Author: Raymond Blackwell, 1988
This essay and record is respectfully dedicated to three distinguished leaders in the field of visual arts education, and to the memory of them:
Dr. Charles Dudley Gaitskell, the only Director of Art for the Ontario Ministry of Education and founder of the Canadian Society for Education through Art (deceased 1985);
Professor Percy H. Tacon, Ontario College of Education, later Faculty of Education, University of Toronto, second and ninth president of OATA and OATAC, the forerunners of OSEA (deceased 1981);
Thomas M. Martin, vice-president in the second year of OATA‟s existence and fourth president of OATA, former assistant supervisor of Art in the Toronto Board of Education, and superintendent of schools in the Peel Board of Education
This essay represents the first-known attempt at assembling varied and scattered data into a coherent chronology of the Ontario Society for Education through Art and its antecedents under other names. The records are somewhat uneven over the forty-five years of the organization‟s existence, and from time to time there is evidence lacking of resolutions, committees and their activities, and reports and briefs. For some years, one is dependent on whatever pertinent information is contained in Journal issues. In other periods, the minutes of executive meetings and annual conferences appear to be complete and in good shape. This state of affairs is scarcely surprising for an organization totally dependent on volunteer effort, lacking in a permanent office or secretariat, and for much of its existence involving an annual turn-over of officers. The recent practice of two-year terms for most officers and retaining the same executive secretary-treasurer for some half-dozen years indicates a considerable improvement in continuity. It is quite possible now that the Society should consider the establishment of the position of archivist or historian and seek out someone interested in acting in this capacity on a long-term basis. Since this present writing effort represents the first recorded history of the Society, it is appropriate to invite comment, and contribution of pertinent information, from members new and old to see if anything can be added to the record.
OSEA’s origins go back to the early 1940‟s during wartime, i.e. World War II. No written records have been found on beginning organizational meetings or the key educational personalities involved. For the present at least, we may only deduce some of this from recorded material during the second and third years of the organization‟s existence. The first organizational name was – Ontario Association of Teachers of Art – and the beginnings were very much centred in Toronto, the location of the annual conference of the Ontario Educational Association (OEA). The Toronto we are referring to is, of course, the old City of Toronto for North York, Etobicoke and Scarborough were largely rural at that time. What urban spill-over from Toronto existed then was largely in York and East York Townships as well as villages such as Leaside, Swansea, Forest Hill, Weston, Mimico, New Toronto and Long Branch. Wartime travel then was quite restricted and the chief means of attaining significant distances was by train. Gasoline was rationed, tires were scarce and automobile production had ceased with all efforts directed to war vehicle output. In any event, many teachers could not afford an automobile and had salaries, in many cases, of less than a thousand dollars a year. Hence wide participation in a provincial organization was rather difficult in those days, if not next to an impossibility.
The educational (and art educational) picture was quite different then, too. Of course there were all of the difficulties of wartime shortages of materials and personnel developing. There were a great many elementary schools but a large percentage of them were one-room rural schools. Secondary schools were
classified into collegiate institutes (the cream of the crop!), high schools, technical schools, and continuation schools. During wartime there were approximately seventy collegiate institutes, one hundred and fifty high schools, and two hundred continuation schools. The latter were usually quite small, in many cases a staff of two teachers, and offered a rather restricted academic program to the grade twelve level. Most of the collegiate institutes had art programs, some grades nine to twelve – some grade nine or nine and ten only, in most instances taught by a teacher with qualifications in art. Art programs of any kind were rather hit and miss in the high schools and continuation schools. Technical schools per se were concentrated in cities such as Toronto with four, Hamilton, London, Ottawa and Windsor. In a number of the smaller cities and larger towns there were combination functions under such nomenclature as collegiate and vocational school or collegiate institute and technical school. Some of the major technical schools had a notable reputation for their art department, indeed a few had a heritage going back to the art and industrial schools of the late nineteenth century in Ontario.
In elementary schools, the organized art programs were mainly in larger urban areas. Very few were under the direction of a city system art supervisor. Elementary teachers were not required to hold university degrees and received their training, usually after grade thirteen graduation, in the province‟s eight Normal Schools. Only the University of Toronto had a fine arts department (art and archaeology) and secondary school teachers received their training at the Ontario College of Education in Toronto. The centre for training technical teachers was the Ontario Training College in Hamilton. The only post-secondary art school was Ontario College of Art and some of the art and design teachers in technical schools were graduates of this institution.
Only a moderate percentage of elementary school graduates proceeded to secondary school after passing High School Entrance Examinations. Province- wide examinations at the levels of secondary school were common before the war. The levels were Lower School (after grade 10), Middle School (after grade 11), and Upper School (after grade 12). The last year of Lower School provincial exams was 1937. The Report of the Minister of Education for that year gives the following statistics for Lower School art examinations:
2,800 writing the exams (the rest presumably recommended)
93 % passed.
There are no figures given for Middle School Art examinations and the evidence points to their never existing. In that same year, the number of teachers attending summer classes at the Ontario College of Art for the Department of Education is 321. The Minister‟s Report for 1945 gives the following statistics for enrolments in art classes at the secondary school level:
grade 9 – 24,675
grade 10 – 1,291
grade 11 – 330
grade 12 – 242 (of whom 191 were successful)
A mysterious statistic of 12 is given for grade 13 – mysterious because there was no grade 13 authorized program. Enrolments in vocational art were:
grade 9 – 982
grade 10 – 550
grade 11 – 302
grade 12 – 104
It is assumed that special candidates were in non-diploma adult courses offered only at Central Technical in Toronto and H.B. Beal Technical in London. These few paragraphs provide then some of the educational setting for the beginning years of the Ontario Association of Teachers of Art.
The earliest minutes that have been discovered are for an executive meeting on Saturday, December 4, 1943 at 2:00 p.m. at the YWCA on McGill Street in Toronto. Present were Prof. John Alford and Prof. Peter Brieger of the University of Toronto, Miss Joicey Horne of Toronto Normal School, Miss Alice McNair of Humberside C. I., and Miss Dorothy Medhurst of the Art Gallery of Toronto. The president, Prof. Andre Bieler of Queen‟s University, and first vice-president, Mr. Tom Martin of Bedford Park School in Toronto, were absent. Strangely no mention is made in these minutes of the past president, Prof. Percy Tacon of Ontario College of Education who obviously was absent. Most of the meeting was devoted to preliminary ideas and suggestions for speakers and other program events for the Easter, 1944 convention. Prof. Alford addressed himself to the concept of visual education, and Miss Horne was delegated to ascertain Department of Education plans for this notion via one Mr. Connor. Prof. Brieger thought the silkscreen reproductions from the National Gallery as well as Art Gallery of Toronto would be of interest to teachers of art. These may have been the silkscreen reproductions of Canadian paintings produced by the Sampson- Matthews Company of Toronto, and available largely throughout the forties and fifties. They became popular items in schools, banks, and other public buildings until people became a bit jaded with them. Now these reproductions have taken on value as collector‟s items. Finally, from the meeting discussed above, it was considered a good idea for a letter to be sent to the schools of the province regarding the Easter, 1944 program.
The next occasion on Saturday, January 22, 1944 at the same YWCA was referred to as a meeting of the executive and advisory council of the Ontario Association of Teachers of Art. The president, Prof. Bieler, was again absent due to illness, and the vice-president Tom Martin acted as chairman. Others present were Prof. Alford (honorary president), Mr. T. C. Carpenter (Supervisor of Manual Training and Art, Toronto Board of Education), Mr. Donald Howchin (Head of Art, Danforth Technical School), Prof. Tacon, Miss Horne, Miss McNair, Miss Medhurst, and Miss Inez Paul (Central Technical School). Miss Horne reported on an interview with Mr. Connor of the Department of Education indicating no immediate plans for enlarging the scope of visual education, and hence there would be no point for him to bring information to the Easter convention. Mr. Carpenter felt action should be taken to further the study of good painting in school programs. Prof. Alford pressed for a review of available prints (reproductions) for the information of teachers. It was suggested that the Hon. George Drew (Premier and Minister of Education) be approached regarding the appointment of a provincial Director of Art. Prof. Alford announced an opening meeting of the Canadian Federation of Art to be held at the gallery (i.e., Toronto) on January 27. It was further suggested that this new Federation be involved in the Easter convention program to discuss the place of art education in the future. Peter Haworth (Head of Art at Central Technical School) was proposed as a speaker on the Canadian Federation of Art. Other details for the Easter convention were discussed.
A further meeting was held on April 1, 1944 at Miss Horne‟s apartment on Dundonald Street. In attendance were Mr. Martin chairing, Mr. Carpenter, Mr. Howchin, Prof. Alford, Miss McNair, Miss Paul, and Miss Marjorie Hudgins of Vaughan Road C. I. in York Township. Members of the association nominated to take part in a joint discussion with the Canadian Federation of Art were Mr. L. Panton (Head of Art at Northern Vocational School), Miss McNair, Mr. Dawson Kennedy (Central Technical School). Miss Blanche Snell (York Memorial C.I. in York Township), Miss Horne, and Prof. Alford. Mr. Martin reported that Mr.J. L. McCullough, an inspector with Toronto Board of Education, Mr. Carpenter, Mr. J. O‟Neill, and Miss Grace Malkin (another Toronto secondary art teacher) were confirmed for a panel discussion on visual education. Arrangements at the Art Gallery of Toronto for a luncheon for sixty people at forty-five cents per person and afternoon tea for fifteen cents were reported. Motions were made for amending the Association‟s constitution to permit a second vice-president and an assistant secretary-treasurer. It was also recommended that the Association adopt a letterhead for stationery. Miss Horne arranged for four Toronto Normal School students, Aileen and Bernice Jackson, Constance Howarth, and Dorelle Ireland to assist with registration at the convention.
At the Easter convention in 1944 the minutes of the past annual meeting were read. Specifically this reference was to the second annual meeting of the Ontario Association of Teachers of Art at the Art Gallery of Toronto, Tuesday April 27, 1943. This implies the existence of a first annual meeting a year earlier, i.e., Easter, 1942 as well as the formation of the Association as a section of the Ontario Educational Association possibly some time in 1941. No records of formation or founding meetings, or as to the first president and executive, have been found. In a discussion with Mr. Tom Martin during this historical investigation it was considered quite possible that Mr. T. C. Carpenter, the aforementioned Supervisor of Manual Training and Art for the Toronto Board of Education, was very influential in the founding of the Association and may have been the first president.
Prior to 1942, it is assumed that art teachers participating in the annual OEA convention did so largely in a section composed of manual training teachers as well. Back at that time the matter of crafts was largely dealt with in manual training classes. An OEA program from the early 1930‟s mentions a “Manual Arts and Art Section” within the Elementary Department but with nothing comparable under the Colleges and Secondary Schools Department.
The OEA itself claimed roots going back to 1860 when one Robert Alexander, described as a teacher in North York, went as a delegate of the Teachers‟ Association of North York to the convention of the Teachers‟ Association of New York in Buffalo. He apparently was quite enthused with this experience, and recommended to his colleagues the formation of a provincial association of teachers in Canada West, as Ontario prior to 1867 was known then. Some of this information is slightly puzzling since there was no North York in existence as a municipality (i.e., a township, later borough, and now city) before 1923. Evidence has been found for the existence of a teachers‟ institute in North York (per se) in those early days, and also that Robert Alexander was a teacher in Newmarket. Hence the North York reference is to the name of the inspectorate within the County of York. County councils appointed their own local inspector or inspectors of schools until 1929.
In any event, Robert Alexander‟s enthusiasm seems to have been contagious amongst his colleagues in the northern part of York County, and even caught the attention of the Chief Superintendent of Education for Canada West, Dr.Egerton Ryerson. The Teachers‟ Association of Canada West was born in 1861 resulting from a founding meeting in January of that year held in the courthouse (Adelaide Street, designed by Frederick Cumberland) in Toronto. It is said that the only wry note on the occasion was introduced by the Superintendant of Schools for Toronto who felt that a project of this magnitude ought to have been conceived in Toronto rather than in a rural inspectorate.
The next pertinent step in this brief summary of OEA history came during the presidency of William MacIntosh in 1980 – 91. Mr. MacIntosh was a school inspector for Hastings County located in Madoc, and was the father of the Dr.MacIntosh who became principal of Queen‟s University some decades later. Inspector MacIntosh‟s presidential address in the 1892 convention called for an enlarged association to include school trustees and teachers at all levels. Actions resulting from this plea led to the Association becoming the Ontario Educational Association, as it was to be known for an ensuing eight decades. It is also of interest that the convention of the National Educational Association of the United States was held in Toronto in 1891, and this was likely a considerable influence on the status of the Ontario organization.
In the earlier years of the organization there was no participation by women teachers, but by 1900 OEA had a woman president – Mrs. Ada M. Hughes (nee Mason) – claimed in some sources to have been the first kindergarten teacher in Canada. Her husband was James L. Hughes, later to become chief inspector of Toronto schools and after whom one of the schools was named. There was not another woman president until 1941. Dr. James L. Hughes served as president in 1913.
Returning to minutes of the second annual meeting of the Ontario Association of Teachers of Art (1943), it was reported that the president, Prof. P. H. Tacon, delivered an address on the subject of “Art in a World at War”. The address was followed by teacher demonstrations with groups of students as follows:
kindergarten: Miss Betty Baird, Art College of Toronto (stated per se)
grades 1-3: Miss Lettie Love, Charles E. Fraser School
grades 4-6: Miss Jeanie Garland, Memorial School (figure drawing)
grades 7,8: Mr. Tom Martin, Bedford Park School
grade 9: Miss Inez Paul, Central Technical School (puppetry)
grade 9: Mr. Donald Howchin, Danforth Technical School (imaginative drawing)
senior: Mrs. W.E. Kerr, Danforth Technical School (weaving)
Saturday morning classes at Art College: Mrs. Yvonne McKague Housser
The newest and best materials available to teachers were displayed by Reeves & Sons, Artists‟ Supply, Art Metropole, and American Crayon. Lunch was served in the Old Grange House, followed by the opportunity to observe Gallery classes in painting, modelling, and construction. The executive slate of officers for 1943-1944 was presented by Miss Blanche Snell as:
honorary president: Prof. John Alford (stated per se)
past president: Prof. P. H. Tacon
president: Prof. Andre Bieler
first vice-president: Mr. Tom Martin
secretary-treasurer: Miss M. Hudgins
No resolutions or other actions are recorded for the second annual meeting.
The third annual meeting (Easter, 1944) was held at the Art Gallery of Toronto. The opening speaker, introduced by Prof. Alford, was Walter Abell, editor of the magazine Canadian Art. Mr. Abell outlined the history and aims of the magazine, including the integration of art with society. His desire was to stimulate the interest of the public to find out if there was a need for classroom material in Canadian Art. Mr. Caven Atkins and senior students in fine art at the University of Toronto gave a demonstration on form. Three films – Westwind, Canadian Landscape, and The Making of Pottery – all from the National Film Board were viewed. Following this there was a panel discussion on visual education let by inspector McCullogh assisted by T. C. Carpenter, Grace Malkin, and J. O‟Neill. The discussion was essentially on how to make the best use of films in the classroom. The panel felt that sound films were advantageous over large pictures in the classroom. Afternoon tea was served at Grange House, followed by a joint discussion with representatives of the Canadian Federation of Artists. Discussion was lead by a panel comprising Prof. Alford, L.A.C. Panton, Dawson Kennedy, Tom Martin, Blanche Snell and Alice McNair.
Four resolutions were passed at the meeting concerning making art an optional subject for entrance to normal schools, instituting summer courses for teachers, credit towards teacher qualifications for any efficient courses relevant to the teaching of art, and elementary and secondary teacher appointments to committees for revision of courses of study. The slate of officers for 1944 – 45 was:
honorary president: Prof. John Alford
past president: Prof. Andre Bieler
president: Tom Martin
first vice-president: Inez Paul
second vice-president: Caven Atkins
secretary-treasurer: Dorothy Drever
assistant secretary-treasurer: Marjorie Hudgins
Nine councillors were nominated as follows: Dr. Peter Brieger, Donald Howchin, Marjorie Seavey (Hamilton Normal School), Maude Murphy (York Memorial C.I.), Helena Currie, Howard Dierlam (Toronto), Dr. E.G. Dickenson (Lawrence Park C.I.), Jeanie Garland, and Dorothy Medhurst.
The fourth annual meeting was held April 3 and 4, 1945 at Victoria College and the Art Gallery of Toronto. The president, Tom Martin, gave a brief address and welcome. Howard Dierlam then introduced Mr. C. Dudley Gaitskell, the new provincial supervisor of art, who gave an address on experimental methods of art supervision. The teachers who arranged displays of student work gave short talks and answered questions. These included Caven Atkins, Maude Murphy, Yvonne Tully (Winchester Public School), Miss Nodwell (York Township) and Miss McColl (Morrison ungraded school – location not known).
The slate of officers for 1945 – 46 was:
honorary president: Peter Haworth
past president: Tom Martin
president: Inez Paul
first vice-president: Luke Bradley (Central Tech)
second vice-president: Howard Dierlam
secretary-treasurer: Jeanie Garland
assistant secretary-treasurer: Dorothy Drever]
The advisory council appointed was Helena Curry, Alice Rycroft (Lambton Mills
P.S. in Etobicoke), Maude Murphy, Dr. E.G. Dickenson, Constance Pole (Central Technical School), Ida Hamilton (Westdale V.S., Hamilton), Dorothy Emery (London Normal School), Marjorie Seavey, and Dorothy Medhurst.
It was moved by Blanche Snell and seconded by Marjorie Seavey that the name of the OEA section be changed to Ontario Association of Teachers of Art and Crafts (later referred to as OATAC). Another motion by Constance Pole and Inez Paul (both from Central Tech) requested that the Department of Education establish a commission composed of high and vocational school teachers, university instructors in art, and practicing artists to study and make recommendations regarding the training and supervision of teachers of art in secondary schools. Blanche Snell and Larry Panton moved that the Department of Education encourage the teaching of optional topics in history of art in secondary schools by arranging for graded teachers‟ handbooks to be written with accompanying illustrative material.
The guest speaker at the 1945 conference was Mrs. R.M. Fansler, Assistant Dean of Education and Extension, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her topic was “Education in a Museum of Art”. Frances Loring gave a demonstration in clay modelling and Florence Wyle in soap carving. There was also a discussion, “Art and the Documentary Film”, lead by Graham McInnes of National Film Board.
In the executive meetings of 1945 – 46 considerable attention was devoted to
the preparation of a brief from OATA and C (sic) in co-operation with the Canadian Federation of Artists to the Ontario Royal Commission on Education (the Hope Commission). Peter Haworth, Yvonne McKague Housser, and Frances Loring acted as liaison with the Federation. The OATA and C committee charged with preparing the brief was Luke Bradley representing vocational art, Maude Murphy representing high schools, and Howard Dierlam representing elementary schools. No evidence remains of any final brief for submission, however, minutes reveal some of the thinking expressed. The most common needs dwelt on were smaller art classes, suitable teacher training, better equipment, and longer art periods. This all sounds rather familiar and contributes to the title “Recurring Patterns” given to this essay. Common aims were described as – developing aesthetic taste and consumer appreciation, personal creative expression, training for leisure, and skills to be used in industry and teaching. It was recommended by Miss Murphy at one point that art should become a major option in high schools and collegiates. It was also suggested that art should be taught only by artists. Mr. Dierlam countered with the necessity for teachers to be versed in other subject areas, especially in elementary schools where subjects were expected to be correlated.
During the year the first vice-president, Luke Bradley, died and his office was filled by fellow teacher, Dawson Kennedy. There was an attempt made at a membership drive during the year, but it was found impossible to send notices to all of the art teachers in the province. There was discussion about approaching the Department (of Education) to see if information on the art section could go out with other memoranda to the inspectors in the field. Notices were included in OEA newsletters, and letters had been distributed to art summer school participants (the summer courses for teachers had been revived at the end of the war and were operated directly under the Department of Education by C. Dudley Gaitskell in 1945). Dr. Brieger made it known that he would welcome suggestions for the writing of a teaching handbook on the history of art.
The Easter convention and fifth annual meeting were held April 23 and 24, 1946 at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Toronto. The president, Inez Paul, opened with a welcome, a tribute to the late Luke Bradley, and a short address on the brief submitted to the Royal Commission on Education. A copy of the brief was given to each member present. This was followed by a forum on “Picture-Making” chaired by Yvonne McKague Housser. Various members brought examples of work and discussed the methods involved. These were:
k-3: Mrs. Alice Rycroft, Lambton-Kingsway Public School Etobicoke Twp.
grades 4-6: Howard Dierlam, Assistant Supervisor of Art, Toronto
grades 7-8: Jeanie Garland, Supervisor of Art, York Twp.
grades 9-10: Alice McNair, Humberside C.I.
grades 11-12: Wesley Flynn, Western Technical and Commercial School
U of T Fine Art: John Hall
Miss Ella Martin gave a talk on “Teaching Design in the Royal Ontario Museum”, Mr. F. St. G. Spendlove provided a lecture tour on “18th Century Craftsmanship in Furniture, Porcelain, and Silver”. In the afternoon at the Art Gallery, Miss Nora McCullagh spoke on her experiences as an Art Inspectress (sic) in South Africa.
In the business meeting, the treasurer‟s report showed a balance of $96.49. The resolutions presented were all internal to OEA matters principally dealing with grants for speakers, and inclusion of speakers at large who were versed in art and education. Following general business, Captain George Pepper ARCA, OSA, (later to become vice-principal of Ontario College of Art) gave an illustrated lecture on “Canadian War Art”. Dr. Robert Hubbard spoke briefly on the educational facilities of the National Gallery. Ella Martin gave a short presentation entitled, “Kodachromes of Tapestries of the 15th – 18th Centuries”. Miss Margaret Price of the St. Thomas Vocational School gave a lecture and demonstration on weaving.
The slate of officers for 1946 – 47 was presented by Larry Panton as follows:
honorary president: Peter Haworth, past president: Inez Paul, president: Dawson Kennedy, first vice-president: Howard Dierlam, second vice-president: Dr. E.G. Dickenson, secretary-treasurer: Virginia Luz (Central Tech), assistant secretary-treasurer: Dorothy Drever, councillors: Dorothy Emery, Florence Blair (an assistant supervisor,Toronto), Isobel Walkington (York County), Elizabeth Ferguson (Parkdale C. I.), Ida Cook (Mimico H. S.), Ida Hamilton, Constance Pole, and Dr. Peter Brieger, associate councillors: Ella Martin, Dorothy Medhurst
Mr. Kennedy apparently relinquished the presidency, as by September, 1946 he had been replaced by Miss Doris McCarthy (also of Central Tech).
Some interesting and historically recurring topics were handled during the executive and council meetings of 1946 – 47, in addition to the considerable time in planning the Easter 1947 convention. A plan was drawn up for regional organizations based on seventeen city-centred regions in the province. Letters were drafted to go to key people in each region, to the OATAC membership in general as well as to the provincial inspectors enlisting their assistance in the organization. By March 1947, it was reported that Sudbury, Kingston, Hamilton, and Toronto had organized in some manner with inaugural meetings and local executives. London, Niagara Falls, and Cornwall refused; Fort William and Kirkland Lake found the idea impractical for their geographic distances; North Bay and Owen Sound were not heard from. Of those reported as organized there is no information available as to what they did, or how long they lasted as a local unit of OATAC.
The recurring confusion about, and misunderstanding of, H.S.A. Type A certification, H.S.S. (High School Specialist) in Art, and Specialist in Art and Crafts (via three Department summer courses) was clarified, at least temporarily, in a January 1947 meeting involving Dr. C. D. Gaitskell and Prof. P. H. Tacon. For feature speakers at the 1947 Easter convention, such grandiose plans as inviting Mr. Herbert Read (sic) and Mr. Thomas Munro (sic), both historical giants in art education, were discussed. There was nothing indicated in the minutes as to how such ventures were to be financed given cash balances for the OATAC treasury in the neighbourhood of ninety dollars. A research committee headed by the president, Doris McCarthy, was formed but what subsequent research was initiated is unknown.
The 1947 Easter convention was held April 8 and 9 at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Toronto, There were approximately one-hundred and twenty-five members at the opening by president McCarthy. A panel discussion, “Living with Design” ensued with Prof. Charles Comfort of the University of Toronto as chairman. Panelists were Martin Baldwin (curator of the Art Gallery of Toronto), Mrs. Isabelle Whitley of Toronto, Charles Moffat of Moffat‟s Limited (appliance manufacturer), and Miss Ruth Perry, an elementary school teacher. In the afternoon the technical teachers met separately with Constance Pole reporting to the general membership the next day. Ella Martin conducted a tour of the prehistoric section of the ROM emphasizing Northwest Coast, Plains, and Pueblo Indian cultures. There were demonstrations of children‟s work in a wide variety of activities at the Art Gallery, as well as a tour of the Constable, Turner, Hogarth show.
In the annual business meeting, the treasurer reported a balance of $82.51. Numerous motions were made, and resolutions presented, dealing with further organization of the research committee idea, but dominated by the vocational teachers‟ requests for administration time allowance for heads of large departments, preparation periods for teachers, and the setting of trade tests by more widely representative teacher committees (trade tests were required for those entering vocational teaching training). The slate of officers and council for 1947 – 48 was confirmed as follows:
honorary president: Dr. Peter Brieger, past president: Doris McCarthy, president: Howard Dierlam, first vice-president: Dr. Ernest Dickenson, second vice-president: Perce Gardiner (Northern Vocational), secretary-treasurer: Florence Blair, assistant secretary-treasurer: Vivian Horne, councillors: Prof. Charles Comfort, Mrs. Jenny Irwin (North Bay Normal), Ida Cook, Elizabeth Ferguson, Virgina Luz, Constance Pole, Jean Holland (Lord Dufferin P. S., Toronto), Rozanne Tully (Kimberley P. S., Toronto, associate councillors: Ella Martin, Jean Lennox (Art Gallery), E. C. Paxton (Ontario Adult Education Board)
Mr. Eric Aldwinkle addressed the gathering on “The Practical and Impractical Uses of Art”, with about seventy-five members present. There were also displays of art from elementary, high, and technical schools.
In the spring of 1947 the executive under Mr. Dierlam‟s leadership made elaborate plans for a late September meeting of regional organization delegates. Although much of the planning recorded was detailed, there is no record of such a meeting held nor any mention of it in the proceedings of the seventh annual meeting of Easter 1948. During the year, Blanche Snell was appointed OATAC‟s film advisor with the National Film Board. The Easter 1948 convention was held at the Art Gallery, Mr. Dierlam opening proceedings for an attendance of approximately eighty members. Martin Baldwin extended a welcome on behalf of the Gallery, and Miss Jeanne Warmith of Gallery staff spoke on circulating exhibitions. Dr. C. D. Gaitskell brought greetings (and always the latest news) from the Department of Education. The feature speaker was the very energetic head of art education at Detroit‟s Wayne University, Dr. Jane Betsey Welling, with an address entitled, “Art – A Dynamic Force in Education”. Luncheon for approximately fifty people was served at the Pineapple Court for $1.00 per plate. The display manager for Eaton‟s College Street (a Mr. Fellowes) gave a lecture on “Design in Modern Living”. The main resolution reported in the business meeting had to do with class size for crafts classes in high schools and collegiate institutes with a recommendation for the formula used in vocational schools i.e., a maximum of twenty students in such classes.
There was a lively panel discussion, “The Place of Crafts in an Art Program”, carried on by Dr. Dickenson, Dr. Gaitskell, Charles Howitt (an inspector in one of the York regions), Larry Panton, and Louis Shore (Central H.S. of Commerce) gave demonstrations in leather, silkscreen, weaving, and metal work. Displays of pictures from Ottawa Public Schools under George Buckland, and Grey County via Miss Margaret McCormack (supervisor in that area) were arranged in the Print Room of the Gallery.
The slate of officers and council for 1948 – 49 was:
honorary president: Dr. Peter Brieger, past president: Howard Dierlam, president: Dr. Ernest Dickenson, first vice-president: Perce Gardiner, second vice-president: Rozanne Tully, secretary-treasurer: Miss Grizelda Bovaird (East York C. I.), assistant secretary-treasurer: Miss Muriel Wilson (Oriole Park P. S.), councillors: Prof. Charles Comfort, Jennie Irwin, Geoffrey Tomkinson (Lambton Park P. S., Etobicoke Twp.), Jean Holland, Mathilda Ziehr (Kitchener), Dorothy Campbell (Oakwood C. I.), Allan Sullivan (Northern Vocational), Frederick Savard (Danforth Tech), Ella Martin, and Jeanne Warmith.
During the 1948 – 49 term there was some exploration of the concept of a ceramic centre for Toronto in connection with the Ontario Handcraft Guild. Actions were taken for establishing committees to study the art curriculum of technical schools, collegiate institutes, and high schools and recommend on changes. Some progress was reported at the 1949 annual meeting with findings set out in a pamphlet called, “Do We Agree?”, but no physical evidence seems to remain of this document. Similarly no further record on the ceramic centre development has been found. Again, the notion of having Dr. Herbert Read as principal speaker was revived. Obviously by Easter 1949 plans had changed, for on April 19 at the convention the speaker was Miss Helen Copley, Supervisor of Art for the Detroit Public Schools, with an illustrated lecture on child art. Greetings from the Department of Education were brought by Col. Stanley Watson, Superintendent of Curriculum and Textbooks, who mentioned what the minutes refer to as a „new Teachers‟ Handbook”. One afternoon of the convention program was in conjunction with the Women‟s Physical Education Section of the OEA for a demonstration on correlation of dance and art by a Miss Johnson from University of Wisconsin. In the annual business meeting, there were motions for investigating the possibility of OATAC joining with the U.S. Eastern Arts Association and affiliating with the National Education Association (U.S.), as well as urging the council of the Art Gallery of Toronto to resume Saturday morning classes for children. Mr. Dierlam gave a talk on the work of Miss Todd in the Chicago schools, and members were invited to see special displays of that work in the Art Centre at King Edward Public School in Toronto. There was a demonstration by Manly Macdonald on his approach to painting landscapes in oils, as well as tours of the Chinese galleries of the ROM by Ella Martin. Geoffrey Tomkinson, art teacher in Lambton Park school in Etobicoke demonstrated paper sculpture with grades four and five and picture-making in pastel chalks with grades six to eight. The convention concluded by going to Hart House, University of Toronto for a demonstration of working in art with lower grades by Jeanie Garland, the supervisor in York Township, as well as proceeding to the Art Gallery for a special exhibition on Picasso. The executive given for 1949 – 50 was:
honorary president: Prof. Charles Comfort, past president: Dr. Ernest Dickenson, president: Prof. Percy Tacon, first vice-president: Rozanne Tully, second vice-president: Grizelda Bovaird, secretary-treasurer: Muriel Wilson, recording secretary: Louise Griffith (Jarvis C. I.), nominating committee chair: Viola Depew (Supervisor of Art for Hamilton Public Schools)
No mention was made of names for an advisory council, however, names such as Hall, Sullivan, McNair, Wilson, Martin, Holland, and Tomkinson are recorded as attending some of the ensuing executive meetings. The two of these meetings during the remainder of 1949 dealt with the closure of the Art Gallery‟s Saturday morning classes (tabled), affiliation with the Eastern Art Association (delegated to Mr. Dierlam for follow-up), and initial planning for the 1950 conference, hoping to have Dr. Viktor Lowenfeld of Penn State University as principal speaker.
In its founding and during the first decade as its own organization, the
Ontario Association of Teachers of Art was very much a city of Toronto – centred affair. Education at this time, and for at least the Depression years of the 1930‟s, was subject to very prosaic and traditional attitudes as well as necessarily very tight purse strings for all public expenditures. Art education suffered similarly, if not more, because of these conditions, mixed theoretical notions about purpose and direction, and the thriving support for specialized treatment of subjects such as manual training and home economics. The support for these latter so-called “practical” subjects has been pretty well proven historically to be an illusion as many of the changes in practice in these areas since have also indicated. Dr. Gaitskell came to Ontario in 1944, and Dr. Althouse, the
Chief Director of the Ontario Department of Education, with wise foresight could see the beneficial influences of fresh thinking not only in relation to art education but to education generally. Very early in his Ontario career, Dr. Gaitskell vigorously and effectively attacked many of the educational practices carried on under the name of “crafts‟ in the manual training program.
It was really no coincidence that OATA became OATAC after only a few years, and showed recognition for the name of the Department summer courses that Dr. Gaitskell had directly re-introduced in 1945 under the name of “Summer Courses in Art and Crafts”. While educational conditions and some of the practices of OEA itself made the fledgling art education organization rather Toronto- centred in its first decade, OATAC can be credited with noteworthy involvement as members, officers, or speakers of a number of historically significant artists in Canada. The names of Peter Haworth, Andre Bieler, Percy Tacon, Larry Panton, Yvonne McKague Housser, Frances Loring, Florence Wyle, Charles Comfort, Caven Atkins and John Hall all crop up in this context.
Arrangements went forth with Dr. Lowenfeld who indicated he would need a fee of eighty dollars to cover his expenses in coming to Toronto. OATAC hoped to make arrangements with OEA to cover this expense by sharing Dr. Lowenfeld‟s expertise with another section such as Teacher Training. It was apparent that OATAC had no plans at this time to hold the convention at the Art Gallery since investigations for other locations were under way. Mention was made of an increased fee for members but no figures given. Plans for a newsletter to members outlining the 1950 program were undertaken.
The 1950 convention was held on April 10 and 11 at the new Wallberg Building, University of Toronto, at the corner of College and St. George Streets. The meeting was opened by the president, Prof. Tacon, with displays from the Royal Grammar School in Surrey and from Ontario secondary schools as an environment. Louis Shore, now attached to the Essex School Art Unit (a research project provided by the Department of Education), provided a program of films including such titles as Creative Hands, Paper Sculpture, Finger Painting, Drawing to Music, Fiddle – De – Dee, and The Loon’s Necklace.
Dr. Lowenfeld was unable to attend because of illness and sent his colleague, Mr. Edward Mattil in his stead. Mr. Mattil‟s topic was “The Crisis of Adolescence”. In addition to his experiences at Penn State University, he drew on some of the work of Dr. C. D. Gaitskell and Victor D‟Amico of the Museum of Modern Art. He even outlined a series of lessons he used with early adolescents. Afterward a luncheon was held in his honour at Mary Millichamp‟s Restaurant in Yorkville with about thirty executive and members present. John Hall chaired a panel on the topic of art and crafts for the adolescent with contributions from Louis Shore, Bob Short (Northern Vocational), Dr. Dickenson, and Jean Holland. The annual meeting was held on the Wednesday with nothing unusual in the way of motions and resolutions. A. J. Casson ARCA, OSA, Art Director at the Sampson-Matthews company spoke on how an artist builds a picture. Dr. C. D. Gaitskell reported on the work of the Essex Art Unit with regard to elementary school picture-making, secondary school conditions, and the art work of brilliant and retarded children.
The slate of officers for 1950 – 51 confirmed was:
honorary president: Prof. Charles Comfort, past president: Prof. Percy Tacon, president: Rozanne Tully, first vice-president: Grizelda Bovaird, second vice-president: Philip Green (Head at Western Technical and Commercial), secretary-treasurer: Muriel Wilson, recording secretary: Louise Griffith (Jarvis C. I.), councillors: Jean Holland, Florence Hart (supervisor of art, Oshawa),
Alan Sullivan, Helen Marr (supervisor of art, Guelph), Rhea Snider (Suddeby P. S., Kitchener), John McGinnis (Ryerson P. S., Hamilton), Dr. Ernest Dickenson, Geoffrey Tomkinson, Florence Blair.
In an executive meeting in the June following, Rozanne Tully read a letter from the Eastern Arts Association. This undoubtedly was follow-up activity to the investigation begun by Howard Dierlam a year or so earlier. The executive agreed to the general idea but also decided to carefully re-examine the constitution, and if felt appropriate revise it. As part of the conditions of joining, the question of a news bulletin was discussed, and the committee established to look into this matter was Misses Griffth, Wilson, Tully, and Bovaird along with Messrs. Tomkinson and Green. Discussion was also held on the advisability of Friday meetings to accommodate more out-of-town members.
In the October, 1950 executive meeting, Mr. Philip Green brought in a report, with a sample cover, for publishing an OATAC bulletin of approximately ten or eleven pages and in a run of approximately two hundred and fifty copies. Much of the remaining executive meetings was taken up in plans and organization for the Easter 1951 convention. Ideas and plans underwent change as the year progressed. At the end of 1950 a new secretary for OEA itself was announced in the person of Mr. Gordon Finlayson of Bessborough School in Leaside.
At the March, 1951 executive meeting it was announced that OATAC had now joined the Eastern Arts Association, had already received considerable literature, and that Mr. Dierlam would represent OATAC at the Association‟s Easter convention in New York. It was also reported that plans were well underway for the chief speaker at OATAC‟s Easter convention to be Miss Lola Mae Anderson, an art education official in Los Angeles. She was already planning to be in New York and could be brought to Toronto from there.
The convention was somewhat earlier than usual because of Easter falling on March 26. Because the University‟s Wallberg Building was still in use on the 27th and 28th, the OATAC convention was held at the Art Gallery. In opening the program, Mr. Louis Shore of the Essex Art Unit showed interesting films including one that he had made on the activity theme of “Animules”. Florence Hart introduced Lola Mae Anderson, the supervisor for the Los Angeles schools. Miss Anderson gave considerable attention to the public relations efforts that art teachers could positively indulge in. She concluded by using coloured slides that helped to illustrate many of her speaking points. Appreciation to Miss Anderson was expressed by Miss Griffith on behalf of OATAC. Members were also permitted to witness a variety of elementary and secondary workshops, and in the afternoon proceeded to Eaton‟s (College Street) for a talk on interior decorating.
In the business meeting the next day, a significant resolution was presented by Albert Mallon with seconding from Ernest Tindall. The resolution to be forwarded to the OEA had to do with the Department of Education including art as an optional grade 13 subject, given the special value to Normal School candidates and citing the success of courses for the first four years at many collegiate institutes. Several items in the OATAC constitution were presented for changes to bring it up to date with OEA policy, and the amendments were adopted.
The new executive for 1951 – 52 was presented by Helen Marr as follows:
honorary president: Prof. Charles Comfort (University of Toronto), past president: Rozanne Tully (Kimberley P. S. in Toronto), president: Grizelda Bovaird (East York CI), first vice-president: Philip Green (Western Technical), second vice-president: Geoffrey Tomkinson (Lambton-Kingsway P. S. in Etobicoke), secretary-treasurer: Miss Jean MacBeth (New Toronto), recording secretary: Louise Griffith (Jarvis C. I.), councillors: John McGinnis (Ryerson P. S. in Hamilton), Florence Hart
(supervisor in Oshawa), Helen Marr (supervisor in Guelph), Alan Sullivan (Northern Vocational), John Wray (supervisor in Leaside), Muriel Wilson (Oriole Park P. S.), Henrietta Outerbridge (Forest Hill C. I.), Dr. Ernest Dickenson (Lawrence Park C. I.), Ella Martin (ROM), and Mrs. Stuart Bagnani (AGT).
Florence Blair and Florence Hart were to act as auditors.
The program on Wednesday also included presentations by Prof. Charles Comfort, R. York Wilson, and slides on composition in modern art prepared by John Hall of the University of Toronto.
The first executive meeting for 1951 – 52 was in June, 1951 under the chairmanship of the new president, Grizelda Bovaird. With respect to one resolution from the Easter conference, this executive decided to act directly rather than go through the OEA. Hence Jean MacBeth was directed to write to the National Gallery in Ottawa asking for the Gallery‟s co-operation in arranging exhibitions of their original work in some of the more remote parts of the country. The executive also wished to forward best wishes and a gift to Rozanne Tully who was about to be married. Louise Griffith was named editor for the OATAC publication, Miss Bovaird agreeing to supply the cover and arrange for mimeographing. The theme of “Selling Art to the Public” was planned and teachers were to be asked for articles.
At the next executive meeting in October, 1951, the Art Gallery of Toronto had sent a new representative – Miss Shirley Driver and Rozanne Tully now
attended as Mrs. Edmondson. There was some discussion about the National Gallery providing more prints, and the Art Gallery of Toronto preparing portfolios suitable for teaching purposes. A committee was named to look into preparing sets of student work for circulation in schools. The current issue of OATAC was commended and Miss Griffith requested to prepare a second issue in early 1952 with the assistance of Miss Outerbridge. Much of the remaining executive meetings went into planning the convention program and OATAC matters.
The convention was held at the Art Gallery on April 13 and 14, 1952 with Dr. Charles D. Gaitskell as principal speaker dealing with UNESCO and the Seminar on Visual Art Education held the previous summer in Britain at Bristol. He reflected on several imbalances in education with respect to art represented by a range of the thirty countries with delegates present. Mr. Geoffrey Tomkinson of Lambton-Kingway school (Etobicoke Twp.) then gave a demonstration on book design and book binding. Dr. Peter Brieger gave a brief description of University of Toronto‟s course in art and archaeology. Several of the executive gave illustrated lectures on practical topics. Lunch was held at Clarendon Hall with Billy Button, author of I Married an Artist as speaker.
Miss Griffith reported on the two issues of OATAC in the business meeting, indicating $35.00 cost and 10 pages for the first issue and 20 pages for the second. Several resolutions to support production of OATAC were presented by Miss Griffith, seconded by Albert Mallon. Dr. Dickenson, seconded by Mr. Tomkinson, moved that resolutions favouring extension to grade 13 for art and favouring double art periods be sent to the Department of Education to the special attention of the Chief Director.
Mr. Thor Hansen with responsibilities in the new British American Building on Bay Street spoke about applied design emphasizing native designs and motifs. A tour of his work at the B. A. Building was arranged for the afternoon. The following executive and council for 1952 – 53 was presented by Mrs. Rozanne Edmondson and Ernest Tindall:
honorary president: Prof. Stephen Vickers (U. of T.), president: Ella Martin (ROM) (East York CI), first vice-president: E. Geoffrey Tomkinson (Etobicoke), second vice-president: Louise Griffith (Jarvis C. I.), secretary-treasurer: Jean MacBeth (supervisor in New Toronto), recording secretary: John Wray (supervisor, Leaside). councillors: Florence Hart (supervisor, Oshawa), Jean Holland (Toronto),
Isobel Lindsay (Scarborough C.I.), Henrietta Outerbridge (Forest Hill C.I.), Muriel Wilson (Toronto), Shirley Driver (Art Gallery), Charles Cudmore (Hamilton), Alan Johnson (Danforth Tech).
Dorothy Scanlon of Swansea and R. P. Montgomery of Toronto were appointed auditors.
Several of the executive meetings for 1952 – 53 took place at Federation House. At an early meeting a membership committee was appointed comprising Charles Cudmore, Viola DePew (Supervisor of Art in Hamilton) and a Miss Wishart. “A Recipe for Art” was established as a theme for the current OATAC publication. In the fall of 1952 Albert Mallon was nominated as corresponding secretary and treasurer. This indicates that Miss MacBeth resigned but no indication or reason was given in the minutes. Mr. Dierlam brought in further clarification of the duties of an affiliate of Eastern Arts Association (one of four large U.S. associations). Due to a problem relating to affiliate membership numbers, OATAC decided to let Eastern Arts know of a decision not to affiliate, but it was still decided to send articles to Eastern Arts for publication.
It was indicated from Dr. Althouse (Chief Director, Department of Education) that the resolution about grade 13 art would be passed on to the matriculation committee. Dr. Althouse also indicated positively the value of art at this level especially for prospective Normal School students, but stipulated that a grade 13 examination of high standard would also be necessary. The program for the Easter convention was also discussed heavily at several executive meetings. The 1953 convention was held at the Art Gallery on April 7 and 8. The walls of the pertinent room held a variety of paintings submitted by art teachers in the province. Arthur Lismer was featured in an opening NFB film. There was a round discussion involving several OATAC executive and local officials on topics of a practical nature. John Martin, director of the design department at Ontario College of Art, spoke on “Visual Pleasure in Everyday Things”. Lunch was held at Clarendon Hall with Pearl McCarthy, art critic at the Globe and Mail, as speaker. The next day featured presentations by Geoffrey Tomkinson, and Frank Morrison of a major display company (Blaikie Morrison and Company). Prof. Vickers chaired a panel on art in the schools. Members were Frank Tumpane, journalist, Rev. W. P. Jenkins, parent, W. J. Houston, principal, and Anne Savage, prominent art teacher from Montreal. At the business meeting, Miss Griffith and Mr. Mallon presented a resolution that art be given the same status as other optional subjects in the secondary schools. The following executive and council was presented for 1953 – 54:
honorary president: Prof. Stephen Vickers (U. of T.), president: E. Geoffrey Tomkinson (East York CI), past president: Ella Martin (ROM), first vice-president: Louise Griffith, second vice-president: Fred Savard, correspondence secretary and treasurer: Albert Mallon, recording secretary: John Wray, OATAC Editor: Florence Hart, councillors: Miss Mabel Appel (Etobicoke), Helen Carscadden (Guelph C. I.), Dr. Ernest Dickenson, Shirley Driver, Rozanne Edmondson, Roy Hughes (York Twp.), Allan Johnson, Isobel Lindsay, Oliver Neff (supervisor, Galt), Muriel Wilson.
At the spring meeting of the 1953 – 54 executive and council the OATAC magazine was discussed for variety of contents, printing, advertising, and a permanent design for the cover. At least a dozen ideas for types of content were recorded. The journal that came out following (presumably in the fall of 1953) was rather thin by comparison to today‟s Society‟s, but was well-written, edited, and turned out. The OATAC cover design was one by Geoff Tomkinson. This is the earliest example of the OATAC journal on file. The longest article, and the one considered to be rather scholarly, was by Dr. Gordon A. Clubine of the Galt Collegiate and Vocational School. It was entitled “Concerning the Crisis of Art Education in Ontario” and followed the completion of his doctoral dissertation at Columbia University, dealing with an in-depth study of art education in Ontario secondary schools. The “Crisis”, apparently, was resulting from fundamentalist attitudes in education following the retrogressive admiration for “the little red school house” as espoused by the Minister of Education, Dr. William Dunlop.
Another issue was prepared for the spring of 1954 with Florence Hart showing considerable editing leadership and initiating some advertising. The journal
was beginning to cost more because of the printing but the advertising revenue helped to offset this. Some complimentary copies were issued to key educational libraries and the art critics for the three Toronto daily papers. This issue included an article on Dr. Edwin Ziegfeld of Columbia University because he was also then chairman of the planning committee for the International Society for Education through Art. It was also appropriate as he was the main speaker as well for the 1954 OATAC convention following in April. Another article, “Art Examinations in Secondary Schools”, was by William J. Withrow, at that time the art teacher for Earl Haig Collegiate in Willowdale.
The convention that spring was held at the Art Gallery in a room containing major displays of elementary and secondary schools from approximately ten major sources in the province. Dr. Gaitskell brought greetings from the province and mentioned preliminary work on a constitution for a national society. He was hoping to meet a few art education leaders in Edmonton that fall for further planning of a Canadian society. He also referred to his new book on “Art Education during Adolescence” being printed for the Department of Education. Tom Martin spoke to the group on his most recent involvement, i.e. using the medium of television as a public means of teaching art. Dr. Ziegfeld was the main speaker for the convention on the topic of “Student Responsibility in Program Planning”. He also very ably answered a wide range of questions following his address. Lunch was held at Clarendon Hall, with Mr. Walter Bowles, a well-known broadcaster for CJBC radio in Toronto, as guest speaker.
At the business meeting the next day three additional names were added to the advisory council after some argument from the floor about provincial representation. The three added were George Buckland of Ottawa, Hazel Grimmon of Kirkland Lake and Garnet Humphrey of Windsor. The new executive was headed by president Louis Griffith and some new faces on the Council included John Roper and William Withrow from the North York secondary schools, Dorothea Van Luven from the Oshawa collegiate, Dorothy Campbell of Oakwood Collegiate, and Charles Jolliffe of Pickering District High School. Dr. Naomi Jackson of McMaster University became honorary president, and Roy Hughes of York Township became recording secretary.
The executive and council meetings of 1954 – 55 were held entirely at the home of the President, Louise Griffith, in Leaside in spite of some talk about using Federation House. Most of these meetings were held on Saturdays to accommodate the increased number of out-of-town representatives. Plans for the convention and detailed ideas for the OATAC Journal were frequently discussed. Miss Alice McNair‟s name was suggested for forwarding to OEA as a candidate for life membership.
The Easter convention was held in April at the Art Gallery. On display was a collection of Windsor elementary school art arranged by Mr. G. Humphrey and an exhibit of Oshawa secondary school work was set up by Dorothea Van Luven. Each of the two councillors was given an opportunity to speak about the exhibits. Dr. C. Dudley Gaitskell was the principal speaker with the topic of “Art Education through Adolescence”. He was followed by a woodcarver (Alfred Perry) demonstration introduced by Charles Jolliffe. Lunch was held at Clarendon Hall with Dorothy Jane Goulding (Mrs. William Needles) as speaker on the topic of the Stratford Festival.
Two resolutions were presented in the second day‟s meeting:
That the Ontario College of Art be invited to have a representative on
the OATAC Advisory Council;
That the question of optional subjects in secondary school be made a free, uninhibited choice to all students regardless of general ability.
The business meeting was followed by a panel on secondary school art made up of a wide variety of educational representation and chaired by Geoff Tomkinson. Following this, Mr. Sydney Watson, the new principal of Ontario College of Art to succeed the late Larry Panton, was introduced. The slate of officers and councillors for 1955 – 56 approved was:
honorary president: Dr. Naomi Jackson, president: Florence Hart, past president: Geoffrey Tomkinson, first vice-president: Albert Mallon, second vice-president: Garnet Humphrey, correspondence secretary and treasurer: John Roper, recording secretary: Roy Hughes, OATAC Editor: Geoffrey Tomkinson & William Withrow, councillors: Dorothy Campbell, Charles Jolliffe, a Miss M. Pelan of Leaside High School (later Mrs. Brock), Oliver Neff, Dorothy Scanlon of Swansea P.S., Alan Scobie of Central Technical, Keith Hackett of Lambton- Kingsway school, Mabel Appel also of Etobicoke, Miss D. Fitzgibbon of ROM, Shirley Driver of the Gallery, and John Alfsen of Ontario College of Art.
At the first executive meeting in the spring of 1955, the president reported the membership as of Easter to be 126 which was an increase of about 10 over the previous spring. Plans for two issues of the OATAC Journal, advertising, and the need for both promised and controversial articles were discussed. Mr. Tomkinson volunteers to ask Dr. Dickenson for an article on why there should be no examinations in art. The treasurer indicated a balance of $424.38. The executive and council discussed the need for a committee for setting up a grade 13 art program and concluded that the association should play a leading role. Planning for the 1956 Easter convention also received considerable attention. A decision to recommend the nomination of Dr. Arthur Lismer to OEA life membership was reached.
At the convention on April 3 and 4, 1956 exhibits of student art work were displayed from Hamilton public schools by Charles Cudmore, the supervisor, and Earl Haig Collegiate in Willowdale under William Withrow‟s collation. Louise Griffith chaired a panel discussion “Has Art Become Too Non-Objective in Our Schools” and involved John Alfsen, Charles Jolliffe, Louis Shore, Al Mallon, Jock MacDonald of the Ontario College of Art and Rozanne Edmundson. The audience was divided into four groups at one point – Primary with Mabel Appel, Senior with Roy Hughes, Secondary with Mildred Brock, and Supervisors with Garnet Humphrey. The luncheon speaker at Clarendon Hall was Frances Loring, the well-known sculptor.
A proposed grade 13 course of study was outlined at the business meeting by Al Mallon resulting from a direct challenge by the Department of Education. The following people had been selected and met for this purpose – Sydney Watson, John Alfsen, Charles Whetmore, and Dorothy Hoover from the Art College, Percy Tacon from College of Education, Joicey Horne and Ray Blackwell from the Teachers‟ College, Ian McNairn, Edwy Cook and John Hall from the University, Florence Hart, Dorothea Van Luven, Charles Joliffe, Bill Withrow, and Al Mallon directly from OATAC. Dr. Gaitksell served as an overall advisor.
A resolution strongly urging all secondary schools to make art available as an option was moved by William MacKenzie of Toronto. Dudley Gaitskell, introduced by Dorothea Van Luven, spoke about the Canadian Society for Education through Art which had been formed the previous fall. Alan Jarvis, Director of the National Gallery, spoke on the role of that institution. The convention closed after a presentation by Pickering High School‟s drama club under the direction of Charles Jolliffe. The executive for 1956 – 57 was:
honorary president: Prof. Ian McNairn, past president: Florence Hart, president: Albert Mallon, first vice-president: Garnet Humphrey, second vice-president: William Withrow, secretary treasurer: John Roper, recording secretary: Mabel Appel, editorial staff: Louis Griffith and Dorothy Scanlon
The 1956 spring journal outlined some items from the Easter conference, and gave a brief outline of the founding conference for CSEA in Quebec City the previous November. This journal featured “Lettering and Writing in Our Schools” and the entire issue was handwritten in italics by Geoff Tomkinson who had been editor.
The first executive and council meeting was held in June, 1956 at Federation House on a Saturday. The decision was made that the committee outline for a grade 13 art program be forwarded to Dr. Gaitskell for the attention of appropriate authorities including Dr. Althouse. There was considerable discussion about the journal. William MacKenzie felt that the journal and several more prominent magazines such as MacLean‟s should be used for art publicity. A committee to write and endorse writings was established with Mr. MacKenzie as chairman. Mr. Humphrey moved that OATAC establish a policy to assist the current president financially to attend the CSEA Assembly and report back to OATAC. For 1956 November the CSEA Assembly was to be held in Winnipeg and $100.00 was approved to assist Mr. Mallon attending. Later at a fall meeting it was proposed that the OATAC membership fee be increased to three dollars to encourage and enable CSEA membership as well. It was also brought to executive and council attention that OATAC members could be associate members of the Art Gallery of Toronto, and this was approved by motion.
The Easter convention 1957 at the Art Gallery featured an exhibition from elementary and secondary schools of Peterborough as co-ordinated by Gertrude Cox, supervisor, and Zoltan Temesy, secondary school head. Paul Bennett of the advisory council presented slides on a European art tour. Dr. Gaitskell reported on CSEA with indication that the November, 1957 assembly would be in Toronto. There were discussion groups on improving the art program and the guest speakers the first day were Paul Duval, author and critic, and Prof. Charles Comfort, artist and teacher. At the business meeting on the Wednesday, the president, Mr. Mallon, explained the new membership fee of three dollars as including group associate membership in the Art Gallery as well as individual membership in CSEA. It was also indicated that OATAC would be responsible for an Ontario schools exhibition at the CSEA Assembly in November. This responsibility, with a theme about Ontario for the exhibition, was ultimately taken on by Ray Blackwell with assistance from Roy Hughes and John Roper. Mr. Mallon also reported on the grade 13 proposed course of study, that he had discussed it with Dr. Althouse, University of Toronto‟s committee for course revision had examined it, and after discussions by Col. Watson, Dr. Lewis Beattie and Dr. Gaitskell it was in Department hands. A resolution followed by Paul Bennett that the Department be commended for its interest and encouragement, and when practical details were worked out for the grade 13 exam, that Department of Education officials arrange with Ontario universities for follow-up implementation.
The Wednesday morning program also included an inspiring address by Dr. Kenneth Weinbrenner of the State University of Buffalo. Dr. Weinbrenner was generally well known by this time for his sometimes controversial, sometimes humorous, articles in School Arts magazine. He was followed by a demonstration of jewellery-making by some of his students at Buffalo. The meeting closed by journey next door to tour the new building facilities for the College of Art.
The slate brought in for OATAC for 1957 – 58 was:
honorary president: Prof. Ian McNairn, president: Garnet Humphrey, past president: Albert Mallon, first vice-president: John Roper, second vice-president: Mabel Appel, secretary treasurer: Paul Bennett (Royal York C. I., Etobicoke), recording secretary: Mrs. Mildred Brock, editorial staff: Louise Griffith, Gertrude Cox Ernest Tindall (Etobicoke), councillors: Charles Cudmore, Mrs. Doris Grimwood (Windsor), Maralin Munro (supervisor in Brantford), Dorothy Scanlon, William Withrow, Florence Hart, William MacKenzie, Roy Hughes, Charles Jolliffe, Ray Blackwell, Carl Schaefer (OCA), Eugenia Berlin (ROM), Dorothy Wiggle (AGT).
In the first executive meeting in June 1957, there was discussion about changing the name of the association to bring it more into line with the new Canadian one. Louise Griffith moved, seconded by Gertrude Cox, that OATAC‟s name be changed to become the Ontario Society for Education through Art. It was also moved and seconded that the president attend the fall CSEA meeting in Toronto, expenses paid. New letterhead for OSEA was discussed but deferred because the treasurer‟s balance was down due to lower membership in the current year. In an early fall meeting, word had been received by Florence Hart that Prof. Ian McNairn had to resign since he was taking up a new position as head of the University of British Columbia department of fine art. It was decided to ask Prof. Vickers to resume the position of honorary president. With respect to the magazine it was decided to retain the same name until the association was changed in name and constitution. Another fall meeting was held in November while people were downtown for the CSEA assembly.
The feature guest speaker at the Easter convention, April 1958, was Mrs. Elizabeth Harrison, the dynamic supervisor of art in Kingston, who was ably introduced by Maralin Munro of Brantford. Louise Griffith presented the rationale for changing from OATAC to OSEA and this was officially moved and accepted. Delegates to this conference were treated to sample bags of materials and pamphlets that were supplied by the CSEA patrons‟ organization of suppliers. This was the beginning of many years of involvement of this organization with OSEA conventions. The luncheon was held at the Art Gallery with Dr. Gaitskell as speaker principally on what remained to be done in art education in Ontario. After lunch there was also a lecture and demonstration by members of the Stratford Festival Company. The following day Al Mallon reported on the grade 13 course as being still under consideration but with a new committee established to revise courses for grades 11 and 12, presumably to prepare a solid foundation for a grade 13 course. Miss Griffith reported on the association name change, pointing out the necessity for renaming the publication.
The following slate was brought in for executive and advisory council for 1958–59:
honorary president: Prof. Stephen Vickers, president: John Roper, past president: Garnet Humphrey, first vice-president: Mabel Appel, second vice-president: Charles Jolliffe (now of North York), secretary treasurer: Ernest Tindall, recording secretary: Mrs. Mildred Brock, councillors: Dorothy Wigle, Eugenia Berlin, Dorothy Hoover, Ray Blackwell,
Roy Hughes, Don Shaw (K-W), William Withrow, Maralin Munro, Mrs. Doris Grimwood (Windsor), Charles Cudmore, Keith Hackett, Al Good (East York C. I.) and Al Mallon. Louise Griffith and Gertrude Cox continued as co-editors.
At the first meeting in June action was taken to name the publication the
OSEA Journal. There was some discussion of the possibility of regional groups prompted by plans for such a unit in the Windsor area. There was also discussion of publicity through OEA literature and particularly to bring OSEA to the attention of elementary school staffs.
For the 1959 Easter convention John Londerville, Principal of Hamilton Teachers‟ College was the featured speaker on a topic related to art and elementary education. The display of student art work for this convention was from Kitchener-Waterloo and was organized by Beatrice Hatch, the art director in Kitchener. Zoltan Temesy of Peterborough gave a presentation on industrial design, and the luncheon speaker was Gerry Moses, art director for Imperial Oil. Doris Grimwood gave a brief report on the Essex County Society for Education through Art, Charles Cudmore on the Hamilton Society, and Ray Blackwell reported on the Vancouver assembly of CSEA the previous November. Dr. Gaitskell brought greetings and information from the Department, and Jim Siebert, supervisor for St. Catharines and Roy Hughes, assistant supervisor in York Township gave practical demonstrations. Following a mixed panel, Sydney Watson spoke briefly and invited delegates to visit the College of Art. Mabel Appel of Etobicoke became president of OSEA for 1959 – 60. This second decade of the Society‟s existence provided the occasion for a number of significant events and changes. The institution of the Canadian Society for Education through Art in the middle of the decade, and largely due to the organizational efforts of Ontario‟s Director of Art, Dr. C. D. Gaitskell, gave considerable incentive to art educators as well as the urge to change OATAC
to OSEA. The Society was able to be more attentive to considerably wider provincial representation in its structural make-up including the executive and advisory council. A very practical step was taken in the Society‟s direct influence on the beginning of preparation for a grade 13 course of study, as well as its quite direct involvement in revising sources for the whole Senior Division. Prior to this, the Journal was begun, modestly at first, and investigation of affiliating with art education organizations in the United States was undertaken.
The executive and council held its usual number of meetings at Federation House carrying on normal business and extensively planning for the Easter 1960 program which was held on April 19 and 20. The featured display of student work was a Canadian Junior Red Cross collection co-ordinated by Kay Herman through CSEA connections. The delegates actually split into elementary and secondary interests for part of the first morning with the secondary people meeting at College of Art for a panel on new work for grades 11 and 12 courses. The elementary people remained at the Gallery for demonstrations of methods and techniques. The guest speaker later in the day was Vincent Tovell of the CBC on television and art education. After a buffet lunch in the Gallery‟s sculpture court, groups left to visit studios of Alan Collier, York Wilson, and Frances Loring as arranged by Al Good. At the business meeting, the main resolution was intended to put pressure on the Department to get the grade 13 course in operation by September, 1961. Dr. Gaitskell also gave an address on five major art educators and did this fine work as a replacement for Dr. Lismer who had been scheduled to be the speaker. This Easter gathering for OEA and its sections was a celebration of 100 years of OEA existence. Special honour certificates were given and the OSEA one was granted to Dorothea Van Luven of Oshawa. The meeting closed with a short address of welcome by George Pepper, vice-principal of the College of Art.
The slate brought in for 1960 – 61 was Stephen Vickers honorary president, Mabel Appel past president, Charles Jolliffe president, Doris Grimwood first vice-president, Al Good second vice-president, Mildred Brock secretary- treasurer, and Keith Hackett, now at the new Lakeshore Teachers‟ College, as recording secretary. The editorial board was Louis Griffin, Gertrude Cox, and Roy Hughes.
The advisory council was made up of Janet Ajzenstat (Art Gallery), Eugenia Berlin, Dorothy Hoover, Ray Blackwell, William Withrow, William Parrot (Owen Sound C.V.I.), Charles Cudmore, Zoltan Temesy, Marjorie Allport (Lakeshore Board), John Roper, Nancy Main (Thistletown C.I., Etobicoke), Michael Smykaluk (Belleville‟s Quinte Secondary), Douglas Butler (North York) and Gordon Hauser (Ottawa).
A late June executive and council meeting was held in the board room of Ontario Secondary School Teachers‟ Federation. Correspondence from CSEA requested closer collaboration with the president of OSEA, and CSEA‟s national office
was requesting provincial members‟ names and addresses, and publication literature. It was also learned that William Withrow had become the new director of the Art Gallery of Toronto succeeding Martin Baldwin, and an official OSEA letter of congratulations was planned. It was also moved that an OSEA grant of $100.00 be available to the president to enable his CSEA attendance
in Halifax in the fall. In the fall meeting Mrs. Brock reported on appropriate letters to CSEA and to Mr. Withrow. She was then requested to write to the O‟Keefe Centre to request use of the facilities for the Easter 1961 convention. OSEA also received word that the president of the OEA Training Section, Leo Coneybeare, was having Prof. Champlin of Wayne State University, Detroit as principal speaker on creativity and education, and that OSEA might be interested in him as a speaker for their section as well. Sydney Watson had also raised a question of similarity of Ontario symbolism in the crest for OSEA designed by John Roper and the College of Art crest. A committee was established to discuss this matter with Mr. Watson.
There is no written record of the 1961 Easter convention on file. It is not believed to have been held at O‟Keefe Centre as earlier planned. It is also thought that Prof. Champlin of Wayne State was not able to speak to the OSEA group. Arnold Edinborough, the noted writer and critic was also scheduled to be a speaker. The president for 1961 – 62 was Doris Grimwood supported by vice- presidents Al Good and Ray Blackwell as well as secretary-treasurer Ruby Scott of Leamington. Since the June 1961 executive meeting was held at the Art Gallery, it is assumed the conference the month before was there as well.
More emphasis was being placed in the newer regional organizations becoming sources for some of the OSEA Journal articles. A feature in a fall 1961 issue was the Department courses of the summer of that year indicating enrolment of 650 and many new staff at the Toronto course held at College of Art. A second course that year had been offered in London with Garnet Humphrey continuing as principal. There were a couple of creatively argumentative articles as well – Al Good referring to “teaching young people how to see” having the potential of becoming a strait-jacket, and John Bennett of Toronto describing the text book as the crutch of the weak teacher.
The CSEA Assembly was in Windsor in November 1961. Garnet Humphrey was president of the national society. OSEA under the leadership of Doris Grimwood had undertaken some hosting tasks at the Willistead Art Gallery in Windsor including an exhibition of Ontario art teachers‟ personal work and reception for CSEA delegates.
OSEA‟s 1962 Easter convention was held at the Art Gallery on April 24, 25. After welcoming ,the speaker Mrs. Elizabeth Kilborn was introduced by Ken McKay (a new advisory member from Hamilton), and after an inspiring address “Canada through the Visual Arts”, was thanked by Leo Coneybeare of Peterborough Teachers‟ College. The new director of the Art Gallery, Mr. Withrow, brought greetings as did Donald Cooper of OEA. The special exhibition on hand was made up of prints from the College of Art as well as the Art Institute of Ontario. Dr. Gaitskell reported on changes in the grade 13 course which was due out in finished form, along with new courses for grades 11 and 12, very shortly. A report on the CSEA convention in Windsor the previous November was given by Ray Blackwell, and Garnet Humphrey spoke on behalf of CSEA of the INSEA meeting planned in Montreal for August 1963 with Sir Herbert Read as a principal speaker. A dinner symposium was held at Scotts (Bloor Street near Yonge) that evening and had been arranged by Al Good. Guests included were Elizabeth Kilborn, Marshal McLuhan, Dennis Burton, Fred Hagan, and Alan Collier. Several spoke briefly, considerable argument took place, and the whole affair was quite lively including some controversy about critics.
The following day Rudy Courtice (National Film Board) presented some interesting art films; Diane Adams presented an excellent demonstration of various types of printmaking suitable for elementary and secondary schools; Mr. Coneybeare raised a number of questions about OSEA and its role for classroom teachers, elementary/secondary balance, increasing membership, and even if location and dates for annual meetings could be changed. The main motion from OSEA was made by Nellie Lowe (Sudbury) and Kathleen English (Toronto) and was to examine with Department officials clarification of the required qualifications for department heads in composite schools. The slate confirmed for OSEA in 1962 – 63 was Stephen Vickers honorary president, Doris Grimwood past president, Al Good president, Ray Blackwell and Hazel Grimmon as vice-presidents, and Ken McKay and Mike Smykaluk (Hamilton) as editors. The council included Eugenia Berlin, Charles Cudmore, Leo Coneybeare, Elizabeth Harrison, Joicey Horne, Dorothy Hoover, Frances Johnstone (the Gallery), Bill Parrott, Ruby Scott, Zoltan Temesy, Denzil Thorpe (Windsor), Nancy Main, John Rutherford (Toronto), George Sanders (Ryerson Institute), Alan Sullivan (Toronto). There were also about eight regional representatives from London, Timmins, Sudbury, Welland, Brantford, and Lindsay. A secretary-treasurer was found in the person of Jim Henderson of Peel, and a recording secretary – Kathryn MacDonald (East York). Later in 1963 Laurene Jewell of East York acted as recording secretary. At the June 1962 executive meeting Mr. Good reported that the regulation regarding department heads was seen as having to be changed to accommodate some composite schools. Secondary schools were in these years changing because of the Re-Organized Program (commonly referred to at the Robarts Plan) was in effect. There was continuing discussion of OEA advantages and limitations, wider membership, and a fixed Spring Break replacing Easter holidays. It was also recommended that OSEA be considered a general department under OEA reorganization and not under secondary schools. Reassurance was received from the Department that grade 13 art must be taught by academic rather than vocational specialists. Discussion about the need for secondary school programs to have a realistic broad base and not be purely university-oriented continued.
A record of the 1963 Easter convention‟s program of speakers, panels and displays is not in the permanent files. From memory it is believed with reason to have been held for the first time at the new Toronto Education Centre which on the sixth floor had auditorium, display gallery and some workshop facilities. It is likely that the display was ample because of the facilities, and varied to include work from Ryerson‟s design department as well as from the Junior Red Cross. In the business sessions of the convention there is evidence of a motion to revise regulations regarding department heads especially in composite schools. There was also some revision of the OSEA constitution to expand membership to regular (i.e. OEA as well) and supporting (i.e. not needed to be members of OEA). A CSEA book project on Canadian Art and Design which had its beginnings at the Windsor 1961 assembly was reported on by a leading member, John Emerson of Etobicoke, and OSEA general support was sought. There was also a motion for an OSEA request to all universities in Ontario for acceptance of the new grade 13 art as a subject.
The slate for 1964 – 64 was Prof. Stephen Vickers honorary president, Al Good past president, Raymond Blackwell president, Mrs. Vera Wilson of East York and Leo Coneybeare as vice-presidents, Eric Wiley from Forest Hill Junior High as secretary-treasurer, Mrs. Ruth Winters of Scarborough as recording secretary, and Ken McKay as journal editor. The council included Frances Johnstone, Norma Heakes (ROM), Nancy Main, John Rutherford, Hazel Grimmon, Kathryn MacDonald, George Sanders, Caroline Sanders (also Ryerson), Zoltan Temesy, Joicey Horne, Martha Serson (supervisory – North York), Myrtle Evans (supervisory – St. Thomas), Delford Newbigging (Windsor), and Metropolitan Separate School teacher, Marguerite Gangnon, of East York.
In 1963 the executive and council started holding some of their meetings at the Sydney Smith Building, University of Toronto (home for the fine arts department) and at Toronto Teachers‟ College. These meetings had become consistently held on Saturday to accommodate the increased representation outside of Metro. Some activity continued for OSEA leadership with the Doon School of Fine Arts and the University of Waterloo. This activity began when Al Good was president, and he along with Ray Blackwell was attempting to save the Doon School by encouraging the engineer-loaded University of Waterloo to take it over as the basis for an active fine arts department. Correspondence continued with Dr. High and Dr. Raymond and in 1963 Leo Coneybeare and Ken McKay became involved as OSEA representatives on an advisory body for that school and university. Efforts were also being put forward on free exchange of printed materials between provincial affiliates and CSEA.
OSEA on request provided $100.00 in assistance to the large INSEA conference of August, 1963 in Montreal. Dr. Gaitskell was INSEA president at the time, and Garnet Humphrey was a co-president of CSEA along with Madam Louis Barrett- Charlevoix of Quebec. The fall OSEA Journal featured summary statements from the wide variety of international speakers including Dr. Herbert Read of Britain, Dr. El-Bassiouny of Egypt, and Prof. Keichi Mori of Japan. A feature display from Ontario at the INSEA conference was Early Ontario Architecture assisted by the Art Institute of Ontario. Paul Bennett by now held a responsible position with the Institute. OSEA decided in late 1963 to write an official letter to the Hon. John Robarts, Prime Minister of Ontario, asking for some grant assistance for the Art Institute.
The 1964 conference at Easter was held in Toronto‟s Education Centre with extensive displays of elementary and secondary art from many boards in Ontario, and some of it was exhibited at Eaton‟s College Street. There was also sculpture from Ryerson Polytechnical and East York Collegiate. A commercial exhibit featuring some leading Toronto area-based members of CSEA Patrons organization was also featured. The key speaker on the first day was Sister Mary Perpetual Help, a school principal in Riverside (now part of Windsor) who exercised progressive leadership in art education and taught many years on out- of-Toronto summer courses in art. There were group tours to Central Tech, the new Lansdowne Public School, and the Canadiana Gallery of ROM at Queen‟s Park. The principal speaker on the second day was John Bennett, assistant head of art at Northern Vocational. Numerous reports were given in the business meeting including constitutional changes in the OEA itself, progress on grade 13 art in the schools, the Doon-Waterloo situation, the INSEA conference, and the treasurer even reported a balance of over four hundred dollars. John Emerson presented an extensive report (also in writing) on the CSEA Canadian Art book project. Mrs. Kay English was requested to head a new committee to investigate a degree-granting course in art education suitable for elementary and secondary teachers. Nellie Lowe agreed to provide an informative brochure showing how an artmobile in Virginia operates, on the basis of an OSEA letter to Ontario‟s prime minister recommending a similar project for Ontario‟s centennial (1967).
The slate for 1964 – 65 was Prof. Stephen Vickers honorary president, Ray Blackwell past president, Vera Wilson president, Leo Coneybeare and Ken McKay vice-presidents, Eric Wiley secretary-treasurer, Judy Pearson (from Agincourt) recording secretary, David Freckleton (North York) as membership convener. The council included most of the same people of the previous year plus Robert Hintz of Etobicoke and Jacob Black, supervisor in Fort William.
Some action from the annual meeting at Easter was evidenced at the first executive and council meeting. Mrs. English‟s committee on a teacher education degree program in art education had already met with University of Toronto fine arts and architecture officials and the principal of the College of Art. A report on suggestions is on file for 1964 but there is no evidence of any further action. The key elements of an art major were philosophy of art, sciences of art, and studio work. The artmobile concept received some OSEA further attention with a letter to go to Mr. Robarts – there was indication that Ed Tate, an art teacher in Orillia, had already written to the prime minister of Ontario on this concept. There was also a request for any research being conducted by or for the Department of Education with respect to art study in intermediate grades. The theme for the Easter 1965 conference was established as “The Growth of Canadian Art” with the possibility of hosting a dinner with members of the Group of Seven as honoured guests. Raymond Blackwell as an OEA senator in the revised set-up stressed that the membership year now commences on September the first. Mrs. Wilson was to act as a substitute delegate to OEA senate meetings. Interest in design education was increasing too at this time with Ken McKay attending an industrial design seminar at University of Waterloo, and George Sanders attending meetings at the Design Centre of the federal Department of Industry.
By fall of 1964 much investigation and work on the Group of Seven dinner concept had been done. OEA had even contributed towards travel expenses needed for this, and some of the investigation involved a secure place to hold the event along with exhibition of Canadian works. The Waterloo University senate was by now recommending the establishment of a department of fine arts in a new building, using the old Doon School house as a museum to Homer Watson.
Twelve OSEA members attended the CSEA conference in Edmonton with Ray Blackwell taking an active part on panels and reporting for the CSEA Office and secretary-general. Mr. Blackwell was by now the Assistant Director of Art and working with Dr. Gaitskell. Art workshops in Brockville sponsored by OEA were reported by Ken McKay, and the expansion of this concept was encouraged even where OSEA would help with costs. By this time in the fall it was ascertained that the special spring dinner and exhibition would be at the Royal York, and arrangements were made for security of the exhibition.
The Easter convention of 1965 was a highlight of OSEA with a special exhibition “Canadian Paintings from Canadian Collections” at the Royal York Hotel as a feature of the OEA opening. The exhibition was officially opened by the Hon. William G. Davis, Minister of Education, after introduction by Ray Blackwell, and featured works from corporate collections such as Confederation Life, Imperial Oil, Bank of Nova Scotia, British American Oil, Sampson-Matthews, Rolph Clark and Stone, and federal Department of Transport. There was also a general selection of Group of Seven works from the private collection of Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. Band. On the Tuesday Dr. Charles Comfort (now Director of the National Gallery) was the feature OSEA speaker. The dinner (formal – black tie and all) was that evening, and the head table was composed of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, Dr. Comfort as chairman, Lawrence Harris Jr. representing his father, A. Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, Frederick Valery, Edwin Holgate, and A. J. Casson. A. Y. Jackson spoke appreciation on behalf of the group. The dinner and program was followed by an OEA dance at the Royal York, an extravagant affair since formal dress was the norm.
Leo H. Coneybeare was president for 1965 – 66 with Prof. Vickers as honorary president, Ken McKay as first vice-president, John Rutherford as second vice- president and journal editor, and Eric Wiley (now on Toronto Teachers‟ College staff along with Ken McKay) as executive secretary-treasurer. The Journal took on a new look with photography and silk-screened covers and the new editor who instituted an editor‟s column of provocative thinking. The entire constitution of OSEA was redrafted and presented at the Easter 1966 conference with an emphasis on greater detail and coverage. The feature speakers at the conference were Dr. Earl Wiley of Wayne State University (Detroit) and Jack Pollock proprietor of his own gallery on Markham Street. A forum on teacher education was chaired by Vera Wilson and featured Dr. Gaitskell, Wyn Lawrence (Central Tech), Sydney Watson, Stephen Vickers, Prof. Finlay (Queen‟s), Prof. Couling (Guelph), Dr. Batke (Waterloo), Rev. Rowe (Western) and Percy Tacon (Ontario College of Education). Little seems to have been accomplished in the way of integrating education of the historian, training of the artist, and preparation of the teacher. Dr. Gaitskell reported on the expansion of the Department of Education summer courses in art for teachers with five locations in the province, four summers to complete a specialist or supervisor‟s certificate, and an increase in fine art content and experience. The executive slate for 1966 – 67 included Prof. Vickers as honorary president, Ken McKay as president, John Rutherford and Malcolm Gerner of Ancaster as vice-presidents, Eric Wiley, and Ladd Skube (chief supervisor for Scarborough) as editor. The advisory council listed 23 people from varied locations and including more separate school representation.
In the fall 1966 issue of the Journal, Ken McKay contributed a lengthy article, “Specialization in Elementary Art Education”, based on a very substantial study he had done on Ontario. At this time planning for an extensive regional conference was undertaken for Peterborough and under the chairmanship of Zoltan Temesy. The conference, a Friday evening and all-day Saturday affair was held on February 3 and 4, 1967 at the Holiday Inn and Adam Scott Collegiate. Around three hundred attended. Barry Lord, editor of Arts Canada, gave a banquet address on “Art and Social Revolution” and almost caused a social revolution on the spot. Mrs. Temima Gezari, Director of Art for the Hebrew Schools of New York, brought the audience to its feet in thunderous ovation for her thoughts on colouring books, competitions, creativity, and non-conformists.
The executive for 1967 – 68 included Ray Blackwell as honorary president, Ken McKay past president, John Rutherford president, Malcolm Gerner and Miriam Lebow (Hamilton) vice-presidents, Ross Snetsinger (supervisor in East York) secretary-treasurer, Martha Serson recording secretary, and David Freckleton as membership secretary. Ladd Skube‟s Journals featured lively and colourful silkscreen covers and photographic illustration throughout. A regional conference for London was planned and carried out on February 9 and 10, 1968 with the active participation of Denzil Thorpe and other London personnel. Approximately 500 teachers took part over the two days. One delegate and spouse came from as far away as Moose Factory Island. The guest speaker on Friday evening was Dr. Murray Douglas, Chairman of Art Education, Wayne State University, with an address emphasizing awareness of environmental design. The speech was supported by superb slide illustration. On the Saturday at London Teachers‟ College, a large variety of workshops were given, and the popular and dynamic Temima Gezari of New York was the closing speaker.
The annual conference, as part of OEA, was held at Toronto Teachers‟ College. The program was for three days, March 19 – 21, 1968, with two major evening events. Amazingly, and in spite of the intensive program effort, attendance was not nearly as impressive as at the regional gathering in London about five weeks earlier. Dr. Robert C. Burkhart of State University at Buffalo was the opening speaker on “Recent Experiments in Art Education in America”. The first evening event was at the Art Gallery of Ontario (formerly Toronto) featuring the International Sculpture Show, a special room for a “happening”, and a painting on slides show. David Bodrug, interior designer, spoke on “When Does Art Get Hung and What are the Mainstreams of Thought in Interior Design” on the following day. He also contributed to a panel “Where Do We Get Our Ideas in Art?” along with Jack Stennett, Principal of the teachers college, Aba Bayefsky of Ontario College of Art, and Robert Downing, sculptor at University of Toronto. David Silcox gave an address on the work of the Canada Council. The “Event of the Year” was a reception and dinner at the Faculty Club of the University with the noted art consultant, Dorothy Cameron, speaking on the figure tradition in sculpture. The third day was essentially workshops and group sessions.
Malcolm Gerner became president for 1968 – 69 with Miriam Lebow and Ladd Skube as vice-presidents. During the year the Journal editorship was assumed by Alan Madter, designer and former teacher, of Toronto. On Saturday, October 5 a regional conference was held in St. Catharines, organized by a Niagara Peninsula Committee headed by Arnel Pattemore. Nine practical workshops on a range of topics for both elementary secondary levels were given twice on that day. During the year the dawning signs of concern for safety and health hazards in art activities were manifested in a Department of Education memorandum banning the use of asbestos powder as a modelling medium. The Journal reprinted, with permission, an article on asbestosis from New Yorker magazine. The annual conference was a one-day affair on March 18, 1969 at Toronto‟s Education Centre. Instead of formal speakers the emphasis was on curriculum panels and artist and student demonstrations. A panel chaired by Gordon Macfarlane, art director in Mississauga, discussed the Department‟s new curriculum guideline for Intermediate art and its emphasis on thematic approaches to planning. Panelists were Prof. George Wallace (McMaster University), Louis Shore (Toronto Board), Vivian Wildfag (Mississauga) and Kathleen Elliott (North York). Miriam Lebow assumed the presidency for 1969-70.
The 1960‟s did represent some major influences in the Society‟s development. In spite of problems related to a shortage of adequately qualified art teachers, especially in secondary schools, and a certification system frequently misunderstood and having become outdated, it was an era of considerable optimism in art education. The Department summer courses in art, along with newly authorized winter courses sponsored by school boards, radically expanded in number and in attendance by teachers, the Society moved into very successful regional workshops in addition to the annual Easter conference and memberships expanded in both numbers and provincial locations represented. The Journal underwent significant changes in make-up and format. OSEA continued its involvement in art education curriculum development in which it had begun some very realistic influence in the latter 1950‟s.
In the short time that Alan Madter was editor of the Journal he established a completely fresh approach. The format used was that of a portfolio with individually stapled articles contained. The first of these in 1969 featured four erudite articles on art and teaching by Robert Agnew of Brantford, Herbert Ariss of London, Ross Gardiner of Cornwall, and Garth Haines and Alan Madter designers in Toronto. By 1970 the editorship was taken over by Michael Crawford of Parkdale C.I., Toronto who carried on a somewhat similar format. The issue for January, 1970 contained an analysis of the Hall-Dennis Report (1968) by Ken McKay as well as articles and reprints on acrylics curriculum in the arts by Vincent Lanier, and practical ideas for elementary teachers. A small grant from Ontario Council for the Arts was obtained to assist in publishing the Journal. In the fall of the year (i.e. 1969) a successful regional workshop was conducted in Kingston with the assistance of Ladd Skube and local organizers.
The spring 1970 conference was held at Toronto Education Centre with Dr. Wilf Wees of OISE as principal speaker on “The Role of the Arts”. Eight seminars were conducted with the emphasis on curriculum planning at all levels, and Robin Thomas of Bristol in Britain gave a demonstration on silkscreen and batik. One of the feature items of the two-day program was a co-operative session with OEA‟s English section, a presentation from the National Theatre of Puppet Arts (USA) of excerpts from Shakespearean plays.
Ladd Skube became president for 1970 – 71 with David Freckleton as executive secretary-treasurer. In keeping with a period of experimentation in education, the spring Journal in its folio format featured a number of articles on non-graded programs in secondary schools with a detailed one by Rodger Greig of Moira Secondary School in Belleville. The honorary president, Ray Blackwell, was also president of CSEA with its national assembly held in Toronto in November, 1970. Kathleen Elliott, first vice-president of OSEA acted as provincial society liaison with the CSEA assembly. Another regional organization came into being in the Sudbury region with the interesting acronym of NOSEA (Northern Ontario Society for Education through Art). Ed Tate who was now in the Sudbury office of the Department of Education was a leader in the forming of this organization. A new provincial committee to revise senior art curriculum was established by Dr. Gaitskell. Ladd Skube represented OSEA on this committee.
The 1971 annual spring conference was held at the Education Centre with Dr. Charity James of Goldsmith‟s College, University of London, as feature speaker for both OEA and its OSEA section. The program also featured seminars, exhibitions, and a banquet dinner with entertainment at the Walker House. Kathleen Elliott became president, Ken McKay honorary president, Bob Irvine of Owen Sound and Lenore Pearce of Waterloo as vice-presidents, and Gregory Conway of Ottawa separate schools as Journal editor. The Journal format was changed again to a plastic-bound version. Increasing emphasis on related arts such as drama and literature, and explosive articles such as “The Obsolescence of Principals” expanded the Journal to issues of seventy-four and ninety-eight pages in length. The September 1972 issue had one hundred and twenty-five pages of highly varied material.
A very successful and well-attended regional workshop was held in the fall of 1971 in the Peel Region. It was organized by Gordon Macfarlane, art director, and art teachers with the board of education there. Interest was high in a variety of crafts which were undergoing an aesthetic revolution with influence undoubtedly from the Sheridan College School of Design and Crafts which had been in existence for about three years and was a leader in its field in Canada. The workshops featured lively panels, extensive demonstrations and very well organized displays in the secondary school that acted as host. The annual conference was held in early May, 1972 (no longer restricted to Easter because of school break legislation) at York University in conjunction with the OEA itself. Dr. Arthur Coombs of Florida University was the feature OEA speaker of on “Trends in Teacher Education”. David Silcox, now assistant dean of arts at York was the main speaker for OSEA. Dr. Charles D. Gaitskell was honoured with the first and only (i.e. during his lifetime) honorary membership in OSEA. This was presented by Kathleen Elliott.
Bob Irvine became president, but due to illness was unable to complete his term during the following year. Kathleen Elliott, the past president, took over for him and introduced a new logo for OSEA designed by Garth Haines. During the year, the Journal under Greg Conway‟s editorship, continued its extensive coverage with articles from a wide variety of sources, including Australian art educators and CSEA officials. Members were also kept informed through the Journal of Ministry of Education activities such as the Primary/Junior Cyclic Review. Some beginning interest in the history of art education was manifested in articles by Dr. Michael McCarthy, University of Toronto and OSEA‟s first vice-president. Practical and controversial articles on exceptional children appeared. Several articles were presented in the French language.
OEA‟s annual conference continued at York University in early May, 1973. As nominated by OSEA, Dr. Charles Dudley Gaitskell was presented with the Greer Award of OEA for outstanding contributions to education. OSEA‟s feature speaker was Dr. Les Groome of Regina, the president of CSEA. Dr. Michael McCarthy became OSEA‟s next president. In the early fall of 1973, the Journal issue was entirely devoted to tributes to Dr. Gaitskell who by this time had retired from the Ministry of Education. In the winter and spring of 1974, regional workshops were organized by ESEA (Essex-Windsor) and NOSEA (Sudbury and the North). 1974 was the year that OSEA withdrew from the OEA which was showing signs of fading away due to the plethora of other organizations and conferences appearing on the scene. The OSEA annual conference was switched to the fall of the year for the first time in over thirty years and was held in Kingston at Queen‟s University as a Friday evening and Saturday event in early November. George Buckland, consultant with the Ottawa board of education, along with local art teachers, had organized a regional workshop in the October just before.
Under the leadership of Michael McCarthy, OSEA became a constituent organization of the newly-founded Visual Arts Ontario along with several other visual arts societies. Michael was honoured by being proposed as the first president of Visual Arts Ontario. In OSEA itself, Professor David Cowan of Queen‟s University became president for 1974 – 75 for the first term running from fall to fall. The 1975 conference was held at the Art Gallery of Ontario, with its extensive new additions and the Henry Moore collection acting as considerable drawing cards. The editorship of the Journal was assumed by Karl Schutt of Brookfield High School in Ottawa. Although it became a slimmed- down publication with less emphasis on scholarly and controversial articles, there was considerable experimentation in the use of colour in both the paper stock and printing, in addition to the use of drawings. The current practice of three issues per year was continued. The conference at the Art Gallery of Ontario was organized for the first time with considerable assistance of Ontario Teachers‟ Federation. Credit for this accomplishment was owed to Douglas Storey of Peel who was also the incoming OSEA president of 1975 – 76.
The 1976 conference was held in November in Ottawa with several sessions at the National Gallery, and some interesting experiences at the Firestone Collection and Algonquin College. John Lindsay of North York became president of OSEA for 1976 – 77 with June Feldman of Thunder Bay as executive secretary- treasurer. Of considerable interest at the time of the conference, was the new Senior Division visual arts guideline Towards Visual Awareness distributed that summer and fall. Three journals continued to be published with some assortment of information and articles, but the practice of including key information on the Society itself – e.g. listing executive and advisory, conference and workshop proceedings – was suspended for a few years. There is not observable evidence of there being an advisory council that year, a year or so previous, and for about three more years to come. In late October, 1977, the annual conference was held at Deerhurst Inn, Huntsville, with a program headed in planning by Michael Seary, first vice-president (correspondence courses, Ministry of Education). Approximately one hundred were registered in attendance, with much of the emphasis on workshops with a variety of craftsmen and artists associated with Georgian College in Barrie. Two thousand dollars was paid to Georgian for the services rendered. Records are scanty on the year‟s activity with two exceptions – past president Doug Storey and a lengthy report “The Case Against Art Competitions” which was printed in the spring 1978 Journal (the entire issue was devoted to competition), and Kenneth Green of London continuing with a study in Ontario‟s teacher certification. Michael Seary of course became president for 1977 – 78 with Mrs. Scottie Adams of Ottawa as vice-president and Mrs. June Feldman, now of Ottawa, as executive secretary-treasurer.
The theme of the 1978 fall conference in Ottawa was “Beyond the Fringe”, i.e. a program almost totally devoted to the fibre arts. Scottie Adams became president for 1978 – 79 and Doug Storey was appointed as honorary president. Editorship of the Journal was transferred to Mrs.Hazel Herriott of Deep River, and a newsletter with Thom Bailey of the Ministry of Education (London office) as editor was inaugurated. It is noted that the Ottawa SEA as regional affiliate was dissolved around this time. During 1978 – 79 three issues of the Journal were published, but with some obvious difficulties in content, substance, and production. The newsletter fared better.
Major changes in OSEA‟s history occurred during the decade of the 1970‟s. The gradual demise of the OEA after its beginnings in the 1860‟s was significant even in the overall history of education in Ontario. OSEA‟s withdrawal from OEA, the Ministry‟s institution of a mid-winter break policy for schools replacing the former one centred on the week related to Easter, and the Society‟s inauguration of fall conferences and annual meetings were all part of the major change. The Journal which had expanded and changed format as well as production methods in the 1960‟s continued well into the 1970‟s and then for various reasons declined until steps were taken late in the decade to revitalize the Society, its constitution and publications. The decade represented a number of changes in general attitudes in and to public education including well-augmented costs, tightening of budgets, enlarged local units such as county boards consolidating after their legislation in the late 1960‟s, and widespread fundamentalist thinking about education such as the back-to-basics phenomenon.
In October, 1979 the CSEA assembly was held in London with the help of considerable arrangements by key local personnel and OSEA holding its conference there too with Ontario Teachers‟ Federation heavily involved in registration for both conferences. The first evening and next day were essentially CSEA program, the second jointly planned and shared, and the third day (Saturday) totally OSEA on the theme of “Integrating the Arts” with Anne Audet-Siewert of Niagara South, heavily involved in the planning. There was a disorganized, sometimes mixed-up and sometimes stormy, annual meeting possibly reflecting lack of attention to the constitution, the Society‟s records, and little sense of unity in the leadership. Nevertheless, out of all this, a determined new executive was formed with Anne Audet-Siewert as president, Bruce Mackison of Kitchener as first vice-president, and the Journal being taken over essentially and radically revamped in graphic design by the late Carl Schafer of Kitchener. Kathleen Elliott became executive secretary-treasurer, Martha Serson as membership secretary, and a small committee with John Emerson (Faculty of Education, U of T) as head appointed to thoroughly examine the constitution and revise as necessary. The executive meetings began to include a few significant advisors such as Lynette Fast of Brock University and, of course, Professor Emerson of University of Toronto. The Journal began now to be issued twice a year with more substantial content and format of smaller length and width. In the spring 1980 issue, tributes in memoriam to the late Thom Bailey (deceased November, 1979 due to an unfortunate bee sting) and the late John H. Tokaryk (recently retired from Ottawa Board of Education) were emphasized. Also in the spring of 1980, Anne Audet-Siewert organized a very successful regional conference at Brock University on “Canadian Studies through the Visual Arts”. It was a one-day conference with a rich and varied program and Dennis Reid as principal speaker, and was well attended from the region, south-central and south-western Ontario.
A very extensive and well-attended annual conference was organized by Bruce Mackison and local Kitchener-Waterloo people in November 1980. One of the principal speakers was Prof. Richard Courtney of OISE whose address was centred on a research report recently completed for the Ministry of Education, “Learning through the Arts”. The banquet speaker was Terry Koboyashi of Eastwood C.I. in Kitchener. Using slides liberally she provided interesting and relevant information on Mennonite folk art. At the annual business meeting, a completely revised constitution was presented, explained, and accepted. One of the chief points in the new constitution was allowance for, and encouragement of, two- year terms for the executive, particularly the president. Bruce Mackison was installed as president for 1980 – 81 and also served for 1981 – 82. Ray Blackwell was appointed honorary president for the second time in OSEA history and remained as such until 1984 when had retired from the Ministry of Education. The Journal now in its greatly improved format and printing came under the full responsibility of Carl Schafer as co-ordinator of publications, including a short newsletter issued several times yearly. Late in the fall of 1980 OSEA undertook a special publication of the major findings of “Learning through the Arts” so as to provide this information to all of its members. The project was carried out in co-operation with the Council in Drama Education whose members benefitted similarly. The manuscript in final form was provided by Ray Blackwell of the Ministry of Education, the sponsor of the research, who at the same time arranged for printed copy and a covering message from the Deputy Minister to go to every Director of Education in the province.
The fall 1981 issue of the Journal included extensive responses to the Secondary Education Review Project (SERP), a major project of the Ministry of Education. The first of these responses was provided by the Etobicoke Art Teachers‟ Association under the leadership of Mrs. Matina Chrones, and it made eleven strong and diverse recommendations to the SERP steering committee and secretariat. It also made the justifiable and quite accurate point that representation of the arts and art education (despite the internal recommendations of Ray Blackwell) on the steering and other committees was notably lacking. The second submission was a joint effort of OSEA and the Visual Arts Education Administrators (VAEA) chaired respectively by Bruce Mackison and Eva Newbigging from Peel. In this response, comments were provided on each of the eight objectives stated by SERP. Statistics and data on the economic and employment factors of the arts in Canada were used to support arguments for art education being fundamental to today‟s society.
The 1981 conference was held in Peterborough in the fall with a rich and varied program co-ordinated by Zoltan Temesy and other art educators in the district. It was well-attended; at least several hundred were there. The principal guest speaker was Dr. Jean Mary (Mormon) Unsworth of Loyola University in Chicago. She lived up totally to the fresh and interesting approaches in art education expressed in some of her earlier publications which had become well-known to leading art educators here. Other speakers included David Silcox (now director of cultural affairs for Metro Toronto), Georgiana Jungels (art therapy, SUNY Buffalo), Dr. Annie Smith (Sheridan and Erindale Colleges), and Neil Johnson (principal of North York‟s school for the arts). One of the principal resolutions coming from the annual meeting was for OSEA to take up the cause for graduate programs in art education in Ontario. Action on this resolution was taken by the executive in its next meeting later in 1981, and by early 1982, a lengthy draft letter to the presidents of Ontario universities, deans of faculties of education, the Director of OISE, and Council of Ontario Universities, and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities had been prepared.
After further discussion at the next 1982 executive meeting, the letter was sent over the signature of the OSEA president. The essence of the lengthy epistle was to outline the situation for graduate studies of this nature as being totally ignored in Ontario, and point out the necessity for Ontario art educators to look to the University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, Concordia University in Montreal, and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design as the only places in Canada, and to many leading universities in the USA, if they wished to complete appropriate master‟s degrees or doctoral programs.
The fall 1982 edition of the handsome Journal put out by Carl Schafer featured a reprint, with permission, of “The Role of the Arts in Cognition and Curriculum”, a very intelligent article by Dr. Elliott W. Eisner of Stanford University. The article had originally appeared in the Phi Delta Kappan magazine published by the education fraternity. The conference in 1982 was held in Sudbury, and was organized by Ed Tate of the Ministry of Education district office, with assistance from numerous people with both Sudbury school boards. The program was very extensive and well-attended, particularly from various locations in the north. Two feature speakers, Dr. Graeme Chalmers of the University of British Columbia and Dr. A. Hurwitz head of the Maryland School of Art (and generally well-known in the USA), were brought in. Dr. Chalmer‟s emphasis was on multicultural art and Dr. Hurwitz spoke on curriculum and evaluation. At the annual meeting, Arnel Pattemore succeeded Bruce Mackison as OSEA president for a two-year term. The launching of a Ministry of Education project team and advisory committee for the development of a new comprehensive Intermediate and Senior visual arts guideline was announced. Details were given on some of the dimensions and requirements of new curriculum guidelines in response to the Ministry‟s renewal of curriculum following the SERP report. These announcements were provided by the project manager, Ray Blackwell, and project leader, Anne Audet-Siewert, who had been seconded to the Ministry for two years.
In the spring 1983 Journal, there was a detailed article on the contributions to art and education made by Dr. Charles D. Gaitskell. It was a reprint of an article written for the CSEA annual journal by Ray Blackwell. Also appearing was a strong letter to the project manager for Ontario Schools Intermediate and Senior (OS:IS) from Arnel Pattemore, especially regarding the draft treatment of the grades 7 and 8 program.
OSEA participated in the CSEA assembly held in Toronto in October, 1983 through general support and the hosting of a well-attended gala reception. OSEA‟s own conference was held in St. Catharines in November and was well organized by the president, Arnel Pattemore, and a local Lincoln board committee. With attendance in several hundred, a very rich program of speakers, seminars, workshops and other activities was presented. Feature speakers brought in were Ed Jacomo from Detroit and Marcel Asquin former supervisor in Calgary. Seminar presentations on the new and shortly forthcoming validation draft of the Intermediate and Senior visual arts guideline were made as they had been at the CSEA assembly. At the annual meeting, it was announced that Carl Schafer wished to step down as publications co-ordinator, having given nearly four years of excellent leadership in this capacity. The Journal was to continue under a publications committee composed of past president Bruce Mackison and vice-presidents Patt Kwaitkowski and Wilf Morrish.
The Journals of 1984 continued in the impressive manner established by Carl Schafer with feature articles such as “Visual Arts in Education – Frill or Necessity” by Prof. David Cowan of Queen‟s University and “The Grade 7 and 8 Dilemma” by Ladd Skube. Based on input from the advisory council which Arnel Pattemore had nurtured in meetings at the 1983 annual conference, there was not the usual conference format in 1984. Instead, two regional workshops
in Cornwall and Barrie were held. These were mainly Thursday evening and all day Friday affairs with the emphasis on practical workshops and seminars for local area teachers. Ray Blackwell opened the Cornwall workshop with a slide presentation and address on Upper Canada architecture – a bicentennial of the province presentation. John Battersby, the consultant for Middlesex County, opened the Barrie workshop with a slide lecture on visual perception. A feature of both workshops was the extensive Education 200 exhibit of student art work, an OSEA Bicentennial project spearheaded by Arnel Pattemore and with assistance from the Secretary of State. The annual meeting was held at Barrie. Patt Kwiatkowski, the consultant for the Hamilton-Wentworth separate school system, became the new president for a two-year term. Ray Blackwell, due to his retirement from the Ministry of Education in 1984, formally relinquished the honorary presidency and he was duly replaced in that position by Bruce Mackison.
Patt continued to provide leadership for the composition of the Journal as well as taking on all of the presidential involvements and duties. She participated fully in the Ontario Curriculum Forum as the head of a province-wide subject association; all of such organizations were called together for a few days each year for meeting under the aegis of Ontario Teachers‟ Federation. This OTF activity had begun in 1982 when Bruce Mackison was OSEA‟s president. Both Bruce and Arnel had represented OSEA at the Forum. Possibly the earlier demise of the OEA was seen as a detriment to collective and shared information.
The spring1984 issue of the OSEA Journal had included a page (and picture) of tributes to and appreciation of Carl Schafer‟s great contributions to the Society‟s publications. That same issue also had a page on the Lenore Pearce Memorial Fund, leadership for which was by several visual arts officials and teachers of the Waterloo County Board of Education. Lenore had unfortunately passed away in August of the year before from a difficult illness which had effectively taken her from serving on the visual arts project team for the province‟s new guideline. The fall 1984 Journal issue also featured the Fund message as addressed to trustees, officials, principals, and resource staff. Sadly and little ironically, Carl Schafer himself passed away in December, 1984 under very unfortunate circumstances.
Stephen Lewis, consultant for the Wellington County Board of Education, had in this same period became a member of the executive and editor of the OSEA Newsletter. Often his own skilful drawing was included in the Newsletter as illustration. In 1985, he was awarded the Guelph Recognition of Merit for his contributions to the arts and culture.
The spring 1985 Journal featured, in considerable length, the OSEA response to “The Arts in Ontario Schools”, a discussion paper that had been prepared by an arts-concerned group in the Ministry of Education. The response was complimentary about several factors, but also concerned about several prevailing ideologies and practices around the province; it was put together largely by Patt Kwiatkowski after OSEA executive deliberations.
By this time, the OSEA executive was very busy in highly organized committee work under vice-president Wilf Morrish in planning a sizeable conference operation to be held in London in November, 1985. Ray Blackwell spearheaded the program organization with very considerable help from Patt Kwaitkowski and Jeanette Smith of Burlington (the recording secretary). The conference did turn out to be well attended with at least four hundred registered delegates. It opened at the London Children‟s Museum with a timely and appropriate address by Norman Best, the direct of the Arts Support Branch of the Ministry of Citzenship and Culture. Eric Atkinson of Fanshawe College was principal speaker on the stormy (literally) Friday at Holiday Inn. Eric, with his British experience as head of an art college there, and a vital influence in post-Bauhaus design thinking, provided substantial verbal and pictorial substance for his audience. Dr. Maverra Mock-Morgan of the District of Columbia University, was the banquet speaker that evening and she provided substantial background in the history of art education in America. Generally, the conference program was very rich in thirty different workshops and seminars suitable to a variety of levels, and some were offered in French. Supply firms and publishers very well organized an extensive trade exhibit which was well appreciated by delegates.
Dr. Charles Dudley Gaitskell had very unfortunately passed away prior to the London conference. Ray Blackwell, who had program duties anyway, made appropriate announcements to the gathering and led the delegates in a brief tribute to Dr. Gaitskell‟s memory. At the banquet dinner, Mr. Blackwell himself was formally recognized for his role in the Ministry of Education and in OSEA, and was presented with an honorary membership plaque by Bruce Mackison. The advisory council, many of whom had some program tasks, were also honoured by being head table guests at this formal and enjoyable banquet.
The same executive, including Peter Olsen of Guelph C.I. as vice-president, served OSEA a second year through to the 1986 conference held in October in Hamilton at the Royal Connaught Hotel and the Hamilton Art Gallery. John Nugent and Bruce Hosking, the art education officials for the Hamilton Board of Education, headed up the planning of the conference with very able assistance from visual arts teachers there.
The 1986 spring Journal carried an extensive feature on Dr. Charles Dudley Gaitskell, in memoriam. The lengthy historical tribute was organized by Ray Blackwell and featured writing by a dozen other art educators as well; several of these are retired. Some knew Dr. Gaitskell from 1944 when he came to Ontario from British Columbia. Several met him and worked with him in the late forties or later; one had been a child when he first met him, and a few were more recent acquaintances who had consulted considerably with him even after he had retired from the Ministry of Education. One of the latter was actually researching Dr. Gaitskell‟s influence and contributions – as part of her graduate studies program (not in Ontario; in Montreal!).
The fall conference in Hamilton was called “Art Opens the Door” and was well attended by several hundred delegates. The program was rich, varied, and quite academically sound. It opened on a Thursday evening at the Art Gallery of Hamilton with a program in which Sheila Greenspan, education officer at the Gallery, and Dr. Sal Amenta (Metro Toronto Separate School Board) gave brief and challenging addresses. This was followed by touring, music, and wine and cheese. The general mood was rather lively because the province‟s new visual art guideline for grades 7 and 8 and secondary schools had come out the spring before, and heralded some changes, broadening and shifting of emphasis. The Council of Ontario Universities committee for that guideline had had considerable academic impact on the basis for advanced level courses and this was a source of great argument by art educators who were liberal and advanced thinkers. The principal guest speaker was Maarten E. Tamsma from The Netherlands, where he was president of the Dutch Art Education Association, as well as of the evaluation commission for art examinations. Mr. Tamsma had spent a few years earlier studying American art education. Using a wide range of photographed material in slide form and through his skilful use of English in terms of fresh ideas, he was given rapt attention. The featured speaker at the formal luncheon was the Honorable Lily Munro, Minister of Citizenship and Culture, who was from Hamilton; she was especially welcomed back, and she showed her capable ability in art and education. The evening banquet was followed by entertainment of a quite professional Broadway nature by one of the local secondary school music programs.
At the Saturday morning business meeting (annual), an amendment to the constitution regarding membership categories was approved. In essence, categories were made to allow for affiliate, business, honorary life and honorary patron memberships in addition to regular and student members. A new executive was approved and as follows – Bruce Mackison as honorary president, Patt Kwiatkowski as past president, Peter Olsen as president, Don Marshall (Burlington) as first vice-president and Journal editor, Peter Chandor (Dunnville, consultant for Haldimand and previously on the advisory council) as second vice- president, Wayne Rose (Newmarket Secondary and previously advisory council) as executive secretary-treasurer, Jeanette Smith as membership secretary, David Morrison (Hamilton) as recording secretary, Stephen Lewis as newsletter editor, Kathleen Elliott and Ray Blackwell as society archivists. Martha Serson and Kathleen Elliott retired from appointed executive positions after several years of valuable service as membership secretary and executive secretary-treasurer.
The 1987 annual conference was announced for Niagara Falls with Stewart Simpson of Niagara South and Al Linnel of Essex County Separate School system as co-chairmen.
The 1986 fall Journal continued in attractive format and with a good range of articles, some based on recent events and happenings.
The spring 1987 Journal provided amongst other useful information, reprints of the major speeches from the Hamilton conference, i.e. those of Martin Tamsma, the Honorable Lily Munro, and Dr. Sal Amenta. The editorship for the fall Journal was assumed by Dr. Roger Clark (University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Education), and Don Marshall filled a vacancy in the vice-president area. This latter Journal contained an interesting, detailed, insightful review by Dr. Pamela Sturgess of the visual arts summer course she organized and led in Britain in 1987 for the Faculty of Education, University of Toronto. Another substantial article, spearheaded by Dr. Roger Clark, was an in-depth analysis and criticism of a report on Ontario‟s teacher education policies and practices that was researched and prepared by a somewhat prominent team at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
The fall conference at Niagara Falls was held in mid-November at the Brock Sheraton Hotel. It was well-attended by approximately five hundred teachers. The program carried on the tradition of recent years in being rich, diverse and detailed as well as highlighted by notable and outstanding speakers. Dr. Vincent Lanier from University of Arizona at Tucson was already well-known for his writings, including somewhat controversial views in art education. His very capable address dissected and analyzed the so-called “Discipline-Based Art Education” movement in the USA, heavily supported by the Getty Foundation. Fabien Lemieux of the Ministry of Education (Sudbury) provided inspiring thought and leadership on the arts in education. The very well-known Toronto artist Joyce Weiland, using slides of her own work over several years, provided the unique dimension of the practitioner. There were approximately thirty-three workshops, some in French, with healthy and very capable involvement of some personnel from both local school systems – Niagara South Board of Education and Welland County R.C.S.S. Stewart Simpson, a secondary school teacher in Niagara Falls, and George Doros, consultant with Welland County Separate Schools provided the leadership for the very efficient local organizing personnel. The OSEA annual meeting was held in combination with a noon brunch on Saturday, the final day of the conference. Several reports on the year‟s activities were given including description of the executive‟s response to the Ministry of Education‟s recently released action paper, “The Arts in Ontario Schools”. The same OSEA executive with only minor changes served a second year. The attendees in general were welcomed to the Windsor area in the fall of 1988 for the next annual conference.
During the 1980‟s OSEA became revitalized in several ways after some slump in the late 1970‟s. The constitution revision with emphasis on longer terms of office, changing leadership personnel with more involvement by consultants, intense thought and planning given to comprehensive and diverse conferences, as well as greater involvement in and more vital response to educational issues, were all factors. The Journal itself was considerably improved with a more professional appearance and even managed to take on some of the controversial subject matter more reminiscent of many Journals in the late „60‟s and early „70‟s. Additional regional conferences and workshops that came on strongly in the late „60‟s and early „70‟s tended to peter out because of complexity and financial restriction. The last major successful one was the one on Canadian Studies in Art at Brock University in 1980. Although tried again in 1984 as regional workshops in Cornwall and Brockville, instead of the major annual conference, the attendance at both locations was rather disappointing. With the exception of some faculties of education personnel, the involvement of universities‟ academics in the fine arts or even colleges‟ art and design personnel continued in decline as it had for a least a decade before. It is somewhat ironic given that in many respects content emphasis in visual arts education is more academic than in the „60‟s or „70‟s, and the outlook of OSEA itself is more content concerned. A few of the major gallery institutions, such as those in London, Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Toronto, have contributed to OSEA programs adding some academic influence. OSEA‟s advisory council, while revitalized after practically disappearing in the „70‟s, appears to be organized now to become more vitally involved in the affairs and directions of the Society.