In this, the centenary of his mysterious death in Algonquin Park, there is no shortage of commemorations honouring Tom Thomson, the forerunner of the Group of Seven and arguably Canada’s most famous painter. Thomson’s legacy is keenly felt in the cottage country town of Huntsville, which Thomson frequented during his trips to Algonquin. Indeed his presence is constant here, not only in outdoor mural replications of his paintings but also in the form of a life-size bronze sculpture, complete with canoe and paintbox, sitting proudly in front of the town hall.
Thomson’s spirit is also very much alive at nearby Deerhurst Resort where the Eclipse Art Gallery is featuring a special show, “The Jack Pine: A Tribute to Tom Thomson,” which highlights the strong influence and admiration of Thomson and his friends of the Group of Seven in the works of northern Canada’s landscape artists. As well, artist John Kinsella’s winning entry in the resort and gallery’s commemorative Tom Thomson art competition is prominently displayed at the resort’s main reception desk.
Now, Deerhurst Resort has teamed up with the Eclipse Art Gallery to offer a special event weekend, “The Spirit of Tom Thomson” during September 8 – 10, 2017. Local artist, Janine Marson, who spent a year retracing Thomson’s steps in Algonquin Park to create 100 oil sketches in the same places he did, will help guide a full weekend of Thomson-inspired activities.
The weekend starts Friday evening where guests can browse the Eclipse Art Gallery’s Thomson-inspired show, then meet gallery curator Karin Kriekaard and Janine Marson at a welcome reception. On Saturday, guests will enjoy a guided 3-hour paddling trip on Thomson’s beloved Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park to visit some of his favourite painting spots and his memorial cairn. After returning from the park, Marson will lead a ‘sip and paint session’ where guests will enjoy a glass of wine while creating their own replica Tom Thomson painting under her guidance. On the Sunday morning, local artist Gerry Lataigne will provide a guided tour of some of the 90 plus Group of Seven outdoor murals that adorn Muskoka landmarks – including Deerhurst itself. Lataigne, the creator and feature artist of the outdoor mural gallery, even invited the G8 world leaders to add their brushstrokes to the mural of Thomson’s most famous painting, The West Wind, during the G8 Summit held at Deerhurst in 2010. It now hangs in the Canada Summit Centre in Huntsville.
“The Spirit of Tom Thomson” weekend package at Deerhurst Resort is priced from $279 per person, based on double occupancy and includes two nights’ accommodation, two breakfasts, Friday night reception, Saturday Algonquin canoe trip, a sip and paint session and guided outdoor mural tour. Lunch and dinner are additional as is a nightly resort fee that provides access to onsite canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, hiking trails, tennis and more. For more information or to book, visit deerhurstresort.com or call 1-800-461-4393.
About Eclipse Art Gallery: Eclipse Art Gallery has been proud to work with Deerhurst Resort since 2004 presenting works of many local and area artists celebrating the beauty of the northern landscapes. The works of these artists are displayed throughout the resort’s hallways and in the main gallery space.