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Item Name: Painting
Title: A Bachelor's Farm near Truax
Maker: Frank Cicansky
Year: 1980
Country: Canadian
Materials: acrylic, coloured pencil and felt pen on masonite
Measurements: overall: 45.5 cm x 60.5 cm
ID Number: PC89.4
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: Over his lifetime as a black-smith and later, working in construction, Frank Cicansky crafted many things, including wooden toys. Entering retirement, he began painting. His artworks have a naïve style, and his technique mixes mediums and tools: acrylic paint with coloured pencil and felt pen. Like other folk-artists of his generation, Cicansky’s scenes narrate his memories of the early immigrant experience in Saskatchewan. This painting was made quite late in his life. It captures the warm light of a sunny winter day at a settler’s homestead, about 80km south west of Regina, near Claybank. The poverty and hardship experienced by immigrants who moved here with very little can be seen in this sparse farmyard, with only two tiny buildings and two horses. The one-room house and small barn were likely made of sod, pieces of turf cut into brick shapes, and stacked to create walls. Frank Cicansky (Czekanski) (1900 - 1982) was born in Humorului, Romania in 1900. In 1926 he emigrated to Canada and settled in the Dirt Hills area south of Moose Jaw. There he farmed and worked as a carpenter and blacksmith. In the mid-1930s Cicansky moved to Regina, settling in “Garlic Flats” a community of immigrants in Regina’s heritage neighbourhood. Working as a blacksmith, he married and raised a family. His son Vic Cicansky, renowned sculptor and gardener who was born in 1935, recounts this family history in the memoir, “Up from Garlic Flats”(2019). In 1940, Frank joined the Canadian Army, serving in WWII. After the war he worked in construction, retiring in 1967. Frank Cicansky’s folk art was exhibited at Dunlop Art Gallery with work by Fred Moulding and W. C. McCargar in “Windmills, Wagons and Railroads” (1973), and his paintings in a solo exhibition entitled “Aduceri Aminte” (1981), which is Romanian for recollections. His work is held in local public and private collections.