Gallery

Varley Art Gallery's new exhibition showcases childhood in historical Canadian art

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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MARKHAM, ON – April 17, 2019 On Sunday, April 14, the Varley Art Gallery of Markham launched a new Canadian exhibition, Our Children: Reflections of Childhood in Historical Canadian Art.

“The City of Markham has a special affiliation with Canadian art history," says Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Several members of the Group of Seven lived in Thornhill, and, of course, F.H. Varley lived on Main Street Unionville. But even before that, Markham’s founding father, William Berczy was not only a writer, adventurer, architect and explorer, but also an important visual artist, widely remembered for his outstanding portraits of early Canadians. It is therefore very fitting that this exhibition is on-view at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham.”

The works in this exhibition cover the period from the early 1840s to the 1930s and so constitute a celebration of Canadian settler society, something that is very important to the City of Markham. With our motto “Leading while Remembering”, we too honour our settler history and many Markham residents are proud to trace their heritage back to the City’s founders, who arrived here from Europe with William Berczy.

From staged commissioned portraits to lighthearted scenes of leisure, this exhibition explores the portrayal of children by Canadian artists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Collectively, these works offer insight into the changing conceptions of childhood within Canadian settler societies, including family dynamics, gender roles and class structures.

This exhibition, curated by Anik Glaude and Charlotte Gagnier, features many prominent artists from this period including Paul Kane, Cornelius Krieghoff, Robert Harris, George Agnew Reid and Charlotte Schreiber. Consequently, these works also speak to the development of a Canadian artistic milieu, evidenced by the establishment of artist associations, the Royal Canadian Academy and the increasing professionalization of the artist.

Our Children: Reflections of Childhood in Historical Canadian Art was generously sponsored by PACART Exclusive Fine Art Transportation Provider and  will be on view at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham until June 23, 2019. 

"The works on display in Our Children reveal a great deal about traditional gender stereotypes,” notes Niamh O’Laoghaire, Director of the Varley Art Gallery. “When boys and girls are seen together, the males are generally depicted as leaders. Yet overall, the young girls and women outnumber the boys. The exhibition, then, can also be understood as a celebration of women’s lives and the importance of their contributions to settler society as a whole through their frequently unacknowledged work: minding the home, making clothes, caring for children, tending the sick.”

In addition to being among the first to visit this exhibition at the opening reception, guests had a chance to enjoy an insightful Gallery Talk and a tour of Our Children, led by art historian Ian Thom.

Attendees were also treated to a live musical performance by Robert Lee, an emerging upright bassist, composer, and bandleader in the Toronto jazz scene. Robert has participated in the Spectrum Music New Voices Composers Residency and has also been featured on Jazzology with Heather Bambrick on Jazz FM91. He was joined on Sunday by Flores and Mo Mitchell on the violins to form a classical trio group, who performed works ranging from the Baroque to the Classical eras.

Learn more about the Varley’s workshops and public events at VarleyArtGallery.ca


Photo:


Guests at the Our Children: Reflections of Childhood in Historical Canadian Art exhibition at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham on Sunday, April 14.


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Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office: Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416-671-2890.

For all other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham:
Erynn Sally, Media Relations Coordinator at esally@markham.ca or 416-737-2684

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with over 355,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,100 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 210 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.

About the Varley Art Gallery of Markham: The Varley Art Gallery of Markham is a municipal gallery with a vision is to be a cultural hub in the City of Markham. We inspire local and national audiences to engage with art, both historical and contemporary by presenting high quality and well-researched exhibitions and rich, educational and dynamic artistic programs that are relevant to the communities we serve. We also share and celebrate the life and work of F.H. Varley, a founding member of the Group of Seven. We also produce and circulate exhibitions that support the work of contemporary artists that are relevant to the communities we serve. 

MARKHAM, ON – April 17, 2019 On Sunday, April 14, the Varley Art Gallery of Markham launched a new Canadian exhibition, Our Children: Reflections of Childhood in Historical Canadian Art.

“The City of Markham has a special affiliation with Canadian art history," says Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Several members of the Group of Seven lived in Thornhill, and, of course, F.H. Varley lived on Main Street Unionville. But even before that, Markham’s founding father, William Berczy was not only a writer, adventurer, architect and explorer, but also an important visual artist, widely remembered for his outstanding portraits of early Canadians. It is therefore very fitting that this exhibition is on-view at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham.”

The works in this exhibition cover the period from the early 1840s to the 1930s and so constitute a celebration of Canadian settler society, something that is very important to the City of Markham. With our motto “Leading while Remembering”, we too honour our settler history and many Markham residents are proud to trace their heritage back to the City’s founders, who arrived here from Europe with William Berczy.

From staged commissioned portraits to lighthearted scenes of leisure, this exhibition explores the portrayal of children by Canadian artists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Collectively, these works offer insight into the changing conceptions of childhood within Canadian settler societies, including family dynamics, gender roles and class structures.

This exhibition, curated by Anik Glaude and Charlotte Gagnier, features many prominent artists from this period including Paul Kane, Cornelius Krieghoff, Robert Harris, George Agnew Reid and Charlotte Schreiber. Consequently, these works also speak to the development of a Canadian artistic milieu, evidenced by the establishment of artist associations, the Royal Canadian Academy and the increasing professionalization of the artist.

Our Children: Reflections of Childhood in Historical Canadian Art was generously sponsored by PACART Exclusive Fine Art Transportation Provider and  will be on view at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham until June 23, 2019. 

"The works on display in Our Children reveal a great deal about traditional gender stereotypes,” notes Niamh O’Laoghaire, Director of the Varley Art Gallery. “When boys and girls are seen together, the males are generally depicted as leaders. Yet overall, the young girls and women outnumber the boys. The exhibition, then, can also be understood as a celebration of women’s lives and the importance of their contributions to settler society as a whole through their frequently unacknowledged work: minding the home, making clothes, caring for children, tending the sick.”

In addition to being among the first to visit this exhibition at the opening reception, guests had a chance to enjoy an insightful Gallery Talk and a tour of Our Children, led by art historian Ian Thom.

Attendees were also treated to a live musical performance by Robert Lee, an emerging upright bassist, composer, and bandleader in the Toronto jazz scene. Robert has participated in the Spectrum Music New Voices Composers Residency and has also been featured on Jazzology with Heather Bambrick on Jazz FM91. He was joined on Sunday by Flores and Mo Mitchell on the violins to form a classical trio group, who performed works ranging from the Baroque to the Classical eras.

Learn more about the Varley’s workshops and public events at VarleyArtGallery.ca


Photo:


Guests at the Our Children: Reflections of Childhood in Historical Canadian Art exhibition at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham on Sunday, April 14.


– 30 –

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office: Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416-671-2890.

For all other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham:
Erynn Sally, Media Relations Coordinator at esally@markham.ca or 416-737-2684

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with over 355,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,100 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 210 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.

About the Varley Art Gallery of Markham: The Varley Art Gallery of Markham is a municipal gallery with a vision is to be a cultural hub in the City of Markham. We inspire local and national audiences to engage with art, both historical and contemporary by presenting high quality and well-researched exhibitions and rich, educational and dynamic artistic programs that are relevant to the communities we serve. We also share and celebrate the life and work of F.H. Varley, a founding member of the Group of Seven. We also produce and circulate exhibitions that support the work of contemporary artists that are relevant to the communities we serve.