FEATURED EXHIBIT: ON THE TRAIL OF TOM THOMSON, 100 YEARS LATER

Artist Gene Canning paddling in Algonquin Park.

SHOW TITLE: ON THE TRAIL OF TOM THOMSON, 100 YEARS LATER

SHOW DESCRIPTION:  The Algonquin Art Centre is proud to present the first featured exhibit of the season, Gene Canning’s “On the Trail of Tom Thomson”.  In recognition of the 100th anniversary of Tom Thomson’s time in Algonquin Park, artist Gene Canning paddled and painted the same rivers and lakes as Thomson, completing 150 paintings along the way. This exhibit shares with us Gene’s adventures and experiences in art and travel in historic Algonquin Park.

DETAILS: This exhibit will be on display at the Algonquin Art Centre from June 1st until July 31st, 10 am – 5 pm. Voluntary admission.

PREVIEW: For a preview of the works in this exhibit, please click HERE.

 

Gene Canning on the trail of Tom Thomson in Algonquin Park.

Retracing the Steps of Tom Thomson:

Canadian Artist Gene Canning paddled and painted his way into history. He followed the same canoe routes that Canada’s most famous artist, Tom Thomson, followed 100 years ago. This three year project took Gene over hundreds of miles of rivers and lakes, as well as many miles of portages. Gene completed 150 field paintings during this time, many of them at the exact same locations where Tom created his paintings all those years ago. If an exact location couldn’t be determined, Gene based his painting locations on his and others historical research.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gene, an avid outdoorsman himself, always traveled alone on this journey, his companions being his canoe, his fly fishing rod, and his paints. Gene described it this way; “I felt like I took a step into history. I wanted to see how my paintings evolved over this time period, much as Thomson’s evolved. I wanted to explore how the Park, that influenced Tom Thomson so deeply, influenced me as well.  I’ve always canoed in the park but never at this extensive or with this type of focus. I wanted to see nature through his eyes, try to get into his head, to achieve a better understanding of his thought process, to discover what I believe, only another artist can. What motivated him, what drove him to have to stop and paint the subjects he did, and with such passion. I became so consumed by this idea that I even purchased an antique paint box similar to his, as well as an antique Chestnut canoe, the same make of canoe that Tom purchased in 1915 ”.  Gene went on to clarify though; “there is one part of Tom Thomson’s Park experience I thankfully did not follow, his mysterious death that clear summer day on Canoe Lake”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The idea for this adventure came about while Gene was teaching art at Camp Tanamakoon in Algonquin Park this fall. The camp’s owner, Kim Smith, was giving a talk on the Tom Thomson mystery at the time of Gene’s revelation regarding the historical significance the period 1912 to 1917.  The realization that 1912 was the 100 year anniversary of Thomson’s first trip into the Park. Gene has always been a lover of art and history,  and had even painted at the site of Tom Thomson’s famous painting Jack Pine a few years ago. He was struck by the connection he felt to history when sitting and painting at the exact spot that this famous Canadian artwork was created almost a century earlier.  That single painting sprouted an idea, one Gene would end up dedicating 3 years of his life and art career to.

Kim Smith, art collector and the owner of two well known Algonquin Park landmarks, Camp Tanamakoon and Bartlett Lodge, immediately saw the value of this project and therefore agreed to sponsor Gene on this historic journey into the world of art. The irony of their partnership was not lost on the pair, as Tom Thomson was sponsored in a similar manner, 100 years previous by art collector, Dr. MacCallum.

 

 For a full PREVIEW of the works in this featured exhibit, please click HERE.

 

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Algonquin Art Centre - Gallery in the Heart of Algonquin Park

open June 1 - October 19

10 am to 5:30 pm daily

 

located at km 20 on Hwy #60

in the Heart of Algonquin Park

 

(705) 633-5555 / 1-800-863-0066

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