Collections
Other Name
COAL MINERS IN THE SKY
Date Range From
1960
Date Range To
1970
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
OIL, MASONITE
Catalogue Number
P19694924000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
COAL MINERS IN THE SKY
Date Range From
1960
Date Range To
1970
Materials
OIL, MASONITE
No. Pieces
1
Length
110.0
Width
95.0
Description
COLOURS: RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, GREY, BROWN, BLACK. DEPICTS TWO MINERS WITH PICKS IN THE CLOUDS ABOVE COAL MINE FUTURISTIC CITY VISIBLE THROUGH MINE SHAFT. "THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB CENTENNIAL EXHIBITION 1967 ARTIST MICHAEL PISKO, 1252 20 AVENUE NORTH, TITLE OF LINK COAL MINERS IN THE SKY, MEDIUM OIL VALUE $500.00...".
Subjects
ART
Historical Association
FINE ARTS
COAL MINING
History
*UPDATE* IN 2014 COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT JANE EDMUNDSON CONDUCTED A SURVEY OF ART OBJECTS. SHE FOUND A MEMO FROM THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF ALBERTA IN THIS PAINTING'S PERMANENT FILE THAT PROVIDES THE FOLLOWING DETAILS: "ON SUNDAY, JUNE 22 [1969] THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO THE UNVEILING OF A CENTENNIAL PAINTING 'COAL MINERS IN THE SKY' BY MICHAEL PISKO OF LETHBRIDGE. THE PAINTING IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF BRAVE AND FEARLESS MEN WHO TOILED IN THE COAL MINES OF THIS AREA. ALSO AT THIS TIME APPRECIATION WILL BE EXPRESSED TO THE ARTIST MICHAEL PISKO FOR HIS THOUGHTFULNESS AND GENEROSITY IN HIS GIFT OF THE PAINTING TO THE SIR ALEXANDER GALT MUSEUM. IN ADDITION, RECOGNITION WILL BE EXPRESSED TO THE LETHBRIDGE MINERS CLUB WHICH SO THOUGHTFULLY CO-OPERATED WITH THE ARTIST AND MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR THE MUSEUM TO HAVE FIVE THOUSAND BROCHURES FOR DISTRIBUTION THROUGHOUT ALBERTA. THESE BROCHURES WERE PROCESSED BY THE LETHBRIDGE HEARLD PRINTING AND CONTAIN A REPLICA OF THE PAINTING 'COAL MINERS IN THE SKY', TOGETHER WITH INFORMATION PERTAINING TO THE MUSEUM." THE FOLLOWING BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON MICHAEL PISKO WAS FOUND IN A PRESS RELEASE ANNOUNCING THE 'MICHAEL PISKO MEMORIAL AWARD', WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE ARTIST'S WIDOW AND THE ALBERTA SOCIETY OF ARTISTS IN 2000, TO BE AWARDED TO A GRADUATING BFA DEGREE PAINTER FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE: "MICHAEL PISKO WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1913. HE MADE HIS LIVING AS A SUCCESSFUL SIGN PAINTER THROUGH HIS BUSINESS, CITY SIGN COMPANY, BUT LANDSCAPE PAINTING WAS HIS LIFE'S FULFILLMENT. TO HONE HIS SKILLS, HE STUDIED THREE SUMMERS AT THE BANFF SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS AND SOUGHT INSTRUCTION FROM SENIOR VISITING ARTISTS WHO CAME TO LETHBRIDGE ON INVITATION OF THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB, OF WHICH HE, IN 1937, WAS ONE OF THE FOUNDING MEMBERS. PISKO GREATLY ADMIRED A.Y. JACKSON, THE GROUP OF SEVEN MASTER, WITH WHOM HE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SKETCH AND PAINT AROUND LETHBRIDGE WHENEVER JACKSON CAME TO TOWN TO VISIT HIS BROTHER. HE WAS ALSO DEEPLY INFLUENCED BY H.G. GLYDE, WHO TAUGHT AT THE ALBERTA COLLEGE OF ART IN CALGARY AND AT THE BANFF SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS AND WHO VISITED LETHBRIDGE TO TEACH ART CLASSES AT THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB. IN 1947 PISKO WAS ACCEPTED FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE ALBERTA SOCIETY OF ARTISTS. HE WAS A PROLIFIC PAINTER, WHO EXHIBITED REGULARLY WITH THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB AND THE ALBERTA SOCIETY OF ARTISTS. HIS WORK IS REPRESENTED IN MANY PRIVATE, CORPORATE AND PUBLIC COLLECTIONS, AMONG THEM THE ALBERTA FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS AND THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE. MICHAEL PISKO PASSED AWAY IN 1999." THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB HELD THEIR FIRST MEETING AT THE HOME OF MISS ANNA MACKENZIE ON OCTOBER 7, 1936. EDITH FANNY KIRK WAS THE FIRST ART TEACHER IN LETHBRIDGE. SHE CAME FROM BRITAIN WITH CLASSICAL TRAINING AND IT WAS KIRK WHO SET THE STAGE FOR THE SKETCH CLUB TO COME INTO BEING. THE BANFF SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS ALSO PLAYED A ROLE IN THE FORMATION BY PROVIDING RECOGNITION OF ARTISTIC MERIT THROUGH DISTRICT SCHOLARSHIPS. ANNA MACKENZIE AND P.J. COLLINS CONCEIVED OF THE CLUB AFTER THEIR EXPERIENCE IN BANFF. THE GROUP WAS FORMED OUT OF AN ENTHUSIASTIC INTEREST IN ART AND SOON AFTER THE GROUP BEGAN MEETING, THERE WERE REGULAR EXHIBITIONS. THE GROUP WAS PRIVY TO THE ATTENTION OF GROUP OF SEVEN ARTIST A.Y.JACKSON WHEN HE MADE HIS FREQUENT SKETCHING TRIPS TO SOUTHERN ALBERTA. HE REGULARLY ACCOMPANIED THE SKETCH CLUB AND HIS INFLUENCE CAN BE SEEN IN MUCH OF THEIR WORK. ANOTHER GUEST OF THE GROUP WAS ANNORA BROWN WHO WAS AN ARTIST WHO HAD TRAINED IN TORONTO, BUT RESIDED IN FORT MACLEOD AND BEGAN SPENDING TIME WITH THE GROUP IN 1939. HER INTEREST IN FLOWER STUDIES IS SUSPECTED TO HAVE INSPIRED MANY OF THE WORKS BY CLUB MEMBERS. DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS, THE GROUP ORGANIZED SUMMER CLASSES TAUGHT BY OUT OF TOWN ARTISTS SUCH AS: H.G.GLYDE, WALTER J. PHILIPS AND A.C. LEIGHTON. ACCORDING TO A HISTORY OF THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB WRITTEN BY JOAN STEBBINS IN JUNE, 1985, “THE PAINTINGS OF THE LETHBRIDGE SKETCH CLUB PORTRAY FAVOURITE SKETCHING AREAS IN THE REGION – THE COULEES PROVIDED ENDLESS MATERIAL, THE RIVERBOTTOM, THE OLD R.C.M.P. BARRACKS, THE WHITNEY FARM, HENDERSON LAKE, THE FELGER HUTTERITE COLONY, THE FOOTHILLS AND WATERTON LAKE WERE OFTEN REPEATED SUBJECTS.” FOR COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES ON PISKO AND HIS CAREER, AS WELL AS PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS FOR THE 1995 ARTWALK DEDICATED TO HIM, SEE PERMANENT FILE P19920009001.
Catalogue Number
P19694924000
Acquisition Date
1969-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail