Jack Wilkinson, Victoria BC, (1929-2006)
Jack Wilkinson was born in Windsor, ON. He lived in Britain from 1937-1955, during which time he studied architecture, painting and sculpture, as well as served in the R.A.F.
As an artist and administrator, Wilkinson was an influential force in the city of Victoria, BC during the 1960s and 1970s. He served as staff artist and senior architectural draftsman for Victoria’s Department of Public Works, and in 1973 he wrote the department’s art policy. Wilkinson was also the chairman for the Provincial Committee on Art and supervised the procurement of 600 artworks to be added to the provincial collection. His role allowed for him to organize art commissions for new provincial buildings, supporting the growth and appreciation of modern art in Victoria.
In 1975, Wilkinson decided to dedicate himself to his art career. In 1978, he became a member of The Limners, a society of Victoria, BC artists formed in 1971 and founded by Maxwell Bates, Herbert Siebner, Myfanwy Pavelic, Karl Spreitz, Nita Forrest, Richard Ciccimarra, Elza Mayhew, Robert de Castro and Robert Skelton. The name derives from the medieval guild of traveling journeyman painters, and this group of visual artists, many of whom came from Europe or elsewhere in Canada, bringing with them an international perspective and training, aimed to create a progressive atmosphere for modern art in Victoria. They did not work in a particular style, medium or genre, but were aligned with the thematic exploration of the human experience.
As a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Wilkinson’s work is held in numerous private collections in Canada, in addition to his commissioned public art pieces. One such piece is the iconic Centennial Fountain (City of Victoria). He was also commissioned to create the Royal British Columbia Museum’s Carillon tower and a sculpture for the BC Provincial School for the Deaf in Burnaby.
Wilkinson’s son, Martin Wilkinson, is providing a small selection of his father’s drawings and paintings to be shown and sold in ‘Figuratively Speaking: An Homage to the Female Face, Grace and Form’ group exhibit debuting at the Tofino Gallery of Contemporary Art on Nov 17, 2022.