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 Ivan Trevor Wheale  (1934 - )

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Lived/Active: Ontario / Canada      Known for: landscape and photo-real object painting, drawing, teaching

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ivan Trevor Wheale LL.D., CSPWC, SCA (1934)

A painter, draftsman, and educator, Ivan Trevor Wheale was born in Sunderland, England, emigrated to Sudbury, Ontario in 1957, and has been living in Little Current, Manitoulin Island (in Lake Huron), Ontario since 1975.

His primary mediums are oils and watercolors. His subjects include the wild landscapes of Ontario, farms, old barns, snowscapes, shorelines, lakes, icebergs and close-ups of objects like windows, chains, rocks, horseshoes and boots; with these, like an abstractionist, his primary subjects are the shape, color and texture of the object. His best known style is Photo Realism* (also called High Realism and 'Whealeism' by the artist), however he has worked in other styles and has an important body of earlier work as an Abstract Expressionist*. AskART has some good illustrations of his most well-known style.

Wheale is a self-taught artist who has been painting professionally since 1960. He has also written about art (articles in The Manitoulin Expositor), been the subject of numerous interviews and specials on television and radio (CKSO – 1975, 1989; Sudbury Cable – 1978; CBCTV – 1979; CBC radio – 1983; MCTV – 1984, 1989, 1990, 1991), worked as an art instructor (Haliburton School of Fine Arts, Ontario; the Elliot Lake School of Fine Arts, Ontario; and elsewhere), and he has served on many exhibition juries.

He has been a member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour*, the Society of Canadian Artists, and the Manitoulin Fine Arts Association. He’s also a founding member of the Grismby Public Art Gallery, Grismby, Ontario (1965), the La Cloche Art Show, Whitefish Falls, Ontario (1978), and the Willisville Mountain Project (2009). (1)

Wheale’s works have been the subject of a ten-year retrospective exhibition at the McDonald Gallery, Queen’s Park (Ontario Legislature Buildings), Toronto (1976) and a fifty-year retrospective (An Artist’s Journey) at the Centennial Museum of Sheguiandah, Manitoulin Island (2004). They have also been the subject over 80 solo exhibitions held at public venues like the Sudbury Museum and Art Centre (1969, 1972, 1976, 1978, 1987) and the Grimsby Public Art Gallery (1980, 2000), as well as at numerous prominent commercial venues such as Galerie Dresdnere, Toronto; Odon Wagner Gallery, Toronto; and Waddington Galleries, Montreal.

His paintings were also included in “The Acute Image in Canadian Painting” at Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, New Brunswick (1974) and “Watercolour Painting in Canada Today” at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario (1979).

Wheale’s works are in many private, corporate and public collections (2). His numerous honors and awards include ones from the Ontario Arts Council (1976, 1978), Creative Artists in Schools (1977, 1978), the Canada Council for the Arts (1979), and an honorary degree from Laurentian University, Sudbury (1982).

He is listed in The Index of Ontario Artists (1978), The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001); the Biographical Index of Artists in Canada (2003); and there is a sizable entry for him in every edition of Canadian Who’s Who from 1992 to 2010.
(1.1) The Willisville Mountain Project was organized in 2009 to celebrate the four seasons of Willisville Mountain (on the north shore of Lake Huron) by 45 artists who have been inspired by its natural beauty. The artists involved in the project ranged from emerging to senior artists from Ontario, Quebec and the United States, and included painters, photographers, performance artists, installation artists, musicians, writers and mixed medium artists. The completed works were part of a touring exhibition in 2009 and 2010. Source: Willisville Project (website).

(1.2) While still in England, Wheale served in the Royal Air Force for 3 years (1952 – 1955). Source: “Canadian Who’s Who – 2010” (see AskART book references).

(2) According to Wheale’s CV, his works are in ‘42 public and corporate collections, including the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle in England, the Government of Ontario, the Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Premier of Ontario’s office (2004), and the Arts Pavilion “Man and His World” in Montreal.’ Source: Manitoulin Fine Arts Association.
Biographical Index of Artists in Canada (2003), by Evelyn de Rostaing McMann (see AskART book references)

The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references)

The Index of Ontario Artists (1978), edited by Hennie Wolff (see AskART book references)

Canadian Who’s Who – 2010 (2010), edited by Elizabeth Lumley (see AskART book references) 

Canadian Who’s Who – 1992 (1992), edited by Kieran Simpson (see AskART book references)

Bill Bradley – Sudbury Northern Life News, January 13, 2010

Bill Bradley – Sudbury Northern Life News, October 1, 2009

Temiskaming Art Gallery, Haileybury, Ontario (website)

Odon Wagner Gallery, Toronto (website)

Letter from Ivan Wheale to the M.D. Silverbrooke, dated June 17, 2010

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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