The Ripoff Artists are at it again! This year, the target of their larcenous endeavours is A.Y. Jackson of the Group of Seven, and his “Hills Killarney (Nellie Lake).” See for yourself as the Ripoff Artists use sly skills to interpret this artwork in their own media, every day from July 6 to 10, 9 am to 3 pm, at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre at 5840 Airport Street in Oliver. Saturday will be the big rush to finish their pieces before 3 pm!
In honour of Oliver’s 100×100 celebration, the nefarious gang interpreted Oliver landmarks in the style of A.Y. Jackson, even luring members of the SOSS Art Club into artistic skulduggery. See their efforts on display at the Quail’s Nest, as they warmed up their slippery fingers and artistic wiles for this summer’s shameless exploitation of a Canadian art legend.
Alexander Young Jackson (1882-1974) was born in Montreal, worked in a printer’s shop as a boy, and studied fine art there. He later studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and spent time in France. Montreal had no interest in new Canadian art, then a letter from eager young painters about one of his paintings took Jackson to the cultural backwater of Toronto. His knowledge of the art world and the fresh ideas of Tom Thomson and others combined into innovative ways of painting the rugged Canadian landscape. The friends set themselves up in a large studio in downtown Toronto, and made canoeing trips to Algonquin Park and Georgian Bay, sitting on rocks and stumps in all weathers to paint tiny panels they expanded into full sized paintings back in Toronto.
Jackson shared a studio with Thomson, then served as a war artist in the First World War. In 1920, the “Algonquin” painters exhibited for the first time as the Group of Seven.
Jackson was often seen as the spokesman of the Group. Another member, Arthur Lismer, wrote that “Jackson has done more than any other writer or artist to bind us to our own environment and make us vitally aware of the significance, beauty and character of the land.” Jackson was the last surviving member of the Group of Seven and is buried in the grounds of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario.