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Art Canadian

A Pocket Guide to The Unheralded Artists of BC Series

The Life and Art of–Jack Akroyd, George Fertig, Mary Filer, Jack Hardman, Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher, LeRoy Jensen, David Marshall, Frank Molnar, Arthur Pitts, Mildred Valley Thornton, Ina D.D. Uhthoff, Harry Webb, Jessie Webb

edited by Mona Fertig

introduction by Marsha Lederman

Mother Tongue Publishing
Initial publish date
Oct 2020
Canadian, Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2020
    List Price

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A valuable art history guide to the in-depth Unheralded Artists of BC series.

This small attractive full-colour book, will gather thirteen forgotten and accomplished artists from the acclaimed Unheralded Artists of BC series (ten books), in one place, for the first time. A summary of each artist’s life and art from the early 1900’s to the 1980s, will tempt art and history lovers to investigate the in-depth series more fully. In British Columbia between 1900 and the 1960s over 16,000 artists worked and lived. It was the height of an immense creative surge in the province. Beyond the handful of names of successful artists there is little documented evidence of the other artists of those times. Art was made invisible by socioeconomic or political forces and also by a lack of public galleries. “Those artists that worked the system got recognition and those that didn’t, disappeared from view.”–Lorna Farrell-Ward, former curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery

About the authors

Mona Fertig is a poet, publisher, editor and founder of The Literary Storefront, Canada’s first literary centre (1978-1985) and Mother Tongue Publishing. She grew up in Vancouver’s Kitsilano and Burnaby and attended the Vancouver School of Art. She has been writing poetry since she was a teenager and has given hundreds of readings in many cities and towns across Canada as well as NYC and San Francisco. Her books of poetry include Mouth for Music (1979), 4722 Rue Berri (1986), Sex, Death & Travel (1998) and The Unsettled (2010), well as The Life and Art of George Fertig (2010). Fertig edited the anthologies Love of the Salish Sea Islands, The Summer Book, and 111 West Coast Literary Portraits (2012). She assisted in curating the George Fertig and Jack Akroyd exhibitions at the Burnaby Art Gallery, and the Unheralded Artists of BC Exhibition at Mahon Hall. She was a founding member of the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets, The Federation of BC Writers, the BC Book Prizes, and has been the BC/Yukon Rep of The Writers’ Union of Canada and P.E.N. Canada. In 2016, the Vancouver Public Library honored her as a Literary Landmark. She has lived on Salt Spring Island with her husband Peter Haase, for over 30 years, where they raised two children.

Mona Fertig's profile page

Marsha Lederman is the Western Arts Correspondent for The Globe and Mail. Before joining The Globe in 2007, Marsha worked for CBC Radio, mostly in Toronto, where she held a variety of positions, including National Arts Reporter. Prior to that, Marsha worked for many years in private radio as a reporter, news anchor and talk show host. Marsha was born and raised in Toronto and has lived in Vancouver since 2007.

Marsha Lederman's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The Pocket Guide provides a capsule history of thirteen artists who made contributions to the Canadian art historical cannon. The individual stories offer insight into the lives of the artists, the forces that drove their creative output and the challenges they faced in order to pursue their chosen profession. The collection as a whole is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to better understand the breadth of the art scene in Canada during the first half of the 20th century." —Ellen van Eijnsbergen, Director/Curator, Burnaby Art Gallery

"This beautiful publication brings together the wealth of art previously published on these individual unheralded artists of the West Coast. Above all it tells the stories of lives LIVED, euphoric breakthroughs, debilitating self-doubt, acceptance and rejection. Their art speaks to us intellectually, philosophically and spiritually, through the multiplicity and evolvement of their visual language. It shows the diversity in the collective rather than the individual in revealing the story of art during a particular time, the power of which we as future artists can build on in the knowledge that 'life is short but art is long.'"—Deon Venter, Artist

"History is what keeps up alive today. These biographical accounts of some of Western Canada's respected visual artists show Mother Tongue Publishing’s skill in piecing together the wide range of talent and creativity that is woven into the fabric of BC life. Wonderful accounts of their struggles and successes leaving us a legacy and record not to be forgotten." —Matt Petley-Jones, Petley Jones Gallery, Dealers in Contemporary and Historical Art

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