Jane Champagne was a force to be reckoned with through her writing and her art, both of which live on.
‘Painting the Ontario Landscape’ is an exhibition of her ‘pleine air’ art that opened at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre (BCM&CC) on Sunday, January 12th (2019) with many friends and fellow artists attending.
Champagne’s many accomplishments are numerous and range from a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree to writer and editor for many Canadian magazines to being listed in the Canadian edition of Who’s Who for her contributions to the arts. She was also a founding member of the Toronto Watercolor Society, a member of the Society of Canadian Artists and the founder of the Ontario Outdoor Painters’ Society (OOPS) in addition to being a long-time Board member and teacher at the Southampton Art School. As Artist-in-Residence at Killarney Mountain Lodge in Killarney, Ontario, Champagne was an avid advocate for the land, the environment and the creative spirit within and her many quotes gleaned from her book, ‘Painting the Ontario Landscape’, are part of the exhibit.
The exhibition of some 50 paintings was a six-month project brought together by her daughters Sophie and Anne working with the Museum and its staff. Daughter, Sophie Champagne, said that there at least three themes within the exhibition: Ontario’s farmland and wild places, her ‘spiritual’ home of Killarney and Canadian identity, and the Gaia series that expresses earth as a living source or organism and tying that to energy, spirit, creation and intelligence. “They are all about our connection to the land that connects us to our source and creativity. We are all here to love beauty,” said Champagne, “and we are all here to love and protect this earth.”
Saugeen Shores Mayor and Chair of the Museum Board, Luke Charbonneau, said that Champagne’s work captured the beauty of the land through her use of vibrant colour. “Some landscapes can be bleak but Jane’s are anything but bleak. Her joy of life is evident throughout her work.” Champagne’s works cannot only be found in many homes throughout the area, including Charbonneau’s mother who also has artwork created by the the artist, but is also in over 60 corporate collections in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
‘Painting the Ontario Landscape’ by Jane Champagne exhibition runs through to April 30th at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre.
For larger views, click on images