2016 Year in Review


2016 Year in Review

Thank you to everyone who helped make 2016 a successful year for the artists and clients we work with at Michael Gibson Gallery. We love what we do.


Artist Exhibitions & Accomplishments

Congratulations to our artists for their recent public gallery exhibitions, honours and accomplishments:

Ashleigh Bartlett won the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Emerging Arts Award in 2016.

Susan Dobson’s “Viewfinder” photographs were exhibited at the Images Visual Arts Biennale in Vevey, Switzerland in September.

Aganetha Dyck is now working with the Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA on a new live honeybee collaboration.  She also has a January 2017 exhibition at apexart in NYC, an independent space that challenges ideas about art, its practice and its curation.

The “Eyes as Big as Plates” photographers Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth won the Best Norwegian Crowdfunding Campaign in 2016 and are looking forward to the launch of their new book on the series this May.

This past May, Roly Fenwick’s self portrait painting The Second Self was acquired by Museum London, London, ON.

Will Gorlitz’s paintings were included in the AGO’s exhibition “Toronto: Tributes & Tributaries” and were prominently featured in Toronto Star reviews of the show.

James Kirkpatrick spent last March participating in the 3 week Convergence Residency at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta.  He also played to an enthusiastic audience at the Gardiner Museum’s popular SMASH party in the summer.

Erik Olson’s paintings will be included in the January 2017 “Contemporary Visions VII” exhibition in London, UK, a juried exhibition that features emerging artists who show distinct promise.

Ron Moppett is exhibiting with his son, Damian Moppett, in their show, “Damian Moppett & Ron Moppett (Every Story has Two Sides)”, at the Art Gallery of Alberta which ends this Sunday, January 8, 2017.

Diana Thorneycroft was awarded the 2016 Manitoba Arts Award of Distinction, in honour of the highest level of excellence and long-term achievements for an artist in Manitoba.  Her exhibition “Herd” also began its nation-wide tour with exhibits at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound and Shenkman Arts Centre in Ottawa.


2016’s Best Moments in Exhibitions

March featured 2 solo exhibits: Tom Benner in the main gallery and Doug Kirton in the middle gallery.  Benner’s exploration of ice and the environment was the perfect compliment for Doug Kirton’s meditative landscape paintings of Laurel Creek.

BennerTom Benner’s “Ice Formations” Exhibition

benner_kirton3Doug Kirton’s “Laurel Creek Derivations” Exhibition

celebrated the work of two of the most cherished senior artists working in Canada: Gathie Falk and Aganetha Dyck.  Gathie Falk’s 2nd solo exhibit in the front gallery featured glorious new paintings of the night sky.  Aganetha Dyck presented a suite of bee-worked Feeder Boards in the middle gallery.

Gathie FalkGathie Falk in her studio with “Heavenly Bodies Again” paintings

Aganetha DyckAganetha Dyck, “Fragility”, Honeycomb, Beeswax, Drawing on Feeder Board,
2012-2016, 20 x 16 3/4 in.


May was Roly Fenwick’s 8th solo exhibition with the gallery.  “The Cumulative Effect” included paintings inspired by the landscape of the Bruce Peninsula, Newfoundland and Scotland.

We are pleased that his impressive self portrait – The Second Self – is now in the permanent collection of Museum London.  As a compliment to the exhibition, we produced a short 7 minute mini-documentary that highlights Fenwick’s passion for painting.

Greg Curnoe

June allowed us the opportunity to present a selection of artworks from the private collection of Mr. Roy Heenan.  “The Life of a Bike”, featured rare artworks by Greg Curnoe, Charles Gagnon and Alfred Pellan, and continued our pursuit of exhibiting private collections while still intact.

It was truly a delight to spend the month amongst the breathtaking abstracts of Charles Gagnon and Greg Curnoe’s life-sized Mariposa 10-Speed #1 (1973) bike, his rare High Flange Normandy (1974) wheel and sumptuous Homage to Van Dongen No. 2  (1979-1981) watercolours.

We celebrated the exhibit with a lively private pop-up party in Toronto as well as a exhibition catalogue that explored the intertwined relationships between Greg Curnoe, Charles Gagnon, Roy Heenan and Pierre Theberge.  Read Catalogue: HERE


Mr. Roy Heenan at Toronto Pop-Up Preview with Greg Curnoe’s “Homage to Van Dongen No. 2”, Watercolour, July 16/1979 – Feb 13/1981, 42 x 89 in. and Alfred Pellan “Seated Nude”, Oil on Canvas, 1941, 17 x 19 in.  Collection Roy Heenan.

Sizzling Summer Soiree

July was party time with our 18th Annual Sizzling Summer Soiree.  Our tradition in July is to introduce new artists to the gallery.  This year was the 1st solo exhibition for both Ufuk Gueray and Jenna Faye Powell  (both shortlisted by the RBC Canadian Painting Competition in the past).  Ufuk Gueray presented immaculate paintings of Lithograph Stones in the front, while Powell transformed our middle gallery into a suburban fantasy world.

Jenna Faye Powell’s painting, “Expansion Potential”, is now in the permanent collection of McIntosh Gallery, Western University.  She was also interviewed prior to her exhibit by London Fuse.

In August we installed a new air conditioner and furnace on our second floor.

Though this does not seem sexy, the removal of the duct work (which used to lay directly on the floor), now allows us to begin renovating the massive second and third floor of the gallery.  We believe, like the art we handle, that we are caretakers of our beautiful building and we want to add to the experience of visiting the Michael Gibson Gallery.


Late August on a beautiful hot summer Sunday, we had our 2nd Annual Pop-Pop Party in Bayfield, ON.  We previewed new nautical-inspired work by James Kirkpatrick (who spent his childhood summers in Bayfield) and a drawing by Jason McLean (who was home from Brooklyn to paint his Smart car in the gallery).

James Kirkpatrick

September started with James Kirkpatrick’s new collaged wall-hangings made out of re-claimed sail and found nautical materials.  London Fuse sat down with James before his show for an interview.

Vincent Collection

In the middle gallery in September, we conducted our 2nd Estate Exhibition & Sale for the Estate of Don & Bernice Vincent.  Don (1932-1993) and Bernice (1934-2016) were both London artists who collected the work of their peers and artists in the community. Their diverse collection was a snapshot of a generation and provided a personal vision of collecting.

Over 70 artworks from their home were hung salon style in a similar manner in which they lived.  Works by Greg Curnoe, Ron Martin, Tony Urquhart, John Boyle, Robert Fones and Ron Benner among others were exhibited.

We were honoured to present this unique collection and look forward to more Estate sales in the future.

David Urban

October was our exhibition for David Urban. The five magnificent large-scale paintings captivated visitors to the gallery.  Matthew Ryan Smith wrote a thoughtful review of the exhibition for Magenta Magazine which you can READ


Mid month, we held a pop-up preview of Jason McLean’s November exhibition in Toronto. The party gave the opportunity to meet McLean and to learn about the unique narrative in each drawing.


At the end of the month, we attended Art Toronto.  At the fair, we exhibited the conceptual watercolours of Hans Wendt, new Susan Dobson photographs, previewed Jason McLean and Erik Olson’s fall exhibitions as well as introduced to Canada the photographs “Eyes as Big as Plates” by Finnish / Norwegian duo Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth.  Greg Curnoe’s watercolour self portrait, wheel and text-based work were also a highlight.

Jason McLean

November featured the idiosyncratic drawings (and a Smart car) by Jason McLean.  McLean’s work is an intricate visual record of his personal experiences, events and observations.  Now, having lived in Brooklyn, NY with his family for over 3 years, the drawings reflect a new life with new inspirations.  The dynamic drawings in our exhibit combined Jason’s love of London’s history with a bold American outlook on life.

Jason McLean

Also included in our exhibit was Jason McLean’s Smart car.  In 2015, Michael Gibson acquired the car in order to save it from being recycled by Mercedes Canada.  It needed to be restored and Jason decided to do a new 2016 version. The addition of the car in our exhibit enhanced the peripatetic theme of the drawings and reminded the viewer of McLean’s relationship with his local environment.

Erik Olson

December was our 4th solo exhibition for Erik Olson.  For the past 3 years Olson has lived and painted in Dusseldorf, Germany.  Within the last year, he moved to a larger studio, which allowed him to approach our portrait exhibit in a new way.  By experimenting with a range of scale which combined realism with abstraction, layering and constructing, Olson painted us a knock out show of bold portrait paintings.

After our exhibit, Olson spent time on Granville Island where he worked on a new set of Copper Plate Sugar Lift etchings at New Leaf Editions.  The uniquely painted prints will be available soon.

Catalogues, Press & Art Auctions


Thank you to the writers and publishers who supported our artists and gallery exhibitions this past year.  Here are some highlights:

Greg Curnoe’s e-book launched by the Art Canada Institute
Aganetha Dyck featured in the Daily Mail, The Creators Project & Creative Boom
James Kirkpatrick interviewed by London Fuse and McIntosh Gallery Catalogue
Jason McLean reviewed by Border Crossings Magazine
Jenna Faye Powell interviewed by London Fuse
David Urban reviewed by Magenta Magazine

Thanks also to:  Erik Olson, Jenna Faye Powell and Diana Thorneycroft who donated artwork to Casey House’s Art With Heart Auction in October

And Jason McLean who donated a hockey collage to the Canadian Art Foundation’s Gala, and drawings to the LHSC Country Classic Auction and the Art Gallery of Guelph Auction.