This afternoon I dropped in on Alberta and the Group of Seven at the Borealis Gallery at the Federal Building on the Alberta Legislature grounds. For some reason I had it in my head that this was principally an exhibition of works by the Group of Seven with Alberta subjects. What a pleasant surprise when the first work my eye fell on was “Clinging Clouds, Mount Assiniboine” by Annora Brown, one of my favourite Alberta painters! And next works by the Whytes of Banff, and H. G. Glyde, Euphemia McNaught, Evelyn McBryan . . . ! Yes there were a few small Lawren Harris pieces and some by Jackson, Lismer and Macdonald. But really, this is an exhibition of Alberta artists to which the works of Group of Seven members are a footnote.
My visit today was brief, a quick taste which left me desperately hungry for more. Another must-see in Edmonton’s Art Scene.
After the gallery, the Legislative Assembly Interpretive Centre staff encouraged me to take in the show at the Pehonan Theatre next door. It was a pleasantly immersive tour through Alberta History guided by Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the Province’s namesake. The venue is impressive, reminiscent of a planetarium, but the script given Princess Alberta forced me to ask “does no one know anymore the meaning of ‘begs the question‘?”
Alberta and the Group of Seven continues at the Borealis Gallery until May 23, 2016.