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Item Name: Print
Title: Big Storm of '79, Regina
Maker: Jack Severson
Year: 1979
Country: Canadian
Materials: etching
Measurements: in frame: 65 cm x 77 cm; work: 43.5 cm x 60 cm
ID Number: ART 146
Legal Status: ART RENTAL

Extended Label Info: In the “Big Storm of ’79”, the swirling energy of the black lines deeply contrasts with the white paper, suggesting that this is an image of a winter blizzard. In fact, the artist Jack Severson was inspired by a summer storm that took place on August 8th, 1979, when hail, rain and tornadoes ravaged Regina and southern Saskatchewan. Created with traditional methods of hand-printing, copper-plate etching and aqua-tint, this artwork toured the province in 1980 as part of the SK Arts exhibition, “Vision 80”, which show-cased contemporary artist-made prints. A close look at the composition reveals small, loosely doodled faces and figures integrated into the scene (lower left). These irreverent additions reflect Severson’s sense of fun, and his stream-of-consciousness approach to building imagery that he became known for in later artworks that use collage combined with expressive mark-making. John Russell (Jack) Severson (1948 - ) has exhibited widely across Canada with his oil, acrylic, collage, pen, ink, and print works. Born in Regina, Severson began his studies in art at the University of North Dakota (1968). Returning to Saskatchewan, he attended the art workshops at Emma Lake. Severson studied with Ronald B. Kitaj (1970), who is remembered for fusing Pop Art collage techniques with expressionistic brushwork; and with William Wiley (1973), who was a founding member of the California Funk Movement, a group of artists who also used found objects, and created highly expressive, often figurative works that incorporated humour. In addition to his studio practice, Severson worked as a curatorial assistant at the MacKenzie Art Gallery during the 1970s. After earning his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Regina (1990), Severson taught as an art instructor at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (now First Nations University of Canada). His work is represented in several public collections, including MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina), and Nickle Arts Museum (Calgary), and SK Arts.