ShadboltBreakUpWS2 Jack Shadbolt, Break-Up, 1977-79.

Jack Shadbolt


Chosen by: Samantha Brett, Events Specialist

“When I was 13 years old, growing up in Alberta, I saw my first Shadbolt piece. It was on the cover of a box of fancy cards my mom had purchased to give to her clients when she sold them a new home.

I was completely taken with the image. It felt so modern and bold to me. Without asking, for fear of denial, I took one and placed the card in a little frame. It entered the frenetic mix of my teenage bedroom, taking place of pride on my night stand. I would stare at it often with a sense that this was the first ‘real’ piece of art I had ever seen. I was also keenly aware that this work was from the West Coast and, in my young mind, the image on the card became entwined with my idea of what Vancouver must be like: creative and bold and alive, yet somehow natural and organic.

I toted that little framed card around with me for years. Eventually I moved to Vancouver and had an opportunity to see many of Mr. Shadbolt’s pieces in galleries.

To this day, he is one of my favourite artists. HIs use of colour always draws me in and is as distinct and identifiable to me as a fingerprint.

Break-Up feels like Vancouver to me. The image is natural and organic with the grays and blues reminding me of our sky most of the year. And I can honestly say that his work evokes the same feelings that it did when I was just a kid. I think there is something quite magical about that.”


Jack Shadbolt, Break-Up, 1977-79. Acrylic, latex on watercolour board. Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Gift of J. Ron Longstaffe. Other paintings by Jack Shadbolt will be on display in the AUDAIN COLLECTION and AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF OUR COLLECTION exhibitions which open in fall 2011.

Samantha Brett is the whiz behind the Gallery’s fabulous galas and other special events, and one of the Gallery’s thousands of Facebook followers.



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