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In July of 2005, eighteen members of the Ontario Society of Artists (OSA) each donated a piece of their own work to the Government of Ontario Art Collection. Diverse in style and subject matter all the works however share a commonality in representing some aspect of Ontario as reflected through the eyes of its talented artists.

Works by Debra Archibald, Leon Belsky (his City Portrait is seen to the right), Gil Caldwell, Susan Clark, Shirray Langley, Lillian Michiko Blakey and Nancy De Boni focus on the urban and suburban environment, while those of Jean Eng, Judy Finch, Janet Hendershot, Sonia Tarantour Pearl, Bev Rodin, Janice Mason Steeves, Ernestine Tahedl, Darryl Thorogood and Arlene Turkington take their inspiration from the natural landscape.

Oil on canvas: City Portrait, 1996
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City Portrait, 1996
Leon Belsky, OSA
Oil on canvas
Donated by the artist, 2005
Government of Ontario Art Collection, 100343

Monoprint: Containing Water, 2003
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Containing Water, 2003
Michael Mills, OSA
Monoprint, oil, oil bar, charcoal, mylar
Donated by the artist, 2005
Government of Ontario Art Collection, 100316


Oil on canvas: Witness, 2004

Individual and personal themes also find expression in these paintings. The commercialization of water, one of our most important natural resources, is the subject of the multi-media work, Containing Water, by former OSA President, Michael Mills while the ambiguity of confronting the familiar in an unfamiliar setting is explored in Anne-Marie Kornachuk’s Witness.

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Witness, 2004
Anne-Marie Kornachuk, OSA
Oil on canvas
Donated by the artist, 2005
Government of Ontario Art Collection, 100317

From its inception the OSA has enjoyed a particularly rich history and has made an outstanding and enduring contribution to the artistic life of Ontario and Canada. Its aim of “fostering Original Art in the province” led to its involvement in the establishment of a provincial school of art, an art museum, and the founding of the Royal Canadian Academy. It also established the annual exhibitions held at both the Industrial Exhibition (now the CNE) and in its own galleries.

Between 1873 and 1914, the Ontario government purchased almost 200 works of art from the annual exhibitions of the OSA. This proved to be an important initiative for the collection today, as well as precedent setting support for Ontario’s visual artists.

The significance of the current donation lies not only in the welcome addition of new contemporary artworks to the collection but also serves to re-establish the historic ties between the Government of Ontario Art Collection and the Society.

Go to: Ontario Society of Artists (OSA)

Oil on canvas: A Harmony in Grey and Yellow, 1897
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A Harmony in Grey and Yellow, 1897
Mary Augusta Hiester Reid , OSA
Oil on canvas
Purchased by the Government of Ontario
from the 25th annual OSA Exhibition, 1897
Government of Ontario Art Collection, 619739


Go to: The Recent OSA Donations to the Gvoernment Art Collection

The Recent OSA Donations to the Government Art Collection

Go to: The Ballot Pictures and the Provincial Art Gallery - detail of oil painting

The Ballot Pictures and the Provincial Art Gallery

Go to: The Founding of the Society and its First Exhibition

The Founding of the Society and its First Exhibition

Go to: The Final Purchases

The Final Purchases

Go to: Early Purchases and the Foundation of Art Education

Early Purchases and the Foundation of Art Education

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