Ronald Bloore - On the Formation of the Regina Five
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Well it’s fantastic. I got here and running the gallery, the Norman Mackenzie Gallery as it was known then, over at the Regina College campus as it was then. And in the process of all that I stuck my head around. I knew of Lochhead but he wasn’t there at the time, Kenneth Lochhead. Art Mackay was there. Roy Kiyooka was teaching there. I was somehow introduced to a painter, Douglas Morton, who in my opinion is the finest and best of all of the Regina Five. He was an absolutely superb painter. So I gradually found those guys here. They were the ones who had drive, ambition, vision and all non-figurative, which I have a slight advantage - I had spent years trying to paint non-figuratively. It is when you expunge everything else from all these other traditions, for example, that I’ve - mentioned they get rid of it all. Wow!

In some year back of which I don’t recall, I was the neophyte director of a gallery in Canada and I was at their annual meeting and everything was nice and I thought these were nice people, but I had something more going for me. And they said, who wants to hold the next annual meeting, and Bloore stupidly put up his hand. I got a round of applause because they all realized that they didn’t have to worry about it. And for such a meeting, you had to put on an exhibition. But I thought, ah ha I got it, I’ve got Doug Morton, Ken Lochhead, Bloore and Ted Godwin. Godwin had just come into Regina from Calgary, he became known as the kid. That’s great, I’ve got these guys I can really put on a show. My predecessor here, Richard Simmons, we were at some meeting one time and he turned over and said "Bloore, what is the exhibition you going to put on?" and I said “Oh Ken, Morton, etc.” and he went POW!...like that. And he said “Bloore if you do that, you'll never have a reputation in a Canadian museum world.” What could I do? I had already agreed to, all the guys agreed. And then Evan Turner, then director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, came in early. He was a pretty potent figure, turned around and asked me who painted these things. I said “just the local guys.” He couldn’t believe it. Simmons comes in and finds me chatting about with Turner and finds out that Turner thinks this is a great exhibition, which it was. And things changed around. Simmons at that time was working for the National Gallery as a kind of curator and he phoned up one time to me and said “Bloore I want to reconstitute the May show, as my guy called the show.” So that’s how it became Five painters from Regina, I forgot - I should have had that idea myself.

Duration: 3:59 min
Size: 16640kb

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