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FORSYTH, Mina Mabel

Estevan, Saskatchewan, 1920
?, ?, 1987
Biography synopsis
Mina Mabel Forsyth (nee McDonald) was born in Estevan, Saskatchewan, in 1920. Before beginning her career in the arts, Forsyth completed an Associate’s and Fellows course in banking at Queen’s University, while working at the Bank of Montreal. From 1942 to 1946 she worked for the British Air Commission in Washington and New York. In 1955, Forsyth completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba and went on to complete a Masters of Fine Arts from Michigan State University in 1957. In 1966, Forsyth began teaching painting and drawing classes at the University of Saskatchewan, becoming a full time professor in 1981. Between 1955 and 1987 Forsyth attended five Emma Lake Workshops; in 1977 she was a guest artist. These two-week workshops, which brought together practicing artists from across the country, are credited with aiding in the formation of the ‘Regina Five.’ Throughout her career Forsyth’s main focus was on the continued improvement of her craft and supporting her students in their practice. Mina Forsyth passed away in 1987, and in 1991 she received a Lifetime Award from the Saskatchewan Arts Board. Forsyth’s expressionist and abstract landscapes, figural works and still life paintings can be found in many public and private collections across the country.
Media used
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
University of Manitoba, ? - 1955
Michigan State University, ? - 1957
File & Archive locations
Artexte Information Centre, QC - Documentation Centre
Alberta Culture and Community Spirit - Arts Branch
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
London Public Library, ON
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
Saskatchewan Archival Information Network (SAIN)
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC

Writings about
A Passionate Eye: Mina Forsyth Regina, Saskatchewan: Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Council, 1997.
Another Eleven Saskatchewan Artists Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Mendel Art Gallery, 1972.
"Saskatchewan and the Visual Arts." Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists 2009
Arnold, Grant. Mina Forsyth: Flowers and Heads Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Mendel Art Gallery, 1985.
Higgins, Mandy. "Exhibition Features Abstract Pieces by Saskatchewan Artists." Moose Jaw Times-Herald 10 Apr. 2010: A11.
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.
Newman, Marketa. The Biographical Dictionary of Saskatchewan Artists, 2 Volumes. Saskatoon: Fifth House, 1990.
Prakash, A. K. Independent Spirit: Early Canadian Women's Art. Buffalo, New York: Firefly Books, 2008.
Roberts, Lorne. "Big Print: U of M exhibit of Printmaking Highlights City as Hotbed of Creativity during the '50s." Winnipeg Free Press 16 Dec. 2004: D5.

Writings by
Forsyth, Mina Mabel. Drawings and Paintings Michigan, United States of America: Michigan State University, 1957.
Forsyth, Mina Mabel. The Painting of a Triptych: Subject Matter - Saskatchewan Winnipeg, Manitob: University of Manitoba, 1955.

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