Unheralded Artists of BC Series

The Unheralded Artists of BC, is a beautiful, lively and well-written series dedicated to introducing people to the many forgotten 20th-century BC artists and recognizing their artistic significance.
A new book in the series is released every June.

UABC #6–The Life and Art of Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher–by Christina Johnson-Dean–Introduction by Kerry Mason

Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher (1906-1994) was a sophisticated, spirited and classically educated artist, researcher, feminist, and writer, known as Emily Carr’s sketching partner and B.C.’s Special Consultant on the now famous painter but unrecognized for her own creative life. This well-researched book finally reveals Edythe’s story as a B.C. artist and features over 100 rarely seen paintings, prints, and photographs. Schooled in Victoria by the Island Arts and Crafts Society’s traditionalist Margaret Kitto, Edythe embarked on further training at the California School of Arts and Crafts and the California School of Fine Arts in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1928 Edythe and her American friend Marian Allardt moved to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts and at André Lhote’s studio. She also took French lessons and traveled widely with Marian in Europe.

Upon returning to Canada in 1930, Edythe met and became good friends with Emily Carr, later documenting in detail their sketching trips together. Edythe Hembroff and Emily Carr, along with Ina D.D. Uhthoff, were the only women who participated in the controversial Modern Room exhibit in 1932. With her husband, Frederick Brand, a ubc mathematics professor, Edythe energetically promoted an appreciation of Carr’s work through exhibitions and instigated the acquisition of Kispiox Village by the provincial government in 1933.

During World War II, Edythe moved to Ottawa, where she became a translator of POW mail in the Department of National War Services, Censorship Section. After her divorce to Frederick Brand, she married Julius Schleicher, and upon retirement, they returned to Victoria where Edythe resumed painting, researching, and writing. She wrote M.E. A Portrayal of Emily Carr (1969) and Emily Carr: The Untold Story (1978) and, in 1981, organized a recreation of the Island Arts and Crafts Society’s 1932 Modern Room exhibit.

As part of her legacy, Edythe donated her art and archives to the BC Museum and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (aggv). She also created a pre-medicine scholarship for women at the University of Victoria and a trust fund with her husband for the aggv. Her work is held in the permanent collections of the aggv, the University of Victoria Legacy Art Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the BC Archives.

Christina Johnson-Dean graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a BA (History, Art) before earning a Professional Teacher’s Certificate at San Jose State University and teaching in public schools. After travelling around the world, teaching ESL in Thailand and elementary school in New Zealand, she returned to live near her sister and family in Canada. At the University of Victoria, she completed an MA (History in Art), worked as a teaching assistant for the department, and created courses on local art history for Continuing Studies. Her publications include The Life and Art of Ina D.D. Uhthoff, #5 in the Unheralded Artists of BC series (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2012), The Crease Family: A Record of Settlement and Service in British Columbia (B.C. Archives, 1981), and “B.C. Women Artists 1885-1920” in British Columbia Women Artists (aggv, 1985). She teaches in the Greater Victoria School District. She and her husband have two daughters.

Kerry Mason is an art historian, curator, and art consultant. She teaches art history at the University of Victoria and the Victoria College of Art offering courses focusing on Canada and B.C., with a particular emphasis on Emily Carr and indigenous art of the Northwest Coast. An early passion for these subjects led her to complete degrees in art history (BA, MA, UVic). From 1977 through 1988, as the first curator of the Emily Carr Gallery for the Province of BC, she created twenty-seven exhibitions of Carr’s work. Kerry has written several articles as well as the book, Sunlight in the Shadows: The Landscape of Emily Carr (Oxford University Press, 1984). In the past decade, she has curated more than thirty exhibitions for the University of Victoria and other institutions as well as lecturing across Canada and abroad.
"Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher will forever be known for her connection to Emily Carr and this wonderful study illuminates much about that relationship. Hembroff-Schleicher was part of Carr's life but also part of Carr's legacy – the first to write a book-length appreciation of her work. Yet, as Christina Johnson-Dean reveals, Hembroff-Schleicher was a remarkable talent in her own right. With great ingenuity she found a way to forge a career for herself as an artist, translator, and writer. Much more than a footnote in Canadian art history."– Susan Crean, author of The Laughing One - a Journey to Emily Carr (2001) nominated for a Governor General's Award in Literature.

"Until now, Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher has been known in the broader Canadian art world only as the author of two wonderful books on Emily Carr, essential volumes in their field. With this book we discover a Hembroff who was deeply involved in the art scene in British Columbia over a long period of time. During this involvement she struggled through chronic illness, the Depression, World War II, earning a living, a number of relocations, several marriages and changing attitudes to women and the arts. Her work merits the study this book brings. Another significant aspect of Canadian art history revealed once again by Mother Tongue's Unheralded Artists of BC series."–Dennis Reid is Professor, History of Art, University of Toronto, and author of A Concise History of Canadian Painting (3rd edition 2012).  

Released: June 2013
ISBN 978-1-896949-27-7
BUY HERE $36.95 |168 pgs| 110 colour and b & w plates
Trade paperback with French flaps | 9.5” x 8”

UABC #5 –The Life and Art of Ina D.D. Uhthoff by Christina Johnson-Dean–Introduction by Pat Martin Bates


Of all the artists (including well-known painter Emily Carr) who showed their work in the controversial Modern Room of the 1932 Island Arts and Crafts Annual Exhibition, only one also exhibited in the traditional section. That artist was Ina D.D. Uhthoff (1889-1971) (BCSA, FCA, FRSA) the versatile, respected professional who was able to straddle contrasting viewpoints  with aplomb. Founder and principal of the Victoria School of Art, a key figure in the establishment of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, an esteemed columnist for the Victoria Daily Colonist, a teacher of children and adults using various media, she was first and foremost a continually evolving artist. In this fifth book in the Unheralded Artists of B.C. series, the life and art of Ina D.D. Uhthoff, called the “doyen of Victoria painters,” is revealed. It is the story of an influential twentieth-century artist and hard-working teacher, who sustained a successful career while rearing two children single-handedly. Though Emily Carr is renowned, Ina Uhthoff, a colleague who was equally supportive of modern trends and a force in her community, has receded from prominence. It is time to balance our view of the history of art in British Columbia’s capital city and add to the wider picture of the development of the arts in Canada. 

Born in Scotland and trained in painting and drawing at the Glasgow School of Art, Ina first came to Canada in 1913 to visit friends in the Kootenays. After certifying as a teacher in Scotland during World War I, she married Edward Joseph Uhthoff, with whom she had a son and daughter. They lived in the Kootenays, but by1925, Ina had established the Victoria School of Art, where she was the principal and main teacher. She also taught at the Summer School for Teachers, St. Margaret’s and Glenlyon Schools, took over the Kingston Street School of Pottery and worked for the provincial government Secondary School Correspondence program. She studied with Mark Tobey in his master class in Emily Carr’s studio and hosted him in her own studio. Ina exhibited with the traditional Island Arts and Crafts Society in Victoria, as well as with the B.C. Society of Fine Arts, B.C. Artists and at the Canadian National Exhibition in Vancouver, alongside major artists of her era. She became a member of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (London). Her work is in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Burnaby Art Gallery, B.C. Archives, the Glenbow Museum, the University of Victoria Legacy Gallery and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Christina Johnson-Dean graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a BA (History, Art) before earning a Professional Teacher’s Certificate at San Jose State University and teaching in public schools. After travelling around the world, teaching ESL in Thailand and elementary school in New Zealand, she returned to live near her sister and family in Canada. At the University of Victoria, she completed an MA (History in Art), worked as a teaching assistant for the department and created courses on local art history for Continuing Studies. Her publications include The Crease Family: A Record of Settlement and Service in British Columbia (1981, B.C. Archives) and “B.C. Women Artists 1885-1920” in British Columbia Women Artists (Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1985). She teaches in the Greater Victoria School District. She and her husband have two daughters.

Pat Martin Bates 
(RCA) was born in St. John, New Brunswick. In 1957, she completed a Fine Arts diploma with honors at the Royal Académie des Beaux Arts in Belgium, and over the next several years, did graduate studies, including at the Sorbonne in Paris and the Pratt in New York on an Ingram-Merrill scholarship. This acclaimed artist has enjoyed a distinguished career as a professor at the University of Victoria since 1965 and as a printmaker and arts advocate. In 1975, she was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts and served as the chair of the Pacific Region. Her highly innovative printmaking has won her many awards in the international arena, and her work is represented in most of the world’s finest art museums, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In recognition of her contribution to international printmaking, Pat Martin Bates won the prestigious Gold Medal Award from the Norwegian International Biennale of Printmaking in 1986, the Global Graphics Award from Holland in 1993, the Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 and a Gold Jubilee Medal in 2004. In 2008, she was appointed as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She lives in Victoria, B.C.

“I was captured by the opening line and held fast til the last word. Christina Johnson-Dean has created a wonderfully lively, fast-moving, detailed life story of the remarkable artist Ina D.D. Uhthoff, linking her to the social and cultural worlds spanning Victoria, the Kootenays and Scotland. Johnson-Dean layers the fledgling art scene in British Columbia alongside personalities both well-known and newly rediscovered, teaching us about the times through rich and individualized voices. This beautifully illustrated, foundational study gives life to the early to mid twentieth-century artistic scene, a period often omitted in scholarship.” –Kathryn Bridge, author, archivist and manager at the British Columbia Archives, Royal BC Museum Corporation
“Contemporary and friend of Emily Carr, pioneering BC artist, art educator, critic and journalist, Ina Uhthoff is central to the history of twentieth century art in British Columbia. Her work features in private collections and public galleries, but in this book, Christina Johnson-Dean brings Uhthoff’s art and life into public focus today. A rich and rewarding read for both the specialist and layperson interested in this foundational era of Western Canadian art.”–Martin Segger, former director of the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery at the University of Victoria 

Published: June 2012
BUY HERE $32.95 | 128 pgs| 100 colour and b & w plates
Trade paperback with French flaps | 9.5” x 8”

UABC #4–The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton– by Sheryl Salloum–Foreword by Sherrill Grace

Short-listed for the 2012 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

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).

Before she died, Thornton unsuccessfully tried to interest Canadian institutions in purchasing her collection of approximately 300 portraits of First Nations peoples of Western Canada. Identified in her work are ancestors from twenty-four Western First Nations: in B.C., these include the Cowichan, Chilcotin, Haida, Heiltsuk, Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, Ktunaxa, Squamish, Stó:lo, Suknaqinx and Tsimshian; on the plains, these include the Cree, Kainai, Piikani, Saulteaux, Sitsika and Tsuu T'ina, among others. When she realized no government agency or gallery was going to purchase her work, she was so anguished that she wrote a codicil to her will. She stated that her paintings of First Nations peoples should either be auctioned off or destroyed. To the relief of her executors and heirs, the codicil was improperly
witnessed—the work remained intact. That historic legacy is now dispersed in private as well as corporate, First Nations, public gallery and museum collections. These include the Royal B.C. Museum and Archives, the Glenbow Museum, the Heiltsuk Nation, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the National Gallery of Canada, the Simon Fraser University Gallery, the Squamish Nation and the Vancouver Art Gallery. She has yet to be recognized as an important early Canadian painter.

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-fiction 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.

Published: June 2012
ISBN 978-1-896949-05-5
8 x 9.5 | 176 pages
BUY HERE $35.95
Trade paperback with French flaps
112 colour and b&w plates

Video Interview of Sheryl Salloum by author Michael Boxall. 
She talks about the life and art of Mildred Valley Thorntonhttp://on.fb.me/wODsFb

UABC #3–The Life And Art of George Fertig–by Mona Fertig–Introduction by Peter Such

George Fertig was a Jungian, a symbolist, a socialist, and an outsider. But above all, he was an artist, struggling to survive in mid century Vancouver, British Columbia. Part biography and part memoir, this book, the 3rd in the Unheralded Artists of BC series, is based on fourteen years of research, interviews, letters and over 150 rare photographs. Born in Alberta in 1915, George Fertig’s creative passion began at age 20 with photography during the Depression and World War II. He was a member of the infamous Trail Mine Mill Union in the 1930s, and  travelled to Mexico in the 1940s. He moved to Vancouver in 1941, where he met and married Evelyn Luxa. They raised two daughters, while George attempted to find a foothold in the art scene of the 1950s and ‘60s.

Known as the “Moon Man,” George Fertig’s unique oil paintings range from early landscapes to large and powerful archetypal images and small numinous meditations on eternity. His paintings, never synonymous with art trends, were ignored by most galleries and today are coveted in private collections. He died in 1983.

Mona Fertig,
George Fertig’s eldest daughter, is a poet, publisher, and book artist. Her many books and chapbooks include: Releasing the Spirit, Sex Death & Travel, This is Paradise, and Rocksalt (co-editor). She was the founder and Director of Canada’s first literary centre, the Literary Storefront, in Vancouver’s Gastown, which operated from 1978¬1982. A founding member of the Federation of BC Writers, the BC Book Prizes and the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets, Fertig has been a bookseller, literary events and political organizer, and host of a poetry show on Vancouver Co-op Radio. She is the co-owner/operator, with her husband, Peter Haase, of Mother Tongue Publishing on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

Peter Such is well-known as a TV screen-writer and novelist. He was the founder and original editor of
Impulse magazine and has written reviews for Canadian Forum, Canadian Art, Artword, Books in Canada and other publications. He introduced the first courses in Canadian art at Atkinson College and York University and has lectured on contemporary Canadian art at numerous Canadian universities and abroad at Helsinki, Tartu and La Laguna universities. He is president of the Victoria College of Art in Victoria, B.C.

Published: June 2010
8 x 9.5 | 192 pages
Trade paperback with French flaps
150 colour and b&w plates

UABC #2–The Life & Art of Frank Molnar, Jack Hardman, LeRoy Jensen–by Eve Lazarus, Claudia Cornwall, Wendy Newbold Patterson–Introduction by Max Wyman 

Filled with rare art reproductions and artists’ personal photographs, this 2nd book in the series introduces the talent of three BC. artist-mentors who worked and exhibited from the 1950s on in Vancouver, Burnaby, Victoria and Salt Spring Island, yet are known only to a few. Their common bond was their choice not to embrace, chameleon-like, the various artistic trends of the era, but to work passionately towards perfecting their own ‘timeless and individuated styles’. This book honours their important contribution to the BC art scene and tells the untold stories.
Max Wyman is a Vancouver writer and arts policy consultant and one of Canada’s leading cultural commentators. His most recent book, The Defiant Imagination: Why Culture Matters, is a passionate manifesto asserting the importance of arts and culture in Canada. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001, was Mayor of Lions Bay 2005 – 2008, and was founding chair of the Metro Vancouver Regional Cultural Committee.
            Preface by Charles van Sandwyk
FRANK MOLNAR (1936 – ) fled from Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and went to the USA where he studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1962 he headed for Vancouver to forge his artistic destiny as a painter. There he met artists David Marshall, Peter Aspell, Georg Schmerholz, Elek Imredy and Jack Akroyd. In 1969 he became one of the first art teachers at Capilano College and taught life drawing and artistic anatomy for almost 30 years. His students included Charles van Sandwyk, Cori Creed and Andrew McDermott & Will Rafuse. Today he continues to paint and lives in Vancouver with his wife Sylvia.
            Preface by Jean-François Guimond
JACK HARDMAN (1923–1996) was born in New Westminster and studied art in Western Washington and at UBC. He married BC poet Marya Fiamengo in the 50s and together they had a son. A sculptor and a printmaker, he was an assistant to Cubist sculptor Alexander Archipenko in 1957. Hardman taught many art students in Burnaby in the 60s, and from the mid 70s through the 80s he was the Director of the Burnaby Art Gallery. His friends included artists Joe Plaskett, Jim Willer, Joy Zemel Long, David Marshall and Peter Paul Ochs. He lived in Burnaby where he died in 1996.
            Preface by Roy Patterson
LEROY JENSEN (1927– 2005) spent his childhood in China, Japan and Vancouver and studied painting at the Royal Academy of Copenhagen and under the French cubist Andre L’Hote in Paris. In 1954 he returned to Vancouver to paint and forged a friendship with fellow artists Jock Hearn, David Marshall, Herbert Siebner and Peter Aspell. He was a founding member of Greenpeace and later a member of the Victoria-based Limner group. In 1982 he moved to Salt Spring Island with his family, where he fought for social environmental causes and continued to paint the human condition, especially women, until his death in 2005
on Frank Molnar:
Eve Lazarus is a business reporter and freelance writer. She has won gold and silver awards for her writing. Her book, At Home with History: the secrets of Greater Vancouver’s heritage houses was a City of Vancouver book award fi nalist in 2008. She lives in North Vancouver.

on Jack Hardman:

Claudia Cornwall’s book, Letter from Vienna: A Daughter Uncovers her Family’s Jewish Past, won the BC Book Prize for best non-fi ction in 1996. She has been published in many Canadian magazines and newspapers. In 2009, she received a $20,000 journalism award from the Canadian Institute of Health Research. She lives in North Vancouver.
on LeRoy Jensen:
Wendy Newbold Patterson attended the University of Colorado and completed her Bachelor of Arts at Vermont College. She also studied painting with Rob Pollien at the Maine College of Art. Patterson was a student of LeRoy Jensen’s at the Free University of Vancouver. A painter, she lives in Gray, Maine with her husband, Roy, a sculptor. They both continued their studies with LeRoy for 6 years. Her work is in several private collections in North America.

Published: June 2019
2009 | Biography / Canadian Art
BUY HERE CDN $34.95 ISBN:978-1-896949-02-4 | Trade paperback with French flaps | 144 pages 95 colour and b&w plates | 8 x 9.5

UABC #1–The Life & Art of David Marshall by Monika Ullmann–Introduction by Brooks Joyner

Part biography, part art history and part art commentary and first in the new series: The Life and Art of David Marshall book tells the story of a prodigious sculptor whose artistic legacy is known to only a few collectors, fellow sculptors and curators. Illustrated throughout with rare colour photographs, the lively, wide ranging text is based on original interviews, letters and diaries and explores the reasons both sociopolitical and contemporary of why Marshall has been neglected as an artist in his own city. 

A resident of Vancouver from his early twenties on, Marshall was admired as a master carver but also worked extensively in bronze. At a time when conceptual and installation art dominated, he worked in the modernist tradition he shared with his friend, Henry Moore, who was one of many influences. His work is based on universal and timeless principles of harmony and remains one of the great treasures waiting to be discovered by the Canadian art world and the general public. He was a founding member of the Sculptors’ Society of British Columbia. He died in 2006. 

MONIKA ULLMANN: After earning a BA in English from SFU in 1978, Monika worked as house editor for CommCept Publishing. Married to sculptor Peter Paul Ochs, she wrote for the Sculptors' Society of B.C. and curated The Age of Bronze exhibition at Images for a Vancouver Gallery. After several years in the high tech industry she became a freelance journalist, writing features on the arts, health and tourism for magazines and newspapers in Vancouver. 

BROOKS JOYNER is the Director of the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha Nebraska. He was the Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery in BC, 1993-1996. He has more than twenty-five years of academic, curatorial and administrative experience in art museums and art history. 

Praise for the 1st book in the series: The Life & Art of David Marshall-Monika Ullmann
 “An illustrated biography – the first in a series called The Unheralded Artists of B.C. – shines a spotlight on Marshall and his sculpture. The glossy softcover is beautifully illustrated with archival photos and drawings. The text, by Monika Ullmann, is rich in context and biographical detail. ...Marshall would become a member of the other “Vancouver school,” the marginalized artists who didn’t “work the system.
– Grant Shilling, The Vancouver Sun
Thoroughly researched, and beautifully designed and illustrated, this highly readable book reveals the legacy of a unique and talented artist. Rich with detail, anecdotes, humour, and pathos, this book is a visual treasure and a significant contribution to BC’s art history.”– Sheryl Salloum, author of Underlying Vibrations, The Photography and Life of John Vanderpant, and Malcolm Lowry:Vancouver Days.
Monika brings into play the formal organizations that claim the turf of public art, the informal support groups David had, the psychological dimensions of David’s personality shaped by his early life experiences, and so many other elements that impinged on and shaped the sculptor we knew as David Marshall. This is a significant work in the sociology of art in Canada."George F. Drake, Ph.D., Retired professor of sociology
It is very substantial, well-illustrated, well-written and convincing.” – Alan Twigg, BC Bookworld

"This important book reveals David Marshall as a sculptor of certain strength, whose art grew throughout his lifetime to achieve a level of simplicity and power that arise from a clear statement of form and mass with absolute fidelity to each of the media -- wood, stone and bronze -- in which he worked. He is one of a generation of late modernists who have just left us -- one thinks of Chillida or Oteiza in Spain, for example -- whose work will endure. His accomplishment deserves to be better known in Canada, and at its best merits recognition worldwide."
Barry Lord, President of Lord Cultural Resources, author of The History of Painting in Canada: Toward a People's Art.

Published: November 2008
2008 | Biography / Canadian Art
BUY HERE: $34.95 CDN
ISBN: 978-1896949-44-4 | Trade Paperback | 176 pp
Colour photographs throughout | 8″ x 9.5″