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"TEI" 2007 Obituary


TEITELBAUM  TEIXEIRA 

TEITELBAUM o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-09-25 published
DANBY kept art real
The renowned realist artist died Sunday at 67 while canoeing in Algonquin Park.
By Lee-Anne GOODMAN, Canadian Press, Tues., September 25, 2007
Toronto -- Ken DANBY, recognized as one of the world's foremost realist artists and best-known in Canada for his iconic hockey painting, At the Crease, has died at the age of 67 while canoeing in Algonquin Park.
Born in Sault Ste. Marie, DANBY's vast portfolio includes everything from portraits of famous Canadians to athletes in midplay to landscape paintings so crystalline that at first glance they resemble photographs.
"He aspired to be -- and in many ways achieved -- the status of Canada's storyteller," Matthew TEITELBAUM, director of the Art Gallery of Ontario, said yesterday.
"He wanted to be an artist who painted Canada in its heroic moments and in its everyday moments… he wanted to tell people through his art that you could paint realistically and capture great emotion and generate great feeling, and he did."
Ken McGEE, manager of the Danby Studio in Guelph, called his friend a Canadian treasure.
"He's been called a national icon and that's basically what he was," he said.
The prolific DANBY was said to have known from a young age that he wanted to paint and enrolled in the Ontario College of Art in 1958. His first one-man show in 1964 sold out, an occurrence that would become commonplace as his work proved popular with private, corporate and museum collectors.
When asked to identify his favourite work, he frequently replied: "My next one."
His 1972 painting of a masked hockey goalie hunched in the crease is considered by many to be a Canadian national symbol and is sometimes mistakenly thought to be a portrait of legendary netminder Ken Dryden. Lacing Up, another hockey painting of someone tying his skates in a locker room, is almost equally iconic.
On his website, DANBY recalled an encounter about At the Crease: "One day, a woman complimented me on my painting At the Crease, which she referred to as 'That painting you did of the goalie, Ken Dryden,' " he recalled.
"She said that she had long had a print of it in her home and really enjoyed it. I thanked her, but also explained that, 'It isn't an image of Ken Dryden.' Looking puzzled, she replied, 'Yes it is.' I responded, 'No it isn't.' After a long pause, she loudly exclaimed, 'Yes it is!' I quickly apologized, with the sudden realization that she was right. It's really whomever one wants it to be."
The goalie painting is DANBY's most successful but there's a lot more to his work, McGEE said.
"It's a worldwide image now. Over the years we have sold literally hundreds of thousands of those images -- anybody who knows hockey knows that image and therefore knows Ken DANBY," he said.
"But his reputation seemed to be, from the public point of view, that of a sports artist and he was certainly much, much, much more than that. His works ranged from sports images and panoramic landscapes to huge oils and figurative works and just some stunning works. Particularly in the last few years, his work has expanded both in size and imagery."
In the 1980s, DANBY prepared a series of watercolours on the Americas Cup and the Canadian athletes at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
He also served on the governing board of the Canada Council and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada. McGEE said DANBY, who continued to paint avidly, was on the lookout for new inspiration while canoeing with his wife, Gillian, in Ontario's pristine Algonquin Park on Sunday.
"He died gathering information for more paintings," said McGEE, who remembered his friend as "amenable, friendly, approachable, kind and generous."
DANBY was a big supporter of the arts, and frequently railed against the lack of arts education in the public school system.
"The arts are just as important as math and science in education, and just as important as any other endeavour in our lives," he said. "Art is a necessity. Art is an absolutely essential part of our enlightenment process. We cannot, as a species, as a civilized society, regard ourselves as being enlightened without the arts."
Ontario provincial police say DANBY collapsed while canoeing on North Tea Lake. He was transported by air ambulance to North Bay General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
He's survived by his wife, Gillian and three sons.

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TEIXEIRA o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-01-02 published
MITCHELL, Russell Howard
Peacefully at Saint Thomas Elgin General Hospital on Saturday, December 30, 2006. Russell Howard MITCHELL of R.R.#1, Straffordville in his 80th year. Beloved husband of 51 years Hazel (PARKER) MITCHELL. Dear father of Jeanette BALDWIN and partner Dan SMYTH of Pt. Burwell and Linda MITCHELL and fiancÚ John TEIXEIRA of Cambridge. Loving grandfather of Mark and Paul. Also survived by a brother Lawrence MITCHELL, sisters-in-law Jean and Evelyn MITCHELL and a number of nieces and nephews. Predeceased by an infant daughter Myrna, brothers Eugene, Walter and Max MITCHELL. Born in Bayham Township on June 12, 1927 son of the late Grant and Mildred (WOODWORD) MITCHELL. Russell was farmer and a member of Richmond United Church. Friends may call at the H.A. Kebbel Funeral Home, Aylmer on Tuesday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where the funeral service will be held on Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at 1: 00 p.m. Interment, Straffordville Cemetery. Rev. Norman JONES, officiating. Donations to the Richmond United Church would be appreciated. Condolences at kebbelfuneralhome.com

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