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North Shore (Georgian Bay)

Public Submission
Georgian Bay, Ontario
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
41.4 x 49.1
Materials & techniques
Oil, wood panel; Sketched
A.Y. Jackson
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, 1959.001.001
The Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery first opened on 18 September 1956. We were located, then, in a re-purposed bicycle shed (since demolished) that was located on the east side of Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate Institute, in Kitchener. Our first exhibition was dedicated to Canadian painter Tom Thomson: 35 paintings borrowed from the National Gallery of Canada and other public and private collections. The exhibition was organized by A.Y. Jackson, long-time friend of Tom Thomson and founding member of The Group of Seven.

Jackson had a personal connection to the artistic community of Waterloo Region through his Aunt, Ms. Geneva Jackson. She lived on Queen Street North in Kitchener (her house is still standing). A prominent local citizen, she was one of four local women who, beginning in the 1920s, first led the drive to establish an art gallery in the city. When that goal was reached at last, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery celebrated its first opening night, A.Y. Jackson was there to welcome guests and introduce Tom Thomson’s work as host and guest speaker for the evening.

In a letter received by the Gallery in November 1956, Jackson expressed his enjoyment of the event, his pleasure in meeting old friends and he mentioned a fresh sketch that he was saving for the Gallery’s Collection. He said we’d have to wait, though, because he might want to paint a canvas from it. “North Shore (Georgian Bay)” is that sketch. Painted in 1956, the year of our founding, the artist presented it to the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery in 1959. It is the first work by A.Y. Jackson to become a part of the Permanent Collection. At the time, the Collection did not number even 20 artworks. Today (60 years later), the Gallery holds over 4,000 artworks by local, regional, national and internationally recognized artists.
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