OUR HISTORY

Lakehead Visual Arts is the oldest art association in Thunder Bay. The origin of the club goes back to the early fifties when Art Clubs were formed in both Port Arthur and Fort William. These joined together in 1964 to become the Lakehead Society of Fine Arts. In 1970 the name was changed to Lakehead Visual Arts. The activities of these earlier years are still vividly remembered by six honourary members. At 101 years of age, Helen Knights, once treasurer, Gladys Postans, a dedicated long time leader, Elizabeth Cramb, the 50th anniversary chair, along with Verna Ross, Genevieve Johns and Alice McLeod are a living part of LVA history. Members of the Club are unfortunately mourning the loss of Elizabeth Cramb on August 30.

The thirty-two current members are dedicated and remain committed to fulfilling the objectives established at the inception of the club. These same ideals are fully supported today in the club's objective: to encourage and stimulate interest, create awareness and understanding of visual arts and to encourage the endeavours of other artists.

For a good part of their history, the Summer Gallery (the CNR baggage building) at Marina Park was significant for LVA artists as a place to showcase their artwork. These annual exhibits were an attraction to both tourists and to the citizens of Thunder Bay. Club members acted as volunteers to operate the Summer Gallery and while doing so, also provided visitors with information about city attractions, places of interest, accommodations and dining or just a friendly chat as a gesture of welcome. In 2009 this era came to an end as the building provided by the City for this use became unavailable. The Club was now in need of a place to continue the tradition of exhibiting their work. The timely opening of the Local Colour Art Gallery filled this need by providing a new venue for LVA to exhibit and sell their art to the public. This facility, which is now known as Gallery 33, currently has an ongoing extensive display of artwork in a variety of mediums by Lakehead Visual Arts members.

With the firm foundation laid by the past members and the dedication of the current LVA artists, the future of Lakehead Visual Arts is secure and the organization will continue to fulfill their mission and contribute to the vitality of the visual arts scene in Thunder Bay for decades to come.