KATHLEEN CAMPBELL WARD (1902-1988)
Born in Toronto, Kathleen Campbell Ward first studied under Mary Wrinch at Bishop Strachan School, then at Central Technical School with Frederick Challener. She attended the Ontario College of Art where she studied and painted with many of the major artists of her generation – George Reid, J.W. Beatty, Arthur Lismer, A.J. Casson, F.H. Varley and A.Y. Jackson. She put her study to use in subsequent sketching trips with J.W. Beatty and Alice Innes. Some of her richest experiences as an artist occurred during her yearly group excursions in the 1930’s to Burks Falls, Ontario with artists such as Hortense Gordon, Sir Frederick Banting and Tom Stone.
In addition to her work in oil, Ward was an accomplished print-maker. It is believed that she is one of the first Ontario artists to have silk-screens accepted for juried fine art exhibitions. She was asked by J.W. Beatty to make silk-screen reproductions of his work and when they were seen by A.Y. Jackson, he approached her to make reproductions of major Canadian paintings to be sent to Canadian soldiers overseas during World War II. However, this did not happen as her career was put on hold when she was given a six week crash course in engineering and then spent the war years inspecting machinery and instruments for the Allied Forces. For ten years following the war, she was employed as a statistical researcher after which she returned to art, and studied for some time with Jock MacDonald in his studio. Throughout her career she continued to teach painting and silk-screening technique.
Ward exhibited with the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canadian National Exhibition, the Canadian Society of Graphic Art and the Heliconian Society. Recently her work has been exhibited at the Roberts Gallery in Toronto (June, 2010). One of her silk-screens of the J.W. Beatty painting, “Baie St. Paul”, 1929, currently hangs in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Ward’s oil painting of Mary Pickford’s house along with a watercolour and ink sketch and silk-screen of the same are currently part of the Mary Pickford exhibit at the Bell Lightbox in Toronto. Although a lesser known name in Canadian art history, she produced a body of work that easily stands alongside that of the most prominent names of the time.