Gordon Smith, C.M., O.B.C. is a cornerstone in the history of Modernist painting in Canada. His works are held in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England, among others. Gordon’s deep belief in art education is what grounds our organization, and what has touched the lives of so many young Canadians.
At age 99, the consummate artist, educator and art patron, Smith actively supports local visual art initiatives, mentors many, and spends hours a day in the studio. His body of work, executed in many different media, encompasses a diverse range of interests including his displacement to Canada from England as a young man; his World War II experiences; the natural beauty of the British Columbia landscape; and the tension between abstraction and representation.
The late Marion Smith was said to have two careers, one as a celebrated social worker and another as Gordon’s boss. She possessed a keen eye for art and was a great influence on Gordon’s work. Her career in Social Services was buoyed by her belief that support for the arts creates healthy communities.
Together, their tireless work and dedication over the course of 50 years has influenced the progression of Canadian art and helped to shape the lives of thousands of young people and emerging and established artists.
It is this legacy that we continue to nurture as we work to develop a love of the arts in our communities.
Inventory magazine founder Ryan Willms visits the 96-year-old Canadian artist’s modernist retreat.