Thompson Rivers University

Painting finds home at TRU

April 18, 2016

Beth Austin (Jann Bailey's sister), Alan Shaver and Margaret Chrumka in front of the Ovale.

A historic Canadian work of art, the Tousignant Ovale, has found its new temporary home at TRU thanks to a 5-year loan from the Kamloops Art Gallery (KAG).

The 1969 canvas painting stands 8 ft. by 16 ft. and was acquired by the KAG in 2014 as a donation from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

“We are thrilled to have the honour of displaying the work of such an important Canadian artist on campus,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Alan Shaver. “It will be a great addition to the newly renovated Old Main building.”

The idea to display the painting on campus came from the late Dr. Jann Bailey, executive director of the KAG since 1987 and TRU Honorary Doctor of Letters (’08), who was a champion of arts and culture in the community.

“Jann let me know that the KAG had acquired this magnificent piece of art work but due to its size, had no space to display it,” said Shaver. “She asked if there was an appetite among fine arts faculty to locate it somewhere on campus and we found a great space for it.”

The painting is installed in proximity to the Visual Arts studios and TRU Art Gallery, above the Starbucks café on BMO Student Street in Old Main (OM). A plaque in memory of Bailey was also revealed alongside the painting which will serve as a reminder of the impact she had on the arts community.

Claude Tousignant is a Canadian painter and sculptor from Montreal who is best known for the development of geometric abstraction in Canada. He is considered a member of the second generation of the modern art movement in Montreal called “les Plasticiens.”

Tousignant’s work is represented in most museum collections across Canada. This painting was shown at the National Gallery of Canada in 1973 and represents an important movement in the history of Canadian art.

More information
Alan Shaver
President and Vice-Chancellor

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