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Tonight & Tomorrow—AUTHOR TALK and SLIDE SHOW

November 23rd, 2011

The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton by Sheryl Salloum

Wed Nov 23rd: Vancouver Public Library, 350 W. Georgia Peter Kaye Room, 7 pm

Thursday Nov 24th: Vancouver Museum, Historical Society 7:30 pm

Admission Free. Books for sale.

During her lifetime (1890¬1967), Mildred Valley Thornton (HON. CPA, FRSA) was noted nationally and internationally. The full story of this distinctive artist, accomplished with landscapes and portraits, watercolours and oils, is being told for the first time. Born in Ontario, Thornton later moved to Regina where she met her husband, taught art at the Regina College and gave birth to twin boys. Thornton’s early works—vibrant landscapes—were inspired by artist J.W. Beatty, her instructor at the Ontario College of Art. Later, portraits of the First Nations peoples of Western Canada became the genius loci of her oeuvre.

During the Depression, her family moved to Vancouver where she continued, for the rest of her life, to carve out a unique career as a fiercely independent, adventurous and confident artist driven to create. Between painting, writing and travelling around the province, she became an advocate for First Nations peoples and made important historical contributions to British Columbian art and culture. Thornton was also a noted journalist, Vancouver Sun art critic (1944¬1959), book reviewer, published poet and recipient of a Canadian Authors’ Association Award for her book Indian Lives and Legends (1966).

AUTHOR Sheryl Salloum was born and raised in British Columbia. She has lived and worked in various regions of the province. Sheryl graduated from Simon Fraser University with an English Major and Early Childhood Minor. She has taught in the public school and college systems. A freelance writer for over twenty years, Sheryl has published articles in numerous Canadian magazines and newspapers. Her areas of interest include Canadian art, culture, and history and children’s issues. In 1995, Sheryl published Underlying Vibrations: The Photography and Life of John Vanderpant (Horsdal & Schubart). That book was a finalist for the Hubert Evans Non-fi ction BC Book Prize. In 1987, Sheryl published Malcolm Lowry: Vancouver Days (Harbour Publishing. She lives in Vancouver.

Sherrill Grace, who has written the foreword for this book, is Professor of English at The University of British Columbia, where she has served as Head of Department, Associate Dean of Arts, and ubc Senator. In 2003 she was appointed a ubc Distinguished University Scholar, and in 2008 she won the Canada Council Killam Prize in Humanities. In 2010 she won the Lorne Pierce Medal of the Royal Society of Canada for her books on the North. She has published 23 books, including the two-volume edition of Malcolm Lowry’s letters, Inventing Tom Thomson (2004) and Canada and the Idea of North (2002; 2007). Her most recent books are the biography Making Theatre: A Life of Sharon Pollock (2008) and On the Art of Being Canadian (2009). In 2011, Dr Grace was awarded the title of University Killam Professor.