Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis
Coming to Thunder Bay

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Book about Artist Susan Ross.

Two Generations—Then an Artist: The Susan Ross Story
by James R. Stevens.

I’ve been a fan of Susan Ross since high school. My girl friends and I always took in the art shows at the library and we agreed that Ross was our favourite. Now, in conjunction with a Ross exhibit at the Thunder Bay Museum, comes a wonderful book by James Stevens. Two Generations—Then an Artist: The Susan Ross Story.

Last Sunday, local art lovers as well as long time fans and friends of Sue Ross listened as James Stevens read from his book and talked about his friendship with the artist. We sat in a room surrounded by the artist’s work and also work by her friends such as Norval Morrisseau.

Susan Ross, born in Port Arthur in 1915, was a great Canadian artist. “Northern to the core,” as James Stevens puts it. Sue Ross hunted, fished and camped in the bush. Her artistic talent was encouraged by her family and many Port Arthur teachers. With the help of her uncle, the famous film maker Robert Flaherty, she attended the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and returned to Thunder Bay to embark on an adventurous life, travelling the north and the arctic, meeting the indigenous people, making life-long friends.  In 2001, she was awarded the Order of Canada for her contribution to Canadian art. She died in 2006 at ninety-one years of age.

James Stevens tells her story well. He describes her as an artist whose heart was aligned with First Nations people who she pictured with respect and a common humanity. The book contains numerous examples of Ross’ paintings, drawings and etchings. It’s a beautiful book, available at the Thunder Bay Museum. Then go upstairs and look and wonder. Two treasures: a beautiful book and a beautiful exhibit.
James Stevens with his book 

No comments:

Post a Comment