Wynona Mulcaster

January 26, 2024 - April 19, 2024

Kenderdine Art Gallery

Curated by Leah Taylor

Nonie examines the artistic career of Wynona Mulcaster (1915-2016) through a survey of landscape paintings on both canvas and paper.

Image above: Wynona Mulcaster, Summer Pageant, 1984, oil on canvas. Collection of the Mann Art Gallery, Prince Albert.

About the Exhibition

This exhibition examines the artistic career of Wynona Mulcaster (1915-2016), affectionately known to most as ‘Nonie’. Through a survey of landscape paintings on both canvas and paper, Mulcaster depicts two places that she considered to be home: Mexico and Saskatchewan. The works illustrate that for Mulcaster geography was secondary to capturing “a gritty feeling of dry struggle,” therein she focused on the sensation the land evoked, a feeling that transcends the specificities of place. With an understanding of modernist abstraction’s sensibilities, Mulcaster felt free from the conventions of landscape painting, positing, “the life energy of a painting is very often embedded in the contradictions within it.”

Wynona Mulcaster, Clear Day, 1977, oil on paper. Collection of the University of Saskatchewan. Purchase, 1977.

About the Artist

Wynona Mulcaster was born in 1915 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. She passed away in 2016 at the age of 101, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she had lived for nearly 40 years. Mulcaster played an integral role in the history of art and art education in Saskatchewan, and in the development of the art scene in the province since the 1930s. Mulcaster was an art teacher to school children in Prince Albert and rural Saskatchewan (1937-1943), then taught art at the Saskatchewan Teachers' College in Saskatoon, where she served as Director of Art Education (1945-1948). Her studies with Ernest Lindner (1935-1945) and her early teaching experiences throughout the province impressed upon her the importance of art education for all ages.

Mulcaster obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon in 1942, and a Master of Fine Arts at Institute Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in 1976. In the late 1930s, she was involved in establishing the Emma Lake Artists Workshop in Northern Saskatchewan. In 1946, she studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts, and from 1964 to 1977 she taught painting at the University of Saskatchewan. Her students included Robert Murray, Otto Rogers, and Allen Sapp.

Wynona Mulcaster, Prairie Slough, 1991, acrylic on paper. Collection of the University of Saskatchewan. Gift of Henry and Cheryl Kloppenburg, 2004.

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