Botanical Illustrations in Bloom at the WAG
Winnipeg, Manitoba, February 20, 2018: Need an infusion of spring to fight off the winter blues? The Winnipeg Art Gallery is blossoming with a botanical elixir in the recently opened Linda Fairfield Stechesen: The Garden, on view until June 24.
Curated by Nicole Fletcher, The Garden brings together more than 50 botanical illustrations by the late Manitoban artist and naturalist Linda Fairfield Stechesen. The exhibit serves as a tribute to the artist’s passion for finding and recording the plant life of the province, from the Delta Marsh to Churchill.
The WAG is grateful to the Stechesen family for their generosity and dedicated support of the arts.
• The works on view were created between the late 1970s and early 2000s, and include nine specimens on loan from the University of Manitoba Vascular Plant Herbarium.
• In 2017, the WAG received a collection of 233 botanical illustrations by the Manitoban artist and naturalist who died earlier in the year.
• Fairfield Stechesen was methodical in her process, working carefully to accurately and aesthetically depict specimens from life.
• She made a significant contribution to the world of botanical art with the illustrations she produced for Wildflowers of Churchill and the Hudson Bay Region (1987), a naturalist field guide by Dr. Karen Johnson.
• Deeply involved in Winnipeg’s artistic community, Fairfield Stechesen was an active member of Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA), where she led a popular botanicals workshop in 2016.
• Fairfield Stechesen grew up in Portage la Prairie and received a degree in Interior Design from the University of Manitoba (1961).
• The WAG is Canada’s oldest civic art gallery and is home to over 27,000 works spanning centuries, media, and cultures, including the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art on earth.
The Garden highlights a unique and monumental expression of artistic commitment. The WAG is extremely fortunate to have acquired this important body of work by Linda Fairfield Stechesen, and we are grateful to the artist’s family for donating the art that led to this exhibition. I commend the exhibition’s curator, Nicole Fletcher, whose knowledge of the artist’s practice and expertise in the area of botanical art does great service to Fairfield Stechesen’s legacy.
--Andrew Kear, Chief Curator, Winnipeg Art Gallery
As a collection, Linda Fairfield Stechesen’s work offers a glimpse of the diverse flora of Manitoba. Separately, each work presents a detailed perspective of a local wildflower with a unique style developed out of architectural rendering and botanical illustration. Fairfield Stechesen’s illustrations are the result of her curiosity about the natural world, passion for painting, and adventurous spirit, and I hope they bring inspiration to everyone who views the exhibition.
--Nicole Fletcher, exhibition curator and Collections Manager, Winnipeg Art Gallery
Join exhibition curator Nicole Fletcher, March 7, 12pm, for her Art for Lunch talk about the history of botanical illustration and the context of Fairfield Stechesen’s work. FREE with Gallery admission.
For more information or to prearrange interviews, please contact:
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The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. The WAG holds in trust the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art on earth. To celebrate the art and to honour the Inuit, the WAG is building the Inuit Art Centre, the first of its kind in the world. Breaking ground in 2018, the Centre will bridge Canada’s North and South through exhibitions, research, education, and art making. To learn more visit wag.ca
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