Welcome to the Varley-McKay Art Foundation of Markham
The Varley-McKay Art Foundation of Markham (Charitable Registration Number 891618373RR0001) raises funds to support the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, with a focus on art acquisitions, conservation of the art collection, educational programs and exhibition research. The Foundation also operates an active volunteer program to further support the Varley Art Gallery of Markham.
Proud supporters of the Varley Art Gallery’s Current Exhibitions:
Visualizing a Culture for Strangers: Chinese Export Paintings from the Nineteenth Century
(May 29, 2016 – September 6, 2016)
Organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Chinese export watercolours were produced in the port cities of China, which were open to foreigners in the late 18th and 19th centuries, and were offered for sale to western customers. The cheaply produced watercolours were imported to Britain, America and other countries in quantities, and had considerable influence on the western vision of China. Because of their convenient size and relatively low price, most of these watercolours were avidly purchased by foreign merchants trading in China. Many of the watercolours were done in sets and put in albums or folios.
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has a rich collection of these paintings, including figure drawings showing the different classes of people; scenes supposedly illustrating Chinese crafts such as silk making; daily live scenes; paintings of fish, insects, birds and flowers; topographical views of the Chinese ports, and views of Chinese shipping. The AGGV collection stands at just over one hundred and fifty items.
The exhibition and catalogue will focus on the techniques which they employed and in particular on the use of pith paper and the use of imported English paper. Painted by Chinese artists, yet reflecting the prejudices and preconceptions of western customers, these once-neglected paintings are an abiding testimony to the complexity of the forces shaping our view of ‘the East’.
Scotiabank is proud to be Presenting Sponsor of the Varley Art Gallery’s 2016 Summer Exhibitions.
The Bund, Shanghai, c.1865, watercolours on paper, Gift of A.R. (Nancy) Simpson in memory of her husband, Harry Hind, AGGV 1996.007.006
On Your Mark (January 23, 2016 – May 8, 2016)
F.H. Varley, Ed Pien, Kate Wilson
On Your Mark is the catalyst for a study of the products and processes of mark making, a thematic thread which is woven throughout our 2016 exhibition programming. From both a historic and contemporary perspective, our exhibitions explore how artists use marks as both a means to an end, and as ends in themselves. F.H. Varley studies are displayed alongside the works of Kate Wilson and Claire Scherzinger, two contemporary artists who explore specific trends in drawing today.
Ed Pien, Prickly Fern Creature, 2016, ink on panelled paper, Courtesy of the artist
The Varley Art Gallery acknowledges the ongoing support of the Varley-McKay Art Foundation of Markham in the development, exhibition and conservation of our permanent collection.