When Bill and Bonnie Luchtmeijer opened up space in their art and craft supply shop for an art gallery 10 years ago, the first artists they exhibited was Maureen G. Marshall.
This month, Qualicum Art & Craft Supply comes full circle as work by the 94-year-old Marshall graces the walls for one last time.
The exhibit features a large selection of portraits by Marshall, the British-born, U.S.-educated painter who retired to her Qualicum Beach estate roughly 10 years ago due to deteriorating eyesight. The exhibit consists of portraits and the human form done early in her career as an artist, and are of professional models or friends.
“She was our very first show,” said Bonnie Luchtmeijer. “These are different paintings, of course — those first ones were wildlife and floral. She was a very prolific artist.”
Another Marshall collection, a series of 31 African paintings, was donated to Vancouver Island University and is currently exhibit at the View Gallery, a renovated art gallery on the Nanaimo campus, through Nov. 13. And yet another exhibit is planned for next spring, featuring a different group of works, for the Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach.
“It’s too bad none of us knew about the others’ exhibits, or we could have coordinated them,” said Luchtmeijer. “When we heard VIU was doing a two-month exhibit in October and November, we hurriedly put this together for this month.”
This month’s show at the Gallery at Qualicum Art Supply will run from Nov. 2-28.
Born Maureen Stevenson in England in 1921, Marshall moved with her family to the wilds of British Columbia at age three. After starting her education in a one-room schoolhouse, she moved to the city and eventually attended Vancouver schools, where her interest in art and painting was stimulated.
After serving in the Canadian Army as an officer during World War ll, she married Sherwood “Barney” Marshall in 1952 and moved to California. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Anthropology summa cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969, and a Master of Arts in 1970.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Artists, Marshall has studied with many notable artists, including Martin Snipper, Boyd Allen, John Haley, Jerrold Ballaine, Felix Ruvolo, James McRae, Elmer Bischoff, Robert Hartman and Arnaldo Pomodoro of Italy.
Exhibitions of Maureen’s art have been mounted in London, Paris, Berkeley, San Francisco, Vancouver and Nanaimo and her works are in private collections throughout the world.
She and her husband, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 93, donated a 35-acre section of their estate at the mouth of the Little Qualicum River for a wildlife sanctuary in 1974. The Marshall-Stevenson Wildlife Sanctuary that bears their names is part of the Qualicum National Wildlife Area.