Doris McCarthy’s striking interpretations of Canadian landscapes have influenced a generation of painters. Now, some of her works will be on permanent display at the Doris McCarthy Gallery and Archives at the University of Toronto at Scarborough (UTSC). McCarthy, the last surviving student of Group of Seven member Arthur Lismer, donated 10 of her paintings to the gallery, which opened in March. “I think people care more about nature than they once did,” she says,” and landscape painting is very closely aligned with the love of nature and wilderness.” At the age of 93, McCarthy (BA 1989 SCAR) is still painting and travelling, and shows no signs of slowing down. “You keep doing it because the challenge never lets up and you love doing it. I wouldn’t stop until I was blind.”
Along with McCarthy’s art and personal archives, the 1,500-square-foot gallery will administer more than 1,300 works by other artists in the UTSC collection and promote awareness of the visual arts on campus and beyond. The $1.1-million gallery will showcase travelling exhibitions of contemporary Canadian art and act as an educational resource for students enrolled in the arts and other cultural programs.