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Artist donates 41 lighthouse prints to Maritime Museum of BC collection

Graham Scholes spent 10 years creating acclaimed woodblock images
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Graham Scholes at the 2022 opening of Let There Be Light with Woodblock Prints at the Maritime Museum of BC. (Photo courtesy of the Maritime Museum of BC)

Lighthouses of the west coast are well documented in both art and history.

Woodblock artist, author, and educator Graham Scholes is among those who recognized the structures belong to history – and the landscape and settings around the lights belong to his creative expression.

After visiting lighthouses on the B.C. coast with the cooperation of the Canadian Coast Guard, he gathered information and imagery for the innovative prints of the lighthouses, the Maritime Museum of BC said in a news release.

Scholes jokes he spent “eight days a week, eight hours a day, 10 years” to complete 41 lighthouse prints.

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Regular visitors will remember seeing a selection of the prints on display at the Maritime Museum of BC in 2022 for the Let There Be Light with Woodblock Prints exhibit. Now, he’s donated a full set of his celebrated works to the Maritime Museum of BC.

“A complete body of Scholes’ woodblock prints is held in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s collection, positioned in Canadian art history with the greats of West Coast art. The Maritime Museum of BC is honoured to now be among the Victoria institutions with Scholes’ works held for the enjoyment and study of future generations,” collections and exhibit manager Heather Feeney said.

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Scholes’ donation joins about 500 artworks currently held in the museum collection, including prints by Harry Heine and John Horton.

Scholes was born in 1933 in Toronto, and has lived in Greater Victoria since 1987. He has conducted workshops and seminars across Canada, teaching watercolours, and published several books. Since 1994, he has created woodblock images using hand-made Hosho paper in the Mokuhanga medium of woodblock prints.

Now, at 90, he might slow down but not retire, as his work keeps him young: “Artists don’t retire, they draw to conclusion.”

Get a taste of his work at woodblockart.ca.

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