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Other Name
"UNTITLED"
Date Range From
1990
Date Range To
2000
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PAPER, METAL, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20190006004
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
"UNTITLED"
Date Range From
1990
Date Range To
2000
Materials
PAPER, METAL, PAINT
No. Pieces
1
Length
74.8
Width
67
Description
WATERCOLOUR AND PASTEL PAINTING DEPICTING A TREE IN THE FOREGROUND IN BLACK PASTEL ON GREEN, PURPLE, PINK AND BLUE BLENDED WATERCOLOUR BACKGROUND. TREE AND GROUND OUTLINES ARE DONE IN PASTEL WITH ABSTRACT WATERCOLOUR BACKGROUNDS FOR LEAVES AND LANDSCAPE. PAINTING SIGNED IN FRONT LOWER RIGHT CORNER IN BLACK INK, "MELISSA MALKAS". PAINTING BACK IS STAINED, AND HAS INSCRIPTION IN LOWER RIGHT CORNER IN BLACK LEAD "PAINTING BY MELISSA MALKAS". PAINTING WAS DONATED IN A LAVENDER MATTE AND SILVER METAL FRAME. FRAME HAD WHITE COROPLAST BACKING WITH HANDWRITTEN TEXT IN BLUE MARKER ON LEFT SIDE "MELISSA AFTER CALGARY". MATTE CONSISTED OF A FRONT BOARD WITH THE PAINTING SECURED BY MASKING TAPE ALONG FOUR EDGES. A TREATMENT WAS CONDUCTED ON OCTOBER 24, 2019 BY CONSERVATOR JULIET GRAHAM TO REMOVE THE MASKING TAPE FROM THE BACK OF THE PAINTING, AND TO SECURE HOLLYTEX TO THE REMAINING ADHESIVE ON THE PAINTING. PAINTING HAS TWO PINHOLES AT LOWER RIGHT CORNER, AND SMALL TEARS ALONG RIGHT EDGE [REVEALED DURING TREATMENT TO REMOVE TAPE]. PAINTING HAS ADHESIVE RESIDUE ALONG FRONT EDGES FROM PREVIOUS MATTING OR FRAMING. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. FOR FURTHER CONDITION DETAILS AND THE COMPLETE TREATMENT REPORT BY CONSERVATOR JULIET GRAHAM, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190006001-GA.
Subjects
ART
Historical Association
FINE ARTS
History
ON MARCH 5, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIWEED DON FLAIG REGARDING HIS DONATION OF ARTWORKS. THE ARTWORKS WERE COLLECTED BY FLAIG’S PARENTS, HELEN AND LLOYD FLAIG. ON THE PAINTING BY MELISSA MALKAS, FLAIG RECALLED, “MY BROTHERS AND I HAD MET [MELISSA MALKAS]. WE THOUGHT HIGHLY OF HER AS AN ARTIST, [AND] AS A PERSON. I BELIEVE SHE’S NOT AROUND IN TOWN ANY MORE, BUT SHE WAS PART OF THAT RURAL SCENE, WHERE YOU HAD A GREAT AMOUNT OF FREEDOM.” “I JUST [HAD], I BELIEVE, TWO OF MELISSA’S PIECES, THE PAINTING [WAS ONE], WHICH IS VERY BIG, BEAUTIFUL, AND PRETTY. ON THE BACK IT SAYS ‘AFTER CALGARY’. I’M NOT SURE WHAT THAT MEANS.” “[WE MET THE MALKAS’S] ONCE WE MOVED OUT TO BROXBURN. I DON’T KNOW IF THEY MOVED IN BEFOREHAND. THEY WERE [OUR] NEIGHBORS. MOM WAS RAISED ON A FARM IN SASKATCHEWAN, AND [MY PARENTS] KNEW HOW TO REACH OUT TO THE NEIGHBORS, AND MAKE FRIENDS, AND TAKE FOOD OVER AND VISIT…THEY WERE ALWAYS OUT VISITING.” “I KNOW [MY PARENTS] WOULD GO OUT, AND DO THE ART ELSEWHERE, OR SOME AT HOME. IT JUST SEEMED NATURAL THAT THEY WOULD DEAL WITH THEIR ARTIST FRIENDS…THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG.” FLAIG ELABORATED ON HIS PARENTS’ AVID INTEREST IN LOCAL ART, NOTING, “MOM AND DAD ALWAYS HAD ART IN THE HOUSE. THEY WERE ALWAYS DOING ART. I REMEMBER DAD DOING LARGE PLASTER SCULPTURES, IN THE BASEMENT, IN THE CITY, AND MOM WAS ALWAYS PAINTING AND THROWING POTS, AND DOING SOMETHING FUNNY OUT IN THE BACK YARD, ART-WISE. GROWING UP, I ASSUMED EVERYBODY HAD ART IN THE HOUSE, BUT I’VE REALIZED THAT’S NOT THE CASE. NOT EVERYBODY LIKES HAVING ART AROUND, ALTHOUGH [THERE IS EFFORT IN] FINDING ART THAT YOU LIKE, AND ACQUIRING IT, OR CREATING IT, AND KEEPING IT. THERE WAS ALWAYS SOMETHING DIFFERENT HANGING ON THE WALLS IN THE HOUSE. [MOM AND DAD] WERE ALWAYS MOVING IT AROUND. THESE THREE PAINTINGS [BY MIKE PISKO AND ERNEST RIETHMAN], I’M AWARE THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE FRIENDS OF MOM AND DAD. THEY WERE …ARTISTS. I DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THEM OTHER THAN THAT THEY WOULD OFTEN GO OUT TO SKETCH, AND PAINT, AND THEIR NAMES ARE FAMILIAR TO ME. [THE ARTWORKS] MEANT SOMETHING TO [MY PARENTS], WHETHER THEY BOUGHT THEM OR THEY WERE JUST GIFTS FROM OTHER ARTISTS, I’LL NEVER KNOW, BUT THERE HAS OBVIOUSLY BEEN A LOT OF CARE AND EFFORT PUT INTO THE WORKS BY THE ARTISTS. I HAVE A LARGE NUMBER OF MY MOTHER’S PAINTINGS, BUT THERE ARE LOTS OF THOSE AROUND THE CITY, AND HER WORK IS WELL PRESERVED. THESE ONES…I KNOW THEY ARE LOCAL ARTISTS SOMEWHERE NOW.” “I LEARNED LATER, THAT [MY MOTHER’S LOVE OF ART] WAS BORN OUT OF HER DESIRE TO BRING ART TO HER SISTER, FERN, WHO HAD A BRAIN ANEURYSM WHEN SHE WAS ABOUT FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. [FERN] SPENT MANY YEARS IN HOSPITAL IN LABRECQUE, IN SASKATCHEWAN, BUT [MOM] NEVER GOT THERE; NEVER GOT THE PAINTINGS OUT THERE. THE ART WORK IS, IN SOME WAYS, CRUDE. THERE ARE NO SHADOWS; THE PEOPLE ARE KIND OF LUMPY; THE COLORS ARE BRIGHT, AND ALL THESE SCENES REPRESENT SOMETHING OF HER LIFE AS A YOUNG GIRL ON A FARM, IN SASKATCHEWAN, AND HOW HARD IT MUST HAVE BEEN. THERE IS A LOT OF FEELING IN EACH ONE OF HER PAINTINGS. MANY OF THEM WE’LL NEVER KNOW THE STORIES, BUT THEY’RE ALL COUCHED IN STORIES. I HAD NO IDEA EITHER, UNTIL JUST NOW, HOW PROLIFIC SHE WAS; HOW MANY PAINTINGS SHE MUST HAVE DONE. I THINK IT WAS A CATHARSIS FOR HER, BUT ALSO REPRESENTATIVE OF THEIR LIVES, GROWING UP ON A FARM IN SASKATCHEWAN—THE ISOLATION, THE COLD, THE STRIFE AMONGST THE FAMILY, THE DIFFICULTY OF HER PARENTS HOLDING A MARRIAGE TOGETHER, AND THEIR DESPERATION, WITH SEVEN KIDS, TO GET OFF THE FARM AND GET OUT OF THERE, AND MAKE SOMETHING. IT’S A HERITAGE – HER PAINTINGS, AS ARE THESE HERE. YOU JUST LOOK AT THEM AND WONDER HOW IT IS THAT AN ARTIST CAN VISUALIZE THIS, AND PUT SO MUCH FEELING INTO EACH PIECE. THE LIGHT, THE FACIAL EXPRESSION, THE SUGGESTION OF A LINE, SOMETHING SIMPLE…SOMEBODY JUST [DAUBED] THE PAINT ON THERE, GLOBS THE YELLOW OF THE TREES. THERE’S SOMETHING THERE THAT—IT’S A HERITAGE. I [HEARD IN A MOVIE] ART IS THE TRUTH THAT WE HAVE EXISTED. THESE PEOPLE EXISTED. MOM, THE LIFE THEY HAD, WILL BE FORGOTTEN, BUT IT WAS THERE. NOW, AS OUR SUCCEEDING GENERATIONS, WE HAVE THE LIFE WE HAVE BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY WENT THROUGH. THE RICHNESS OF THEIR LIFE, WE CAN NEVER REPAY IT, BUT WE CAN HOPE TO PROFIT FROM IT.” FLAIG RECALLED HIS PARENTS AND THEIR HOME IN LETHBRIDGE, “I GREW UP IN TOWN, ON HENDERSON LAKE BOULEVARD. [MY PARENTS] MOVED OUT IN THE EARLY 1970S TO BROXBURN ROAD. SOME OF [THE PAINTINGS] I’D HAVE SEEN THERE AT HENDERSON LAKE BOULEVARD, AND THE REST WOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE FARM. THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN UP ON THE WALLS, OR DOWN IN THE BASEMENT. THINGS WERE ALWAYS MOVING AROUND, BUT THESE ARE PAINTINGS THAT ARE FAMILIAR TO ME. NOT THAT I PAID THAT MUCH ATTENTION TO THEM, BECAUSE THERE WERE ALWAYS PAINTINGS AROUND, AND I NEVER THOUGHT TO ASK.” “MIKE PISKO IS THE NAME THAT COMES [TO MIND ON ARTISTS MY MOM SPENT MORE TIME WITH]; HAS MORE PAINTINGS, MEMORY-WISE, FOR SURE. OUT ON BROXBURN ROAD, THAT’S WHEN THEY MET THE MALKAS’S. MOM SPOKE FREQUENTLY OF MELISSA, AND I PROBABLY MET THEM IN PASSING, BECAUSE I WAS ON TO OTHER STUFF. BUT I THINK THAT, WHEREVER THEY WERE, THEY WOULD HAVE REACHED OUT AND GOT IN TOUCH WITH OTHER ARTISTS. PLUS, WHERE THEY WERE ON BROXBURN ROAD, IT WAS A PLACE WHERE WE COULD DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING—BUILDING THINGS, TEARING THINGS DOWN, MAKING ART, BLOWING STUFF UP, AS KIDS DO. THERE WERE ALWAYS ANIMALS, SOME HORSES, AND ONE DISASTROUS ATTEMPT AT RAISING SHEEP BY MY FATHER. THEY WERE ALWAYS INTO SOMETHING.” “MOM AND DAD RAISED US AS SORT OF ‘FREE RANGE’ KIDS, AND THAT CARRIED ON OUT ON THAT FIVE ACRE LITTLE FARM-ETTE. WE COULD PRETTY MUCH DO ANYTHING, AND EXPERIMENT. WE ALWAYS HAD WOODWORKING TOOLS, AND TOOLS OF ALL KINDS IN THE BASEMENT ON HENDERSON LAKE BOULEVARD, AND LOTS TO MESS AROUND WITH. IF IT WASN’T ASTRONOMY, IT WAS POETRY, IT WAS WRITING, IT WAS ART, IT WAS BUILDING SOMETHING, OR FIXING SOMETHING UP THERE. IT WAS A STYLE OF LIFE THAT, IN REFLECTION, IT WAS QUITE A GIFT, QUITE A LEGACY TO US CHILDREN.” “THEY [BUILT] THE HOUSE ON HENDERSON LAKE BOULEVARD, I THINK IT WAS THE SECOND OR THIRD HOUSE ON HENDERSON LAKE BOULEVARD. ACROSS THE STREET WAS BALD PRAIRIE AT THE TIME, SO WE COULD JUST RUN AROUND.” ON HIS MOTIVATIONS FOR DONATING, FLAIG ELABORATED, “AS TIME GOES BY, WE FIND THE NEED TO TIDY UP AND GET READY FOR THE NEXT STAGE OF LIFE. PART OF IT IS FINDING ROOM FOR SOME OF THESE WORKS OF ART THAT HAVE BEEN IN MY HOUSE AND HAVE SURVIVED, SOMEWHAT MIRACULOUSLY, SINCE MOM AND DAD LEFT A LITTLE FAR AND I TOOK THEM OVER, AS WE WERE EMPTYING OUT THE PLACE. THEY’VE BEEN IN MY BASEMENT, UNAPPRECIATED, AND I SUPPOSE AT SOME RISK OF BEING FORGOTTEN, OR LOST, OR THROWN OUT. THEY DO HAVE SOME SENTIMENTAL VALUE FOR ME, AND I CAN APPRECIATE THE ARTWORK THAT IS IN THE PIECES, MYSELF, TO A LIMITED DEGREE.” “MOM AND DAD HAD REACHED THE END OF THE ROAD, MORE OR LESS, AS BEING ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR FIVE ACRES…OUT ON BROXBURN ROAD. THEY WERE HAVING TROUBLE WITH AGE-RELATED DISEASE, AND BECOMING FORGETFUL, AND THEY HAD TO MOVE INTO TOWN. THESE WORKS WERE IN THEIR PLACE, AND, AS WE CLEANED THE PLACE OUT, I TOOK THEM AND PROTECTED THEM, AND SAVED THEM FROM THE BINS…I’M PUTTING THAT AT 2011.” “IF I HAD A BIGGER HOUSE, IF I HAD MORE ROOM, IF I WAS A VISUAL ARTIST, THEN THERE’D BE NO QUESTION THEY’D BE UP SOMEWHERE, NO MATTER WHO SAID WHAT. I HAVE A FAIR NUMBER ALREADY ON THE WALLS AT HOME, AND AS THESE ARE THINGS THAT ARE FAMILIAR TO ME, ARRAIGNED WITH MY YOUTH, AND WITH MY PARENTS BEING ARTISTS. HOWEVER, THEY WILL NOT SURVIVE IF DON’T BRING THEM HERE. WE JUST WON’T KEEP THEM, AND NOBODY IN MY FAMILY IS INTERESTED IN THEM. SO, NOT DOING ART, I GUESS IT’S GOOD THAT THEY’RE HERE. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO, JUST STACK THEM UP AGAINST THE WALL? THEY EVENTUALLY WILL PERISH.” ACCORDING TO LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, MELISSA MALKAS WAS A SECOND GENERATION LETHBRIDGE ARTIST, THE DAUGHTER OF IRMA MALKAS (RODOWITZ) AND EGON MALKAS. MELISSA MALKAS GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY IN 1986 WITH A DEGREE IN FINE ARTS, AND ALSO ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE. DURING HER CAREER, MALKAS EXHIBITED AT THE BOWMAN ARTS CENTRE WITH THE ALLIED ARTS COUNCIL OF LETHBRIDGE. MELISSA MALKAS EXHIBITED AS A SOLO ARTIST, AND WITH HER MOTHER IN 1996 AND 2003 AT THE BOWMAN ARTS CENTRE. MALKAS WAS AN INSTRUCTOR AT THE BOWMAN ARTS CENTRE FOR THE LETHBRIDGE ARTISTS CLUB IN 2005 AND 2010, TEACHING COURSES IN MIXED MEDIA WATERCOLOUR AND OILS. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190006001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190006004
Acquisition Date
2019-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail