Sky of Hope: Stanley Mission, Saskatchewan
About the Artist
Wilf was born in Albertville, Saskatchewan 25km northeast of Prince Albert in 194 7. He grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where he had the wonderful opportunity to take art lessons from his neighbour Ernest Lindner. Mr. Lindner, also represented in the canoe collection is considered one of the prominent pioneer artist/teachers in Saskatchewan art history. Wilf attended the University of Saskatoon in Saskatoon and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in sculpture (Otto Rogers and Bill Epp both influenced him in his interest with abstract sculpture). Wilf would add a Bachelor of Education degree in 1971. After graduating he moved to Regina and taught art to high school students and started to develop his own painting style. His first solo exhibition in 1978 at the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina was followed by a grant from Canada Council in 1981. This allowed Wilf to take a leave from teaching and undertake painting full time the success and sales of his representational art works allowed Wilf to take a second leave from teaching. He spent time as the artist-in-residence with the Regina Catholic School board. The 1980's showcased Wilf s works and he participated in solo and group exhibitions in Canada and the United States and in 1989 he was one of five artists representing Canada in Les Jeux de la Francophonie in Morocco where he won a Silver Medal. Wilf s contribution to charity work in Regina was recognized with the Mayor's Award for Volunteer of the Year in Arts in 1995 the same year he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts. He received the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2003. The Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina honoured Wilf with a major exhibition and publication "In The Alley" in 2014. He has innumerable works in private, corporate and institution collections and continues to live and paint in Regina.
Comments on the Work
The imposing painting "Sky of Hope: Stanley Mission, Saskatchewan, 2017" showcases the oldest standing building in Saskatchewan built in 1854-1860. Designed in 1851 by Reverend Robert Hunt, an English missionary who founded Stanley Mission, Hunt brought stained glass and the hardware from England to decorate the church. Cree craftsmen cut local timber to build the church on the banks of the Churchill River. Holy Trinity Anglican Church was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1970. The painting is a majestic panorama of the church nestled in snow the lights inside are on as daybreak brings an incredible explosion of pink, blues, and yellow to the birth of a new day. Four upturned canoes in the left foreground pay homage to the history of this vessel in the boreal forest. Dealing with light Wilf has stated, "There is a light inside the work. It doesn't really matter if it's day time or night time there's a light that comes from within. I think the light is actually life. Somehow my job is to take that painting and make it live."