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Huntsville, Ontario and the Group of Seven

Updated on June 28, 2011
Tom Thompson at work.
Tom Thompson at work.
The Jack Pine -- Tom Thompson 1916
The Jack Pine -- Tom Thompson 1916
Autumn's Garland -- Tom Thompson 1915
Autumn's Garland -- Tom Thompson 1915
Northern Painting 25 -- Lawren Harris 1924
Northern Painting 25 -- Lawren Harris 1924
Stream in the Wood -- A.Y. Jackson
Stream in the Wood -- A.Y. Jackson
Summer Hillside -- A.J. Casson 1945
Summer Hillside -- A.J. Casson 1945

A Young Man Inspired

In 1912, a young artist from Toronto came to Algonquin Provincial Park, just outside of Huntsville. He was so inspired by the natural beauty that he brought some of his friends who were as inspired as he was. They kept returning to the park and surrounding area, capturing its rugged beauty in modern, impressionist ways that challenged the artistic community in Canada at the time.

That young man was Tom Thompson. He died tragically in 1917, drowning in the very park where his art was inspired. His friends formed the now famous Group of Seven. They continued their artistic endeavours, painting their way across Canada and producing shows that included the work of their friend.

The Group of Seven

While Tom was not an official member of the group, his art is prominently displayed as part of the groups efforts. The 7 members were:

  • Franklin Carmichael
  • Lawren Harris
  • A. Y. Jackson
  • Frank Johnston
  • Arthur Lismer
  • J. E. H. MacDonald
  • Frederick Varley

The Outdoor Gallery

The Beginning

In 1999, Gerry Lantaigne began painting the first oversized replica of a Tom Thomson painting -- The Jack Pine. This mural was displayed on the side of Miss Lester's, a local business. In the past 11 years over 20 more murals have been added to the downtown core of Huntsville.

The main gallery is extended by The Sketch Gallery, 20 mini murals displayed on the sides of the local high school and The Excursion Gallery with murals in some of the smaller communities in the area such as Dorset and Kearney.

While Gerry has done most of these murals, other local artists have joined in the project. Several of the murals have also had community input (Autumn's Garland had over 1,300 residents and visitors adding their brush strokes). Even the G8 leaders put paint to canvas in a new mural that was done this past June.

You can now wander through the streets of downtown Huntsville and enjoy the amazing works of Tom Thompson and The Group of Seven. There is no admission and no limitation on the hours (although they may be difficult to see at 3 AM). The Excursion Gallery murals are less than a 1 hour drive from downtown.

Gallery Highlights

show route and directions
A markerTom Thompson Statue and Autumn's Garland -
37 Main St E, Huntsville, ON P1H 2B8, Canada
get directions

A bronze statue of Tom at work in park sits in front of the Huntsville Civic Center. Autumn's Garland is to the left on Reflections of Muskoka.

B markerThe Jack Pine (Tom Thompson) -
4 Brunel Rd, Huntsville, ON P1H 2A8, Canada
get directions

This is the very first mural painted for the gallery and is on the side of Miss Lester's, right behind Kent Park.

C markerPetawawa Gorges (Tom Thompson) -
86 Main St E, Huntsville, ON P1H 2B9, Canada
get directions

Around the side of Algonquin Outfitters you'll find this colourful piece.

D markerSummer Hillside (A.J. Casson) and Stream in the Wood (A.Y. Jackson) -
22 Main St E, Huntsville, ON P1H 2C6, Canada
get directions

Summer Hillside is located around back of the RBC bank. Stream in the Wood is across the street on North Art Supplies. Several others are near by.

E markerNorthern Painting 25 (Lawren Harris) -
8 West Street N, Huntsville, ON P1H 2B6, Canada
get directions

I love this piece. It is around behind the Chamber of Commerce and you can get a great view of it from River Mill Park.

F markerThe Sketch Gallery (Huntsville High School) -
Huntsville High School, 58 Brunel Rd, Huntsville, ON P1H 2A2, Canada
get directions

Here you'll find replicas of 20 sketches, some painted by students at the school.

The Excursion Gallery

show route and directions
A markerDowntown Huntsville -
37 Main St E, Huntsville, ON P1H 2B8, Canada
get directions

B markerThe West Wind (Tom Thompson) -
Kearney, ON, Canada
get directions

This work is on the Evergreen Heights Education Centre.

C markerNorthern Evening and The Moose Pond (Frank Johnston) -
Dorset, ON P0A, Canada
get directions

The Dorset Heritage Museum is home to these two works by Frank Johnston who's wife and children lived in Dorset after his death.

D markerCanoe Lake, Algonquin Park, Ontario -
Canoe Lake, ON P0A, Canada
get directions

This is the lake where Tom Thompson drowned in 1917, extinguishing a great artistic light.

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    • danatheteacher profile image

      Dana Rock 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Neat art!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      How interesting- though it's tragic that such a talented artist should die so young.

    • LoneWolfMuskoka profile image
      Author

      LoneWolfMuskoka 6 years ago from Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

      There are a lot of wonderful pieces in this gallery and more are added each year. Most of them are replicas of Tom Thompson's work. When you consider he only had 5 years the amount of art of this region he produced is rather amazing.

    • jenn-zee profile image

      jenn-zee 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      The first time I visited the Muskoka-Parry Sound-Georgian Bay areas, I was amazed at how much the scenery there reminded me of the work of the Group of Seven my high school art teacher showed us. I was convinced that I must have seen some of the very same places depicted on some of the paintings -- the resemblence was that striking.

      I just came back from a short trip from the Gravehurst area, and was once again awed by the magnificence of our country's nature. I truly believe the austere beauty of that region is among the world's most amazing wonders, and as Canadians we are so lucky to have had this group of seven talented artists. Their talent, combined with the inspiration by such breathtaking natural beauty, resulted in such an unforgettable art legacy...

    • LoneWolfMuskoka profile image
      Author

      LoneWolfMuskoka 5 years ago from Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

      Hi Jenn. You probably did see some of those places. Much of the work by these artists was in Algonquin park, but they did travel and capture a lot of Muskoka, Georgian Bay and the Almaguin area as well.

      I'm very lucky to be able to live here.

    • profile image

      unknown 5 years ago

      hehehe

    • Randy M. profile image

      Randy McLaughlin 4 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

      I haven't been to this area of Canada, but you could say that I haven't been to most areas of that country. It must be nice.

      I am impressed at the work of the artists, they were very talented.

      I am also impressed with your work on the Google Maps. I have tried working with it and haven't been able to do this sort of thing. I am trying to do it with some of my tourist articles. Did you use the HubPages map setup?

    • LoneWolfMuskoka profile image
      Author

      LoneWolfMuskoka 4 years ago from Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

      Hi Randy

      There are a lot of beautiful places around Canada -- I just get to live in the most beautiful part 8=)

      For this map I used the HubPages map. It's been so long that I don't remember the details though. I am a techie though, so it is kind of natural to me. However, I find that many programmers write things that are intuitive to other programmers but not the general public.

    • connorj profile image

      John Connor 4 years ago from Altamonte Springs

      Excellent hub LoneWolfMuskoka! I just had to share...

      My mother grew up in Bracebridge, Ontario and my good friend Captain Murley "captains" the tourist (former mail boat) out of Gravenhurst, Lake Muskoka called the Segwin. My brother maintains a cottage just north of Huntsville and I and my loved ones try to migrate each and every summer north to my big bro's cottage. Nothing beats Muskoka...

    • LoneWolfMuskoka profile image
      Author

      LoneWolfMuskoka 4 years ago from Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

      Glad that you enjoyed the Hub connorj! It is wonderful that I get to raise my family in this beautiful part of the world! Hopefully you take some time to tour the gallery when you're around this summer. It keeps on growing every year.

    • profile image

      John Connor 4 years ago

      Thanks LoneWolf, we do indeed plan on visiting the gallery this July when we visit my brother. I hope the Bracebridge Bears hockey team is still going strong and playing in Roger Crozier Arena...

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