The Arts and Letters Club, a private club located since 1920 at 14 Elm Street in downtown Toronto, is celebrating its centenary in 2008. The club was formed in 1908 to achieve ‘a fusion of all the arts’. Immediately, it became a center of cultural creativity in the City of Toronto.
From the earliest days, the club organized itself around the five disciplines represented by the acronym LAMPS: Literature, Architecture, Music, Painting & Photography & Stage. Its members have included many prominent practitioners in these disciplines. Perhaps none has brought more prominence to the club than the Group of Seven painters who were all members.
Part of the club’s centenary celebration is presenting an exhibition titled “The Great Adventure - One Hundred Years of Art at the Arts and Letters Club” at the Varley Art Gallery in Unionville from March 9 to April 27. The exhibit represents the two main eras of the Club’s art collection: 1908 to WWII, (the Group of Seven and their contemporaries); post WWII to about 1975 (Canadian modern artists - among others Estonian artist Osvald Timmas). The third era from 1975 to 2008 is represented by works by living member artists.
Thirty-two works were selected by a three-person jury out of 135 works submitted. Among the artists whose paintings were accepted were Estonian artist Monika Uesson-Talpak and Estonian/Finnish artist Marjut Karu-Nousiainen. Monika is represented in the show by an acrylic painting, Loon Lake Morning, and Marjut by an oil pastel, Centennial.
The living member artists’ exhibit is currently at the clubhouse at 14 Elm Street until February 23. The complete exhibition showcasing all three eras will open at the Varley Art Gallery, 216 Main Street, Unionville on Sunday, March 9.
Estonian artists included in The Arts and Letters Club centenary exhibition