January 17, 2019 – The Brenda Wallace Reading Room at Laurentian University is now home to a painting by Group of Seven artist Franklin Carmichael. The extraordinary piece titled “La Cloche” was gifted to Laurentian by long-time supporter and friend of the University, Mrs. Lily Fielding.
The unveiling took place earlier today at a special presentation in the Brenda Wallace Reading Room located in the J.N. Desmarais Library. “The Fielding family has a long history of supporting the local community and the University,” said Tracy MacLeod, Chief Advancement Officer at Laurentian University. “It is fitting the painting be hung in this beautiful space built in honour of Mrs. Fielding’s late daughter.”
The Brenda Wallace Reading Room provides the Laurentian community with an incredible place to read in a relaxed atmosphere with a spectacular view of Lake Nepahwin. A growing collection of northern Ontario landscape paintings, several by Group of Seven artists, is proudly displayed in this space.
"In our 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, we have committed to becoming a hub for arts and culture, increasing awareness of the artistic and cultural contributions of Indigenous, Franco-Ontarian, and other Northern artists," explained Dr. Pierre Zundel, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor of Laurentian University. "On behalf of the Laurentian community, I would like to thank Mrs. Fielding and her family for their gracious gift, and their continued support. This incredible piece will inspire our students and visitors for many years to come."
Franklin Carmichael (1890–1945), Canadian artist and youngest member of the Group of Seven, is notable for depicting the Canadian landscape with his use of watercolour. He made his first trip to La Cloche in the mid 1920s, a rugged hilly area north of Manitoulin Island extending west from Killarney Provincial Park. For two decades he sketched there, eventually building a cabin at Cranberry Lake. “La Cloche” (1939) depicts the magnificent land of the region through fluid brushstrokes in tonalities of purple, green and blue.
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Laurentian University is located on the territory of the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850, and recognizes its placement on the traditional lands of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek and Wahnapitae First Nations. Laurentian is committed to strengthening the foundation of knowledge in higher education and research to offer an outstanding university experience in English and French with a comprehensive approach to Indigenous education. Together with its federated partners, Laurentian University prepares leaders who bring innovative and intelligent solutions to local and global issues.