Emily Carr: A Modern Artist

From September 25 to November 13, the Courtenay Museum will be presenting a selection of the works of art of Emily Carr. The exhibit will be guest curated by Nicholas Tuele, independent curator and art historian. Tuele was the Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria for 18 years before starting his own consultancy practice. He has published numerous exhibition catalogues and articles about British Columbia artists. Most recently he co-curated an extensive exhibition featuring BC artists for the University of Victoria’s Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery.

The Courtenay Museum received support from Island Ink-Jet Systems and Coast Realty Group as the platinum sponsors for this exhibition. Community Futures SICEAI funds set the stage for improvements in permanent exhibitions. Thunderbird Security is sponsoring a portion of the security. Generous support from these and other sponsors will make this exhibition possible and will also enable many classes in the school district to see the exhibit.

Works of Art will be on loan from the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Maltwood Gallery and the British Columbia Provincial Archives. Artifacts and photos will be on loan from Emily Carr House in Victoria.

During the Emily Carr exhibition, there will be a number of lectures presented giving different perspectives on the life and art of Emily Carr. Guest Curator Nicholas Tuele will speak on Saturday October 2, at 11:00 a.m. This lecture will focus on Emily Carr and the aspects of her work that make her a modern artist. Tuele will contrast Carr’s distinctive paintings against the work of British Columbia’s first internationally acclaimed artist, Sophie Pemberton. The two artists were contemporaries, born in Victoria and they knew one another. However, the two women came from quite different socio-economic backgrounds and while Carr went on to achieve a personal and modern “voice” as a painter, Pemberton remained more rooted in the academic traditions of the 19th c. The fee for this lecture is four dollars for members, six dollars for non members. Registration is advised.

Also, on October 2nd at 2:00, the museum will host special guest speaker Kerry Mason. Ms. Mason is an art historian and author who lectures at the University of Victoria in the History in Art Department. Her courses focus on various topics of Canadian and B.C. Art History with a particular emphasis on her favourites: Emily Carr and Northwest Coast Art. Her career in Art History developed from an early passion for Emily Carr.

From its inception in 1977 through 1988, she was the Curator of the Emily Carr Gallery in Victoria for the Province of British Columbia. Through these years she curated 27 different exhibitions on various aspects of Emily Carr including her trips on the B.C. coast, her involvement with the Group of Seven, Carr’s travels in France and her spiritual quest to paint the landscape and particularly the forests of British Columbia. Extensive travel and research produced several articles and a book for Oxford University Press: “Sunlight in the Shadows: the landscape of Emily Carr”. Ms. Mason will speak about the life and art of Emily Carr. The fee for this lecture is four dollars for members, six dollars for non members. Registration is advised.

“Tea With Emily”, sponsored by Thrifty’s Foods will be featured on October 16th as the museum hosts actress Molly Rahrer-Newman who is known to many, including this year’s Filberg Festival attendees, as the next best to Emily Carr. From 11:00 to 4:00, each hour on the half hour, Molly will present readings from Emily Carr. Tea and cookies will be served- enjoy a visit with Emily. Admission fee for Tea With Emily and exhibit viewing is three dollars for children(12 and under) five dollars for adults

Another important aspect of this exhibition is the museum’s fundraising programme “Visiting Emily” which both Island Ink Jet and Coast Realty Group have generously sponsored at the platinum level. Sponsors at the silver level are: Nesbitt Burns, Ahmed McGarvey Law Offices, Stan and Judy Hagen, Courtenay Legion, and Eleanor and Harold Walker. To date, this programme will enable over 24 school classes in the district to attend the exhibit and learn more about Emily Carr. Over half of these classes are now booked. Elementary teachers in the School District can contact the museum at 334-0686 for more details.