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  • Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition consists of works from internationally..
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  • Quasi-Nature

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Quasi-Nature, a group exhibition curated..
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  • Call for Installation Artists - Yonge + St. Clair Annual Fall Art Festival

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Calling all artists and designers! We’re seeking proposals for outdoor art installations for..
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  • Sculpture in Paper Masterclass

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Sculpture de papier avec Ray Besserdin Cette classe de maître permettra aux participants d’apprendre..
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  • ‘Scapes Art Exhibition & Sale

    Location: WINNIPEG , MB

    Please join me and artists Elena El, Linda Oleschuk and Connie Wawruck-Hemmett at..
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  • North Van Arts Fundraising Gala

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Join us for North Van Arts 50th Anniversary Fundraising Gala & take a..
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  • North Van Arts 50th Anniversary Exhibition

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    July 25 - September 7, 2019 You are invited to join North Van..
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  • Call to Western Canadian Public Art Consultants / Curators :: Lewis Farms Facility & Park

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Call to Western Canadian Public Art Consultants / Curators :: Lewis Farms Facility..
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  • Fraser Valley Artists- Donate your work to support mentoring!

    Location: Abbotsford, BC

    On September 26th, 2019, Big Brothers Big Sisters will be hosting a Harvest..
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  • Navigating Commissions with Kathy Traeger

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Have you been asked for a commission but turned the opportunity down because..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
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  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
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  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
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  • 13th Solo Art Series -

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces its 13th “Solo Art Series”..
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  • Call for Art | 3rd Annual Skies Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 3rd Annual Skies online art competition. For this..
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  • 9th Annual Online Exhibition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
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  • “Water” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Water nourishes, cleanses, and renews. A drop of water can save..
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  • 32 Points- 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace

    Location: Toronto, ON

    32 Points - 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace International Exhibition September 6-27, 2019 Cedar Ridge..
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  • Navigating Commissions with Kathy Traeger

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Monday 19th August 6.30 PM - 9.00 PM Navigating Commissions - Taking Fear out of..
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  • Air

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    AIR: A mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and minute amounts of other gases..
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  • The Clock Show

    Location: London, ON

    CALL FOR ARTISTS ..
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  • Raw Materials

    Location: Humboldt, SK

    Raw Materials James M. Clow and Bony A. Conly Exhibition runs May 31st through August..
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  • Beacon Original Art Call for Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Beacon Original Art invites emerging, mid-career and professional artists to participate in our..
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Stephen Lowe Gallery Closing in Victoria

By Robert Amos November 17, 2003

} Stephen Lowe Gallery Closing in Victoria The Stephen Lowe Gallery is going to close at the end of 2003. After 30 years as shopkeepers on the Humboldt side of the Empress Hotel, the Lowe Family has decided their goals have been met and it’s time to move forward. Meanwhile, Calgary’s Stephen Lowe Gallery, an independent project of Stephen and Eunice’s daughter Anna Lowe-Lam, will continue its well-established success there. In Victoria, David Lowe and his wife Bonnie, who have managed the gallery during the past five years, are eager to pursue other interests. Eunice Lowe married Stephen Lowe in Hong Kong and came to Victoria in 1960. After her husband’s death from leukemia in 1975 she became the director of the Stephen Lowe Gallery and has been ever since one of this city’s most gracious ambassadors. It has been a long time since the gallery was actively involved in selling Lowe’s paintings. Retired from the necessity of 'art gallery-sitting' Mrs. Lowe will now have time to attend to the books about Stephen Lowe’s art for which his fans around the world have been waiting. Aged Lovers, a painting by Stephen Lowe I confess that when I first saw Lowe’s paintings, in 1977, I didn’t know where to place them. His colourful and attractive style, using ink and colours to conjure forth birds and flowers, might have been common in China, for all I knew. But in 1985 the overwhelming response to a four-city tour of China showed me that this man’s work was far beyond the ordinary. As soon as that show opened, at the Beijing Civic Art Gallery, Lowe became something of a hero in his native land. Almost every one of those paintings was created in Victoria. Stephen Lowe was born in Toyshan Village in Kwangtung Province in south China in 1938. Lowe’s grandfather had been working in the coal mines at Cumberland on Vancouver Island for a long generation. In his old age, grandfather asked for Stephen to come to Canada. Arriving in 1956, young Stephen was already precociously talented. He was soon introduced to a devoted band of students who took classes with him at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Among them was the redoubtable Hilda Hale as well as Mrs. Widdup whose encouragement was crucial. Lowe spent 1960 in Hong Kong. There he gathered a new sense of the landscape and took in a solid grounding of technique from Chao Shao-an, the acknowledged leader of the progressive Lingnam School of painting. And he brought back to Canada his new bride, Eunice Tam. To support his family, Lowe worked at the Union Club where he was plucked from obscurity in 1963 by Allan Edwards, founder of Victoria’s Art League. Edwards put Lowe forward to a job in the display department of Eatons, where his jewelry windows on View Street live on in memory. The Lowe Family spent seven months in Hong Kong in 1969. Bringing back to Canada 200 or 300 new paintings, Lowe found himself the feature exhibit at the opening of the new British Columbia Museum in 1971. Almost embarassingly successful, this exhibit came to the attention of Mr. Fenimore, the manager of the Empress Hotel. He offered Lowe a gallery space on the Humboldt Street side. 'Not even in our dreams can we afford this,' Mrs. Lowe told me. 'But the Empress made it possible.' The hotel saw the advantage of Lowe’s Gallery, and went further to give him a spacious teaching studio upstairs. The only stipulation was that Lowe be willing to allow the hotel’s special guests to watch him at work. Lowe continued his career with vigor - painting, teaching, demonstrating and running the gallery. His skill and generosity of spirit made him truly beloved. His untimely death in 1975 was a tragedy Victoria will not soon forget. Eunice Lowe, with three youngsters and an imperfect grasp of the English language, was shattered by Stephen’s death. Yet friends and supporters of Stephen insisted that she pick herself up and carry on her husband’s work. The success and panache with which she did this are unforgettable. When I discovered the gallery in the early 1980’s, Stephen Lowe prints were selling briskly and the tiny shop was chock-a-block with cabinets full of Chinese antiquities and artifacts. I often sat waiting to talk to Mrs. Lowe while foreign visitors bought surprising quantities of art. Their enthusiasm made me reevaluate the appeal of Stephen Lowe’s art. With the construction of the new Conference Centre, Mrs. Lowe took the premiere position at Douglas and Humboldt Streets. There have rarely been original Stephen Lowe paintings for sale but her contacts and acumen have resulted in memorable exhibitions - Chinese porcelains, jade carvings, antique embroidery (with Witt and Eleanor Neumann), Inuit carvings (with Alistair Macduff), and paintings by Fenwick Lansdowne and Catherine Moffatt. I dare say it’s been tricky to get the 'mix' right. Lately, many artists with Chinese training and now living in Canada have come to our attention, among them Henry Xu and Tin Yan. But as the gallery gets further from Stephen Lowe’s art, its reason for being has become less compelling. The Lowes have decided to close the gallery on a positive note. The family has made plans for a celebration of the gallery’s 30 years, to be held at the end of November. At that time fine original paintings by Stephen Lowe will be presented to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Maltwood Museum at the University of Victoria, and to the Civic Collection of the City of Victoria. Scholarships in Stephen Lowe’s name will be initiated with the Art Gallery, University and the Chinese Public School. And once the shop is tidied away, the Lowe family can get to work on Stephen’s legacy. An updated picture book is inn the works; a biography is overdue; and there is much to be done with the remarkable materials which resulted from the 1984 China tour. Though the shop is closing, the Stephen Lowe legend will continue. ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2003 Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B.C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com