logo News and Events

Upcoming events

Main Page
Members Gallery
News and Events
Past Conferences
About Us
Membership Info
Portrait Commissions


Capturing the Human Spirit

Opening November 2007 , a Varley 10th anniversary exhibition call for artists

Varley announces its second biennial contemporary portraiture call for artists as part of its 2007 10th anniversary celebration year. The summer of 2007 will see the largest portrait exhibition on FH Varley, arguably Canada's greatest portrait artist in Unionville followed by a national tour. To compliment FH Varley's legacy, the Gallery will present as its year end finale "Capturing the Human Spirit".

"An inclusive definition of portraiture is essential to reflecting the evolving nature and traditions of Canadian art" said John Ryerson , Gallery Director. 

Definition of Portraiture

For the definition of portraiture to be meaningful, it should refer clearly and specifically to those features that distinguish the portrait from other categories such as landscape, still life, genre, etc, yet always remaining open to the artist's imaginative freedom of method, interpretation and creativity. The portrait then specifically includes the human likeness and provides identification, in its broadest sense, of the individual portrayed.

The Varley McKay Art Foundation will offer a purchase acquisition award of $5,000 to acquire one work for its permanent collection.

By working with artist societies the Varley will expand its reach to artists to a national call in all media. Art development in Canada was rooted in societies, the supportive environment created is one we think continues to have value to public institutions and to artists. This call for artists is open to members of the Ontario Society of Artists (OSA), the Portrait Society of Canada and the Sculptors Society of Canada. Interested artists should contact one of these societies regarding membership or making submissions.

Jurors will be Yves Theoret, Director of Exhibitions, Portrait Gallery of Canada; Odan Wagner, Odan Wagner Gallery owner; George Boileau, Contemporary Sculpture Faculty, OCAD.

Contact: John Ryerson: Director

Varley Art Gallery


(905) 477-9511 x233

With a particular focus on the art of portraiture, The Varley Art Gallery of Markham on Main Street in Unionville features innovative public programs and exhibitions. The gallery's permanent collection includes the work of one of Canada's foremost portrait artists, Frederick A. Varley, in whose honour the gallery is named, and works by his fellow members of Canada's famed Group of Seven. The Varley Gallery also operates the McKay Art Centre , where Varley lived for the last thirteen years of his life.

Varley Art Gallery is located at 216 Main Street in historic Unionville. 
T: (905) 477-9511 F: (905) 477-6299 
Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday 12-4 p.m. 
Adult Admission $4, free parking


The Portrait Society of Canada is proud to present a unique book.
"Lighting for portrait (& other) artists" by David Bernstein


PRODUCT PHOTO INC, 55 Administration Rd, #16 Concord, ON L4K 4G9

905-669-3972 or 1-800 828-0040

'Lighting for portrait artists' by David Bernstein

The Portrait Society of Canada is proud to present a unique DVD

'Creating a Portrait in Pastel' by Gwenneth Barth
"Creating a Portrait in Pastel" by Gwenneth Barth
step-by step approach to the Classical Portrait.

DVD, 68 min, $80.00 CAD, tax included, plus $10.00 CAD shipping within Canada

To order please contact the Portrait Society of Canada
Master Card/VISA, personal checks are accepted.

Members Gallery web page creation

Dear Member!

To build a strong membership base of the Society and create publicity for our members we would like You to participate in the Members Gallery web page creation, that will be a part of the Portrait Society of Canada web site.
The Members Gallery page will introduce the Artists-Members of the Society and display few Portraiture works along with the short artistic statement for each member. The page will give You a good opportunity to show and promote Your work and build a strong recognition in the Canadian Art Community. This is the first step to maintain the Portrait Brokers service and form the Portrait Agency with the commission's opportunity for each member of the Society.

If You would like to place Your information on the Members Gallery web page, please submit:

  • 2-3 best images of Your portraiture artwork

  • Your photo (optional)

  • short artist statement

  • Your contact information (e-mail)

Please send this information to the Portrait Society of Canada: info@portraitsocietyofcanada.com

Last updated: September 19, 2006