In honour of internationally acclaimed PEI artist Hilda Woolnough, The Guild in Charlottetown has renamed their gallery the Hilda Woolnough Gallery.
For over 30 years on PEI, Hilda Woolnough (1934–2007) was an artist, teacher, advocate and champion of artists’ rights. She was the driving force behind The Phoenix Gallery, The Gallery-On-Demand, the Great George Street Gallery, The Arts Guild, the Printmakers Council and the Student Art Expo. She served on the boards of many professional provincial and federal arts organizations, and was a lifetime member of the PEI Council of the Arts. In recognition of her contributions to the arts on PEI, the Council awarded her the Father Adrien Arsenault Senior Arts Award in 1999. She was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in the same year.
Woolnough was born in Northampton, England in 1934; her mother, uncle, and brother were all artists. Woolnough attended the Chelsea School of Art in London, studying with Henry Moore, and graduated with an MFA. She immigrated to Canada in 1957 and soon after made her way to PEI. With her husband, UPEI professor, writer and publisher, Reshard Gool (1931-1989), they formed part of the nucleus for a vibrant arts community.
Woolnough had solo exhibitions across Canada, in Mexico and Jamaica, and was included in group exhibitions in Japan and Spain. Solo exhibitions of her work were mounted at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in 1976 (which toured the Atlantic region), 1991, 2001, and 2005. Her work is in numerous public, and private collections, including the Musée des beaux arts, Montreal, Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the New Brunswick Museum, Memorial University, St. John’s, and the Canada Council Art Bank.
Along with the renaming, The Guild will be showing a retrospective of Woolnough’s works. All Things Hilda: A Retrospective will be on view from November 17 to December 31.
The Hilda Woolnough Gallery is located in the lower level of The Guild, 111 Queen Street, Charlottetown.