Erin Loree exhibit at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery

February 4, 2020

Erin Loree - The Swirl

(Erin Loree's The Swirl - photo by Alex Fischer)

Being offered the chance to explore the vault at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery is something that many an art lover would jump at the chance for.  When you are a young artist, that opportunity is even more enticing.  That's exactly the invitation received in June 2019 by Toronto-based contemporary artist, Erin Loree, to explore the collection and select paintings, artifacts, and drawings that resonated with her as inspiration for a new series of paintings.  The results of that selection (which included works by Tom Thomson, Lawren Harris, Arthur Lismer, and Emily Carr, as well as David Milne, Roly Fenwick and Allen Smutylo), along with the 3,000-mile semi-annual migration of monarch butterflies, became the inspiration behind Loree's new exhibit, The Swirl, which is now open at the Tom Thomson Gallery.

ErinLoree_texture Loree's works are colourful and vibrant, somehow capturing both the beauty of sweeping landscapes and the transformative, transcendental emotion of the epic journey made by the monarchs.  (A display of actual monarch butterfly specimens is present, on loan from the Royal Ontario Museum).  Texture also features heavily in Loree's paintings, the thick, dimensional swirls of oil paint infusing additional light and energy into every stroke.

Upper Canada Stretchers created the panels Loree used in this exhibit, including the titular piece which is 9 feet by 15 feet, the largest she had ever worked on.  Panels are an ideal platform for her approach, easily supporting not only the weight of the medium but also allowing the heavy use of brushes, squeegees, silicone spatulas, and tools of her own creation to apply, move, and remove the oil paint.  For ease of transport, The Swirl painting was created as a diptych and gravity bars were used to securely hang it.

Below is a video of UCS staff, Bob and Sean, helping to install The Swirl in the gallery.

The Swirl exhibition is open at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery until March 28th, 2020.  For more information about Erin Loree's work, visit her website at