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July 20, 2016

We all had contact with this artist’s design. If you look closely at the “loonie” dollar coin, you’ll notice the initials RRC. Robert-Ralph Carmichael was a prolific artist who lived outside of Sault Ste. Marie in northern Ontario. The Echo Bay, Ontario artist who designed the loonie coin died this past Saturday at the age of 79. See: CBCNews story here.

In November 2004, I had the great opportunity to be included in a three-person exhibition with him and along with London, Ontario-based artist Rosemary Sloot. The show titled “Corruption of Reality” was held at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa and showcased a trio of artists at varying stages of their commitment to realist and figurative studio production.

Corruption of Reality opening right to left: Robert-Ralph Carmicheal, Rosemary Sloot, David Aurandt (exhibition curator), Olex Wlasenko at the opening of “Corruption of Reality” exhibition opening at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, November 2004.

April 19, 2012

April is the cruelest month.” Written ninety years ago, T.S. Eliot’s words only now carry a sore gravity in my heart.

Last Saturday, a great artist and good friend, Vera Jacyk passed away.

Together we worked on several projects over recent years–beginning with a solo exhibition of her work at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa) in the spring of 2007. This show later travelled to the MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie).

Vera’s art had a profound effect not only on me but also on everyone who experienced her work. It stayed with you. It changed you.

Vera was an exceptional artist. She brought solace, grace and peace to a broken world. During her Oshawa show, I witnessed something very rarely seen in a contemporary art gallery: tears. People were moved to tears when they experienced Vera’s art. In her artist statement, she wrote: “My work deals with that which is not in plain view… I want my art to be about the effect of keeping secrets… my art does not have to be about exposing secrets themselves.”

We will remember, share stories and celebrate Vera’s life and art in the coming days. We never imagined these days without her. We’ll miss you, Vera!

Please visit Vera’s obituary by clicking here.

Vera's glove in the artist's hand

Vera's glove in the artist's hand