Summer Sketches: Lucius O’Brien and Garett Walker

July 6, 2017 – October 29, 2017
Lucius O’Brien, “Reservoir Creek in Don Valley”, 1898, watercolour on paper, 33 x 44.3 cm. Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre. Gift of Helen and Arch Brown, 1995. Digital reproduction © Canadian Conservation Institute. All rights reserved

Summer Sketches
Lucius O’Brien and Garett Walker

July 6 to October 29, 2017
Gallery 3
Curator: Emily McKibbon
Reception: Thursday, July 6, 7 to 9 pm
The Journals of Mary O’BrienReadings by Joy Thompson, September 30, 1 pm. Admission free

Summer Sketches brings together watercolours by Lucius O’Brien (b. Shanty Bay, 1832-1899) and contemporary photographs by Barrie-based artist Garett Walker. O’Brien’s and Walker’s works differ in many respects, but both artists are keenly attuned to the landscapes in which they find themselves.

O’Brien often painted outdoors, and consequently his watercolours are summer sketches: intuitive works completed in a day, reflecting the warmth of a season and the chance encounter of a beautiful scene. Summer Sketches refers to this mode of working, but also this representational style: optimistic, reflective of an approach to nation-building rooted in that historical moment. In contrast, Garett Walker’s photographs of this region capture the landscapes that accrue over sites of historical significance. With his ongoing series Town and Country, Walker examines the lingering impact of what Northrop Frye called the “garrison mentality” of Canadian settlement.

Summer Sketches is complemented by an essay by Barrie-born, Toronto-based writer Andrea Curtis, reflecting on the concept of creative landscape through the lens of her own experiences.

Barrie Examiner article: Barrie’s first superstar artist