Judith Livingston

Varley 2008 Exhibition


Curated by Katerina Atanassova

The Varley Art Gallery of Markham

Showcasing Judith Livingston's 25 Years in Markham

September 18, 2008 - November 9, 2008 - Unionville, Ontario

Judith Livingston, a long-time Markham artist and renowned contributor to the local arts community, is featured in an exhibition "Weaving Leaves and Water" that opens today at the Varley Art Gallery in MarkhaVarley Openingm. The paintings and mixed media works capture Judith's community and surroundings. Curated by Katerina Atanassova, the exhibition runs until November 9, 2008 with an opening ceremony on September 21, 2008.

From the time she was in public school Judith painted. Inspired by her early contact with Group of Seven member A.Y. Jackson, her journey across southwestern OntaSpacerrio honed her skills. Painting and many art shows eventually brought her to Markham in 1983 – with her husband Mike. By the time she moved here, she was ready to turn her art into a career. She became a member of the Markham Group of Artists and began teaching art in 1990. "As I reflect, I realize I am still drawn to the artistic activities I enjoyed as a child, and my pursuit of my artistic expression is still a solitary activity," said Judith.

"Judith exemplifiVarley Opening B1es the love of art and shares her commitment with our community," said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. "She is one of the Varley Art Gallery's longest serving volunteers, an art instructor and was a friend of Varley Gallery founder Kathleen Gormley McKay. This exhibition is an opportunity for the wider community to see her wonderful talent." The opening ceremony for the exhibition takes place at the Gallery September 21, 2008 from 2 to 4 p.m. with remarks by Mayor Frank Scarpitti at 3 p.m.

Honours earned by Ms Livingston Elected to the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour Recipient of the Town of Markham Achievement and Civic Recognition Award, 1991 Recipient of the Canada 125 Commemorative Medal.

Press Release - The Varley Art Gallery of Markham - 2008

WEAVING LEAVES and WATER celebrates Judith Livingston’s twenty-five year artistic career in Markham and her role at preserving and promoting our donor Kathleen Gormley McKay’s legacy in our community. As in the case of many artists, the success of her art career depended on her vision as an artist and her abVarley Opening B3ility to express her feelings in a visual form that could help others see and appreciate her surroundings in a new way.

Attuned, since early childhood in Woodstock, Ontario, to the grandeur and the mystery of the Canadian wilderness which she recorded in a variety of media and dimensions, from sketching and drawing to painting in watercolour, acrylic and oil, from small scale canvas to large murals and mixed media works.

Teaching has always been a great part of her life. Her role as a mentor to young artists was a major part of her life and helped many of her students in taking their first steps in drawing and painting with watercolours. As early as 1967 Judith took her first teaching job in Collingwood. Her subsequent move to London, OntVarley Opening B2ario two years later, and to North Vancouver in 1978, helped expand her artistic oeuvre. The move to British Columbia in particular helped her define the direction she wanted to take in her artistic pursuits. The distinct and breathtaking landscape of the Rocky Mountains and the fresh contact with the vibrant art scene in Vancouver brought back her passion for painting the woodland.

Attracted by the variety of textures found in her immediate surroundings, she discovered new opportunities and freedom through mixed media collage. According to her, “foundVarleyE objects were the grist for my creative mill, and the margins of my school workbooks the support for my constant doodling”.

Yet, it was her husband’s corporate move to the rapidly growing community in Markham in 1983 that proved to be a vital point in her artistic development. Through her memberVarleyGship at the Markham Group of Artists she was exposed to new ways of experimentation in drawing and painting, and her art evolved in a new direction. Her association with Kathleen Gormley McKay (1898-1996) and her active participation in the Varley-McKay Art Committee led to further involvement with the art scene in the community of Markham and the building of the Varley Art Gallery, which helped preserve the legacy of Fred Varley and Kathleen McKay.

Katerina Atanassova, Curator, The Varley Art Gallery, 2008