Donald Jarvis

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Don Jarvis (1923–2001) was a Canadian abstract artist.

Born in Vancouver in 1923, Don Jarvis took up drawing at an early age. An aspiring cartoonist as a teenager, Jarvis enrolled at the Vancouver School of Art and Design (later renamed the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design) and was encouraged by his teacher, B.C. Binning, to pursue fine art.

When he graduated in 1948, Jarvis won a scholarship. At the suggestion of Lawren Harris, he traveled to New York City to study under the abstract expressionist Hans Hofmann. His time in New York produced his acclaimed, newly rediscovered collection of New York Drawings. Jarvis returned to Vancouver in 1950 and became a drawing and painting instructor at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. He remained there for 36 years. Jarvis died in Sechelt, British Columbia in 2001, leaving his wife, Gladys, their two sons, Graham and Roy, and grandchildren, Jennifer and Scott and one of the most varied Canadian art collections.

"I see the painter as an instrument, a function, a conduit of the essential unity. My work is metaphor, never simile. I make no distinction between subject and object, inner and outer, maker and viewer. I am continually surprised by what arises on the canvas or the paper. I am not a 'creator'. How can one create what is already there? I am mist, trees, rain, sun brush, canvas, weather, season, figure." Don Jarvis 1999.

He was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts[1]


  1. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 

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