The annual exhibition of the Graduate's Association
of the Vancouver School of Art will be held in
the Art Gallery early in May.
Ten years have passed since the School of Art was opened and the
first group of students began their work. The public was vaguely
interested, indifferent, or skeptical, but the students worked away
at such varied subjects as painting in oils and water-colors, sculpture,
pottery, wood-carving and commercial art in all its interesting forms.
The first graduation at the end of four years was an event of tremendous
interest, after which the graduates sank into the obscurity of their
studies or, in some cases, took further courses in larger centres.
Outside their own circle little was known about them at first but as
the years went by people began to realize that in our city there were
groups of young artists in quiet studios, who were doing original work.
The young men and women who sank into obscurity a few years ago were
no longer obscure. A portrait by Irene Hoffar Reid
was included in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery, a much
coveted distinction. Margaret Carter won
the Beatrice Stone Medal awarded annually
for the best painting of the year, in 1933, and Vera
Weatherbie the same in 1934. A portrait by Miss
Maisie Robertson was shown in the All Canadian Exhibition at Ottawa,
Beatrice Lennie was doing sculpture.
Orville Fisher, Edward
Hughes, and Paul Goranson became known
all over Canada through their mural paintings in the First United
Church, while their exhibition of Dry Points and Etchings in the
Art Gallery last December were widely praised.
On the walls of the studio shared by Margaret
Carter and Irene Hoffar Reid are murals,
landscapes, portraits in oils and conte, the latter a medium much
used by the Old Masters.
A climb up three flights of stairs in the Imperial Bank Building
brings one to a studio where two busy and business-like young women
are modern devotees of ancient arts. Frances
Gatewood is responsible for the lovely pieces of pottery in many
varieties of form and color that are to be seen there.
The most exquisite hand book-binding is being done in this studio.
Dorothy Burnett has chosen this rare
and ancient craft. A connoisseur of a well-bound book or a lover
of rare collections would be well repaid for a visit here, where an
entire book can be made, a cherished old one re-bound or a new
When searching for the "unusual" one day we came across prancing
horses carved in walnut, book ends of Canadian buffalo carved from
Canadian wood, and an absolutely captivating, sleepy donkey. We
were told they were made by a girl who has a studio somewhere
in the West End and who "does" animals. Eventually we found the studio
in a sunny corner, and Maisie Robertson
the carver in wood. She shares a studio with Maude
(sic) Sherman, already well known for her oils and water colors.
Through the art of Mary Gordon, one of
the graduates in Crafts and Commercial Arts, runs the element of
laughter. Her Animated Map of Stanley Park in Winter, which hung
for weeks in the window of the Arts and Crafts Building, added much
to the gaiety of pedestrians who paused on their way to make out
the quaint figures.
We can only mention a few of the graduates and touch lightly upon
their work. The coming exhibition at the Art Gallery will give an
opportunity for people to see and judge for themselves what these
artists are doing in their chosen lines of art, taught in our own
schools, inspired by our own scenery and expressing the life of our
country in landscape, portraiture and the various crafts.