Work of the Week: "Edge of Summer" by Thelma Manarey

Date: Aug 23, 2019

It’s nearly the end of August. A time when summer winds down, and the colours of fall start to creep onto the landscape, depicted abstractly in this artwork, Edge of Summer, by Thelma Manarey.

Manarey was known for her exploration of the formal elements of painting - forms of curvilinear fashion, interlocking shapes and strong use of positive and negative space. She was at the heart of the 50s and 60s abstract movement in Alberta.

About the Artist: Thelma Manarey (1913-1984)

Thelma Manarey was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. As a young girl, Manarey received tutelage from Florence Mortimer, a well-known painter and teacher located in Edmonton. From 1939-1943, Manarey studied at the Institute of Technology and Art (today the Alberta University of the Arts). At the Institute, Manarey had the opportunity to study with famous landscape painter, H.G. Glyde. Although Manarey is generally known for her small etchings, she explored many different types of mediums and artistic styles. Manarey tried her hand at: impressionism, realism, cubism, and abstract impressionism. In the late 40’s, she learned the art of the serigraph. Later, during the 1950’s and 1960’s, she studied etching with Harry Savage as well as stone lithography in Toronto, Ontario.

Manarey, like so many other notable Albertan artists, was a great admirer of the Alberta landscape and the natural and man-made icons of the province. These objects, such as trees and grain elevators, often became the subject matter of her etchings and paintings. In 1973, Manarey received the Performing and Creative Arts Award from the City of Edmonton. Additionally, The Alberta Society of Artists honoured Manarey with the gift of a Lifetime Membership. Today, Manarey’s works reside primarily at the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Nickle Arts Museum in Calgary, and the University of Calgary.

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