Somewhere in third year (1964-65) of us kids thought it would be a great idea to collect the work of our fellow classmates. Some didn't want to share or exchange. After they had been marked, our assignments were regularly left in a heap, on a table. We were expected to find and retrieve our own work. On days when there were absentees we enterprising kids helped ourselves to whatever we wanted. It maybe that it was only Helen Salomaa and myself who were thieves! This is how I came to own a small, delightful collection of artwork, some of which I share with you here ...
|Helen Salomaa - charcoal 27.5" x 18.25" - 4th year|
In her own way Helen was a master of the human form and among many things, she was ambidextrous. She was shrouded in mystery. We never knew her age, but she had to have been older than most of us because she had her own car and a studio in Markham Village, supported we assume by the sale of her oil paintings.
|Barbara Krasinski - gouache 19" x 13" - 3rd year|
Barbara's armour was one of the Museum Class assignments. She married and dropped out in third year.
|Lisa Shallhese - pencil & watercolour - 21.5" x 15" - 4th year|
Lisa had a very avant-guarde flair to her work. Only Simone ever got close to her, she came across as mature and somewhat withdrawn.
|Sally Simone - pencil 22" x 15" - 4th year|
Simone (you never called her Sally) was a no nonsense, exceptionally petite gal with a most distinctive personal style. She married halfway through third year stayed with us and graduated with honours ... number one student in our class of fifteen.
|Sandra Shibata - oil pastel 17" x 13" - 4th year|
We had two Sandras. Ko who is Chinese and Shibata who is Japanese. Both gentle spirits. This drawing illustrates an inner strength not visible in Shibata's outward demeanour.
|Murray McLauchlan - conte 24" x 16"- 4th year|
Murray's strong portrait, like the kid himself, makes a statement on black paper. His yearbook quote made reference to his probable fate of busking for quarters in a New York subway.
|John Williamson - watercolour 19" x 15" - 3rd year|
Another Museum Class project by John; an exceptional use of watercolour. Even way back then, he was our most troubled soul. After a short, fast life and somewhere in the past decade he took his own life.
|Mark Thurman - charcoal 15.75" x 22" - 4th year|
And then there is Mark, the fellow whom we all admired for the talent which simply flowed from him. He was always top of the class until the very last semester of final year when Simone bumped him to second place. I was third. An interesting fact: at the beginning of grade nine we three were the runts of the class all measuring five feet tall. At the end of grade twelve Mark was 5'10", I had grown to 5'6" and Simone was still 5'.
Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end.