Meet Me at the McMichael

From Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, to Mary Pratt and the Painters Eleven, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection is a who’s who of Canadian Art.


ABOVE: Lawren Harris, Ellesmere Island, 1930, oil on wood panel, 12 x 15 inches, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg

BELOW: The gravestone of Lawren Harris and his wife Bess in the McMichael Cemetary

If you grew up in or around Toronto, chances are you went on a school field trip to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario. I recently (re)visited for the first time since childhood.

Established in 1969, the McMichael has an extensive collection that includes some of Canada’s most renowned artists. Whether you’re a fan of Emily Carr or Norval Morrisseau, all the stars are here, and then some.

As outstanding as the art is, so too is the building it is housed, and the grounds on which it is set. You really couldn’t ask for a better spot – it is distinctly Canadian.

Six members of the Group of Seven are buried at the McMichael, among them, my favorites A.J. Casson and Lawren Harris. Visiting their graves was a unique and humbling experience I will not soon forget.

Although the collections most iconic piece – Casson’s White Pine – was inexplicably absent, there wasn’t much else to complain about. Save for the weather, the whole experience was near perfect.

If you’re a fan of Canadian art, or looking to learn more about it, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection is a must-visit.

This coming fall, I will be exhibiting my work in the 24th Annual Autumn Art Sale at the McMichael. The exhibition runs from Friday, October 24 to Sunday, October 26, 2014.