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MIDDLETON, Janet Holly Blench

Vernon, B.C., 1922
Banff, Alberta, 2018
Biography synopsis
Janet Holly Middleton (aka Mrs. J. Churchill) worked in various media during her long art practice. She originally studied painting, sculpture and pottery at the Winnipeg School of Art (1941-43) and later continued at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art in Calgary (1943-46). She also took courses at the Banff School of Fine Arts and attended Emma Lake workshops in Saskatchewan. In 1961/2, she received a British Arts Council Bursary to study printmaking at the Slade School of Art in London; she also attended workshops in France, Italy, Japan, and the U.S. Middleton was recognized for her important role as an art teacher. She taught at the University of Alberta (1948-64) the Banff School of Fine Arts for summer sessions (1948-1971), and later lectured at the University of Guelph (Ontario). Along with Annora Brown, Margaret Shelton and George Weber, among others, she was an early member of the Canadian Society of Painters & Etchers (Edmonton). In 1956-1957, her serigraphs were exhibited in "The First Western Canada Print Exhibit" at Hart House (Toronto). Her works were regularly included in the Canadian Prints Exhibitions. She was later commissioned to produce public art murals and has also illustrated various books. Her works are held in a number of public and private collections.
Media used
Mural painting and decoration
Oil painting
Banff School of Fine Arts, 1942 - 1945 (under H.G. Glyde, W.J. Phillips, A.Y. Jackson)
Slade School of Art, London, 1961 - 1962
Winnipeg School of Art, 1941 - 1943
Provincial Institute of Art and Technology, Calgary, Alberta, 1943 - 1946
Alberta Society of Artists, 1950-52, 57, 64
Canadian Society of Painters, Etchers and Engravers, 1961
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Calgary Public Library, AB - Arts Department
Edmonton Art Gallery, AB - Library
Hamilton Public Library, ON - Local History and Archives Department
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Vancouver Public Library, BC - Fine Arts and History Department
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library

Writings about
Arts Canada 20 (1963): 96-97
"Artist Trades Brush for a Trowel." Kitchener-Waterloo Record 5 Aug. 1967
"City Artist Wins Award." Edmonton Bulletin 5 Nov. 1949
"Holly Middleton City Artist to Teach at Banff Art School." Vernon News 5 Jun. 1972
"Janet Middleton Painting will Hang in Historical Bakerville Park." Vernon News 2 Feb. 1959
"Numerous Awards for Prominent Artist." Guelph Mercury 16 Feb. 1967
"Valley Artist-Instructor Aids Students at Banff." Kelowna Courier 17 July 1972
"Vernon Girl Wins Sculpture Award." The Vancouver Sun 17 Oct. 1942
Armstrong, Christopher and H.V. Nelles. The Painted Valley: Artists Along Alberta's Bow River, 1845-2000. Calgary, Alberta: University of Calgary Press, 2007
Bonli, Henri. "Holly Middleton's Exhibition "An Ambitious Undertaking.' Guelph Mercury 28 May 1970
Cochran, Bente Roed. Printmaking in Alberta 1945-1985. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1989
Fellows, Joanne. "Art and Artists - Detailed Bodies and Abstract Bodies." Kitchener-Waterloo Record 16 May 1970
Kritzwiser, Kurt. "Art - Abandoning Teaching for Painting." Globe and Mail 12 Jan. 1971
MacDonald, Colin S.. The Dictionary of Canadian Artists (Volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker) Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2009
Milke, Doris. "Talented Woman Painter." Calgary Herald 9 Jan. 1963
Townshend, Nancy. A History of Art in Alberta, 1905-1970. Calgary, Alberta: Bayeux, 2005
Willock and Sax Gallery. "Janet (Holly) Middleton." Artists Biographies. 2019
Willson, Ruth. "Artists from the Prairies Lead Canadian Painting." Leader-Post (Regina) 4 Dec. 1965

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