Group of Seven in Amherstburg: New Exhibit Brings Iconic Paintings to County

Works by some of Canada’s best-known artists are on display in Amherstburg as part of a free temporary exhibition.

The Group of Seven: Not Formed in a Day pop-up opened on July 1 and will run until July 10.

This is a partnership between River Bookshop and Art Windsor Essex, formerly known as the Art Gallery of Windsor.

The Group of Seven was made up of landscape painters whose most popular works date from the 1920s to 1930s. Members include Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris and AY Jackson.

Before they found success, they were pariahs – faced with an art establishment that dismissed their work as too commercial, explained Richard Peddie, owner of the River Bookshop.

“These are the artists who really became the first Canadian art style, and they did it based on the Canadian landscape,” Peddie said.

Maligne Lake, Jasper Park by Lawren Stewart Harris (from the portfolio Canadian Drawings by Members of the Group of Seven), 1925, offset lithograph on paper. (Submitted by Art Windsor Essex)

The exhibition features these iconic images in bright colors, but Art Windsor Essex executive director Jennifer Matotek said it also includes some things people might not have seen before, including the engraving, lithography and wood engraving.

The project reflects the art gallery’s desire to expand its reach in Essex County, which is also reflected in the gallery’s new name.

“It’s a big deal that we’re bringing our collection to the county in a way that we’ve never done before,” Matotek said.

The exhibition takes place at the Hole in the Wall space above River Bookshop on Richmond Street in Amherstburg. Doors are open from noon to 5 p.m. daily and the exhibit runs through July 10.

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