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Item Name: Painting
Title: Belle Plaine
Maker: Ruth Pawson
Year: 1949
Country: Canadian
Materials: oil on plywood
Measurements: in frame: 64.8 cm x 54.6 cm; work: 50.8 cm x 40.6 cm
ID Number: ART 061
Legal Status: ART RENTAL


Extended Label Info: Ruth Pawson was a master of the prairie landscape. She was inspired by the rolling prairie and theatrical skies of southern Saskatchewan. This piece is of a spring day in the small community, Belle Plaine, located just between Regina and Moose Jaw in southern Saskatchewan. In this painting, Ruth gives us a snapshot into the past, when the iconic grain elevators ruled the skylines. The presence of these prairie icons has been on the decline since their peak in 1938, and sadly these elevators depicted are of those lost to history. In this piece Pawson also brings out her love for the theatrical prairie skies. The water collected in puddles along the dirt road brings light and depth into this painting, highlighting the expansive skies in a different way. Ruth May Pawson (1908-1994) was born in Stratford, Ontario and moved to Regina in 1912. Pawson earned a teacher's certificate from the Regina Normal School in 1927 and taught for ten years before she was able to afford art classes. She attended the Regina College of Art where she studied with Augustus Kenderdine and Gordon Snelgrove, earning an Associate of Fine Arts degree (1940). Pawson later attended the Emma Lake Summer School, and several summer sessions at the Banff School of Fine Arts taught by A.Y. Jackson of the Group of Seven. She became a teacher in elementary schools and at the Regina College of Art. In 1976, the Regina Public School Board named an elementary school in her honor. For her contribution to Saskatchewan art and art education, Pawson received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1993. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections such as the National Gallery of Canada, Banff School of Fine Arts, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board.