23 Market Street West, Port Dover, ON N0A 1N0
Thursday to Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m.
Other days and times by chance or appointment throughout August
We are thrilled to announce our current exhibition
"Back Roads of Norfolk"
founding member of Painters 11
Opening Reception Friday, August 5, 7-9 p.m.
Show runs July 28 to September 13, 2016
In the early 1950s, the Toronto art scene was given a significant nudge forward with the advent of a group of painters that would come to be known as the Painters Eleven. These nine men and two women banded together to elicit a greater impact, to show Toronto art lovers the importance that Abstract Expressionism was having on an international level and to grow interest and legitimacy in the form. They revolutionized and enlivened contemporary art in Toronto and across Canada.
Walter Hawley Yarwood (1917-1996)
Walter Yarwood was born in 1917 in Toronto, attended the Western Technical School art program, married Helen Durnan in 1942, and together they had five children. In order to support his family, he took a job in advertising, relegating his painting to weekends, slowly gaining a strong reputation as an artist throughout the forties. He gained confidence through experimentation with rich, deep colour and bold shape, eventually moving away from landscape, toward abstract expressionism.
In 1953, eleven Toronto artists, including Yarwood, joined forces, becoming the Painters Eleven. Their collective goal was to turn Canadian landscape art on its head. To this end they decided that they would exhibit as a group rather than solo, drawing much more attention. Their first exhibition was held at the Roberts Gallery in 1954 and although it started slowly, the exhibition drew more visitors during the two week run than any other in Roberts Gallery history (1842-1954).
From 1954 to ’59, Painters Eleven exhibited their works regularly and Yarwood’s style continued to become more entrenched in the abstract, garnering positive reviews and prizes. In 1960, Painters Eleven officially disbanded although the artists still exhibited solo and in groups. Yarwood changed direction and began creating large sculptural pieces, many of which were inspired by his canoeing trips and wilderness adventures. He worked in bronze or monel metal, an alloy of nickel and copper. He also created smaller pieces in aluminum.
Yarwood taught art and design at Humber College for some years and retired in 1982 at the age of sixty-five. Walter and Helen moved to Port Rowan on Lake Erie and he returned to painting landscapes, his style reverting back to figurative portrayals of forests, farmland and seascapes. The picturesque shores and countryside provided much inspiration. He made frequent trips to Georgian Bay as well; painting the land he had so dearly loved as a younger man. These later landscapes are breathtaking in their understated beauty, clear proof of Yarwood’s talent and skill as a painter.
Yarwood and his wife, Helen, both died in the area, Helen in 1993 and Walter in 1996.
Much of Yarwood’s abstract work can be found in personal collections and his sculptures seen in front of significant buildings around Toronto. Many of his later landscapes are held by his remaining four children who have chosen to exhibit them for sale at gallery23 in Port Dover, hoping that each of them will find a place in the home of an art lover who will appreciate the provenance of the piece.
“There was always a consistency and intelligence about Yarwood’s work. It never made a flamboyant impression but it was always good … I would say he was one of the most intelligent members of the group and very deeply involved in that whole movement of Abstract Expressionism.” ~ writer and critic Robert Fulford, one of the early critical champions of Painters Eleven.
“With a very real bent for analyzing empathy as well as being a good painter, (Yarwood) is an artist of stature to command unusual respect.” ~ Pearl McCarthy, Art and Artists
Jeremy started making art pieces in 1997. He had seen some folky eel looking carvings that a friend had bought on a visit out east, said the usual: "I can do that!" and was challenged to do so. Creating imaginative, colourful folk art has now become one of Jeremy’s many pastimes.
He works in the tradition of self-taught artists. He tells of being inspired by the memory of a hand rail on a dock on Jack's Lake. Someone had used a piece of cedar driftwood, added two bottle caps for eyes, and paint, and fashioned a hand rail. The years of exposure to the elements and many hands had removed most of the paint and left the surface smoothly polished - a simple beautiful object.
The majority of Jeremy’s work is made from found materials. He can visualize what a piece of wood or metal can become. Using pinecones, seed pods, street-cleaner bristles, hair clips and any number of other lost and found items, Jeremy brings to life animals and birds with very distinct personalities and then lends his own charm to them by naming them and signing each in a unique manner.
In this collection, Jeremy has created and recreated game boards from the well-loved Snakes and Ladders and Pick-Up-Snakes to unique games like Punker Parcheesi, Snakey and Nines and the ever-popular Dover Dam Game.
His work reflects a lifelong observation and love of nature combined with an appreciation of legends, myths, art and history.
Carolinian Woodturnings: Ron is passionate about wood - cherry, maple, box elder, chestnut, walnut and all sorts of burls. His creations are spectacularly beautiful! Many of his wood pieces are ornamental but several are also functional with food-safe finishes. Ron has been exhibiting work from his shop near Vittoria and in art shows around Southern Ontario for many years and is truly talented and vastly experienced as an artist using wood as his medium.
M. Danyet Cunningham
M. Danyet Cunningham carves soapstone, limestone, alabaster, marble and slate. She is exploring the medium both in the round and through relief. Her work reflects the influence of myth, Celtic and Native work, Nature and her personal internal world. Some sculptures are abstract landscapes exploring flow and planes.
M. Danyet took the opportunity to train with Doug Stephens and George Pratt using a variety of stone types: Sandy Cline with Quebec Soapstone, Wayne Hill exploring Mask and Totem carving, John Sabourin with soapstone and Mel Andre with wood carving. She also studied interpretive painting of Native and Celtic Lengends with David Johnson.
M. Danyet was an educator in Southwestern Ontario with degrees at University of Western Ontario: OCT; Honours Specialist - Biology and Kinesiology; Masters Arts - Kinesiology; Honours BSc - Pharmacology and Toxicology.
Kathleen Pickard and Larry Monczka - photographers extraordinaire.