, will be on exhibit from July 9 until July 16, 2017.
“It’s a dream come true,” says show organizer, Matt Coles. “Thomson loved Algonquin and spent his most prolific years here painting the Park’s beautiful lakes and forests. Algonquin was his muse, and so it only seems fitting to bring his paintings back here for the centennial celebration.”
The two paintings were secured with the help of The Friends of Algonquin Park, says Algonquin Art Centre manager, Joel Irwin. “(The collectors) love Algonquin Park and are very involved with The Friends of Algonquin, They were really happy to loan us these pieces for a week.”
Thomson died in Algonquin Park on July 8, 1917, bringing to a close one of Canada’s most iconic and tragic stories of an artist and his muse. But Thomson’s life and work would form the cornerstone of a unique legacy in the Canadian arts. “Thomson’s influence is immeasurable,” says Irwin. “Since his death, artists from all over the world have travelled to Algonquin Park to discover its inspiring qualities for themselves, and their combined works make up a tradition that is unique to Canada and its wilderness parks. This lasting legacy is at the heart of our 2017 exhibit.”
The Algonquin Art Centre is located in the heart of Algonquin Provincial Park, just minutes away from where Thomson spent his most prolific years painting, and where he met his tragic end on Canoe Lake.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Thomson paintings in the very place that inspired them,” says Irwin. “Visitors can learn more about Tom’s special connection to Algonquin, and see how the tradition of art in the Park has changed over time. We encourage everyone to come out to celebrate the life and work of this extraordinary painter in the place he loved so much.”
The Art Centre will be holding a public opening for the Thomson paintings on July 9, from 11 am to 4 pm. The event will also include the unveiling of the new Thomson Legacy Path, artists painting on site, and free coffee, tea, and cookies, courtesy of the Art Centre and The Friends of Algonquin Park.
“(Legacy) is a must see for anyone with curiosity about Canadian art,” said Irwin. “Even if you’re not a Tom Thomson enthusiast, this is an opportunity to learn more and see Thomson’s original paintings in Algonquin Park, which was his muse. To see artwork of this calibre in the place that inspired them is a unique experience. We felt compelled to do it (this year) – if we are ever going to do it, this is the time. This may never happen again.”
The event is open to the public, and admission is voluntary, although a valid park permit is required. For more information, visit the Algonquin Art Centre’s website at www.algonquinartcentre.com.
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