Frank Johnston, Untitled, gouache on paperboard

Okanagan audiences can see the Group of Seven, and explore a seldom-seen side of Canadian art history, at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

Organized by the Gallery to mark the 100th anniversary of the first Group of Seven exhibition in 1920, Northern Pine: Watercolours and Drawings by the Group of Seven from the McMichael Canadian Art Collection presents sixty-six of the Group’s largely unknown works, including a selection of watercolour studies, graphite sketches, and a rare portfolio of lithographs.

“The works are very accessible,” says Nataley Nagy, Executive Director at the Kelowna Art Gallery. “We hope visitors will be as fascinated as we were to see these stripped-down working sketches and studies — they truly give us a window into who these seven artists were and how they came to influence the Canadian artistic landscape.”

Franklin Carmichael, Lake Superior, 1926, watercolour on paper

The Group of Seven was formed by artists Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald, and F.H. Varley. They were responsible for the first major national art movement in Canada and are perhaps best known for their vivid oil paintings showcasing the Canadian landscape.

Before they were recognized as accomplished artists, the members of the Group of Seven plied their trade as draughtsmen and found work as commercial artists, while still sketching and honing their artistic practices. It is this intimately revealing aspect of their work that visitors will get a chance to see.

Northern Pine is guest curated by Ian Thom and organized by the Kelowna Art Gallery, with the support of Rogers’ Family Charitable Trust, and Pushor Mitchell LLP Lawyers. The exhibition runs until March 7, 2021.

The Kelowna Art Gallery is located at 1315 Water Street in the heart of the downtown Cultural District. For more information, please visit them online at or call 250-762-2226.