Homage: Inspired by Outstanding Canadian Women
Homage, is a collection of 39 (currently) framed neck-pieces created as a celebration and tribute to Canadian women, past and present. Susan Benson RCA, sketched portraits of each of the women to accompany the pieces, which, along with short biographies, add so much to the educational aspect of the exhibition. As a contemporary jewellery artist, Donald Stuart has used the familiar form of the necklace to explore history from a fresh perspective.
Necklaces are one of the oldest forms of human adornment and were worn by both men and women. However, from approximately the 19th century onward they were predominately worn by women to denote style, status and wealth. Necklaces are archetypal symbols of power and importance and are a fitting vehicle to represent seminal women in Canadian history. The choices of materials for each necklace are as varied as the women themselves, each infused with meaning and significance. For example, the sterling choker for Pauline Johnson combines the iconic feather symbol used by the First Nations and the quill pen which was used for writing before other tools were invented.
This exhibition celebrates Canadian history from a unique point of view. To date the exhibition has been presented at the Affinity Gallery, Saskatoon; the Mary E. Black Gallery, Halifax; the MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, two private events in Toronto and the Carnegie Gallery, Dundas. In each case, it received favourable and enthusiastic responses due in part to the significant change in the role of women in Canada over the past few decades and the impact they are having in many areas. This exhibition pays tribute to and celebrates many exceptional women. This exhibition connects the arts, with business, culture and heritage.
As one of Canada’s leading gold/silversmiths, Donald Stuart has earned an international reputation for his work in jewellery, hollowware and architectural installations. During his celebrated career, Stuart has received over 30 significant awards for his artistry in gold, silver, platinum, and diamonds, including the top prizes in many competitions. He has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions and has been the subject of many one-man shows. Mr. Stuart’s work is found in national, international, public, corporate, and private collections. In 1972 Stuart joined the Design Arts faculty at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College. The first program he initiated was in weaving, and then in 1989, he launched the unique Jewellery and Metals Program. It was the only college jewellery program in North America to incorporate co-operative education (paid work terms) in its curriculum. In 1990, Georgian College awarded him the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching and upon retiring from full-time teaching in September 2001, he was further honoured by being made the College’s first Professor Emeritus.
Homage - Inspired by Outstanding Canadian Women Necklaces by Donald A Stuart opens July 23 and closes September 25. Donald will give an artist talk on Wednesday July 27 and will have a grand opening reception on Thursday July 28. An illustrated talk will be presented on Wed August 10 at a special summer Lunch and Learn.
More information on Donald Stuart and Homage can be found on his website here.