#14 The Group of Seven vs. Group of Fashionality Artists

If you grew up in Canada, you are probably familiar with the Group of Seven. Maybe you can't name the seven members, but you might recall a couple from the group.

Tom Thompson, The Jack Pine, 1916-17.

The Group of Seven refers to the group of Canadian landscape painters from 1920 to 1933. Its original members consist of Fanklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald and Frederick Varley. Tom Thompson, who had a significant influence on the group is s commonly associated with the Group of Seven. The Group of Seven is known for its paintings inspired by Canadian landscape. It also initiated the first major Canadian national art movement.

Members of the Group of Seven, 1920

Renowned for collecting only Canadian art, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection exhibits a great degree of Canadian art including works by the Group of Seven. Through the Fashionality exhibition now on at the McMichael, a group of artists were selected by a curator, Julia Pine. The artists of Fashionality share a similarity - each artist have their own way of expressing fashion through art. However, only after the exhibition, they were introduced to each other. 23 Canadian artists across the country were chosen, and some became friends as they were closer in proximity and shared similar ideas. For instance, Camal Pirbhai was able to meet and keep in touch with artists Barbara Pratt, Nicole Dextras and Camille Turner.

The Group of Five - four artists (Barbara Pratt, Nicole Dextras, Camal Pirbhai, Camille Turner) and the curator Julia Pine

It's important for galleries like the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, to continue investing in contemporary Canadian artists and hosting shows such as Fashionality. As an audience, it is nice to see a balance between traditional Canadian art such as that of the Group of Seven, and contemporary Canadian art through the exhibitions like the Fashionality. One of the benefits of having a show like this is that it provides an opportunity for artists to meet each other and build a stronger contemporary Canadian art community. Having a group of people is always stronger than having an individual. Artists have been active always in a group - such as the Group of Seven, the Fashionailty Group, the Impressionist, the Surrealist, the Futurists, and so on. That's why they say, "the more the merrier!"

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