Thousands of kids in Alberta will be headed back to school next week! In their honour, this week’s Work of the Week is Waiting for the School Bus by Evelyn McBryan.
In a scene familiar to many rural students, two small figures wait at the end of a winding driveway for their bus to school. This must have been a common sight for the artist, who spent most of her life living and painting in the Peace country of northern Alberta.
About the Artist: Evelyn McBryan
Evelyn (Evy) McBryan came to Alberta with her family in 1918 and settled in Grande Prairie. She studied art from Euphemia McNaught, before attending the Vancouver school of Art in 1936 and subsequently taking several short courses at the University of Alberta from Doug Barry, H.G. Glyde and J.B. Taylor. Having once remarked: "An artist is a recorder and an interpreter of his time.", in 1942 she was commissioned, along with well-known Alberta artist Euphemia McNaught, to document the building of the Alaska Highway through her art.
Among her many lifetime accomplishments, Mrs. McBryan worked tirelessly to make the arts a reality in the country of the Peace, serving on the Provincial Board of Culture and the Visual Arts Board in 1960. In 1964, she became the Arts and Crafts Coordinator for the City of Grande Prairie, a position she held for ten years. She was appointed to the Alberta Art Foundation Board in 1973, where she established a school exhibition program and was responsible for organizing the Peace Region Arts Council that same year. In 1976, Mrs McBryan received the prestigious Alberta Achievement Award for her contributions to the province and on her death in 1985, the Prairie Art Gallery dedicated a room in her honour.