Interview with Artist
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“It all comes as I let the lines, textures and layers upon layers of colour flow to the canvas, transforming the blank space into dreams that I can share. I hope my work will help people travel to their innerselves to find peace, beauty, love and music and that these things will inspire them".
Francine Gravel was born in Montreal on March 17th, 1944. She studied at the Montreal School of Fine Arts under Albert Dumouchel and Pierre Ayot and obtained a Diploma in painting and printmaking in 1965.
She then obtained a teaching certificate in 1966 and taught in Quebec and Ontario in a number of schools and art centres. From 1967 to 1969 she travelled in Europe, working for the most part in Belgium.
Upon her return to Canada, she worked in Toronto until moving to Calgary, where she taught at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary until 1976. She then accepted a teaching position at Concordia University from 1976 to 1977 before moving to Vancouver, where she lived and worked until 1986. At that time she took up residence in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, where she now has her permanent studio. She has worked solely as a painter and printmaker and poet, since 1978.
Her work is found in many private collections in Africa, Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Spain and the U.S.A.
Her work can also be seen in a number of public collections including: Atelier Libre, Montreal; the University of Calgary, Calgary ; the University of Alberta, Edmonton; Concordia University, Montreal; the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg; the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon; the National Library of Canada, Ottawa; la Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec, Montreal; the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library, Toronto; the Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver; the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Edmonton; the Glenbow Foundation, Calgary; the House of Alberta, London, UK; the Albert I Royal Library, Belgium; the National Hoger Institute en Koninklijke Acadamie Voor Shone Kunsten, Belgium; Xerox Canada, Toronto; Tolten Interior, Ottawa; Laing Property Development Corp.; Harper, Grey Easton & Company, Vancouver; Gardner, McDonald & Company; BC Systems Corp, Victoria; BC government buildings, Victoria; McGill University, Montreal; the Walter C. MacKenzie Health Science Centre, Edmonton; Sheraton Hotel, Saskatoon; Telus Corporation, Edmonton; and many others.
She already has over sixty group exhibitions to her credit, and her work has been exhibited in Belgium, Canada, England, France, Monaco and the United States. Over the past thirty-eight years she has had over eighty solo exhibitions. During that period Francine has received a Diplôme d’honneur from the International Arts Guild, Les Palmes d’Or des Beaux-Arts and a special mention from the Jury at Monte Carlo in 1969. She was the first prize winner in the Calona 2000-2001 wine label competition for the Pinot Noir.
She was also a winner in 2001 for the series on folklore and legend for the Royal Canadian Mint competition. Her drawing portrayed the Polish legend of “The Shoemaker in Heaven.”
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