The Group of Seven, a group of artists responsible for one of the first major artistic movements in Canada from 1920-1933, believed that true art is created through direct contact with nature. Many of Canada’s beautiful landscapes were captured in paintings that have since become an important part of Canadian history. A landscape that is frequently seen in Group of Seven paintings, namely those created by James Edward Hervey MacDonald, is the Gull River of the Coboconk and Norland area.
JEH MacDonald made many trips to the Gull River area for inspiration during his painting career. As early as the year 1911, multiple paintings by the renowned Group of Seven artist are reminiscent of the Gull River landscape. Specific paintings that capture the area include T.M. in Gull River, Mill at Coboconk, Brush Tangle, and Gull River. Each of these paintings brings unique perspectives to the Gull River area. The paintings from the Group of Seven cofounder pays tribute to the picturesque area of Coboconk and Norland, highlighting the lush and colourful landscape that we call home. However, nature is only part of what JEH MacDonald was inspired by. The painting titled T.M. in Gull River depicts MacDonald’s then 10 year old son, Thoreau, playing in the river. JEH made sure to incorporate his family life into his work and took his son with him on many of his trips – and the Gull River remains a popular area for family fun. The painting titled Mill at Coboconk commemorates the once booming mill industry that serviced Coboconk and the area. These paintings are only a few examples of JEH’s inspired time spent on Gull River and are important pieces of Canadian history that showcase the endless legacy of Gull River.
Visit the beautiful landscapes and waters of the Coboconk and Norland area that have been made famous in the timeless art of the Group of Seven!
f improving the economic, physical and social well-being of a community’s traditional town centre” in a number of ways including strengthening local businesses, creating enjoyable public spaces, and providing work and living opportunities that are specific to people’s needs within the community.
It is clear that the beautification of our communities is an important endeavour- one that works best in teams. If you would like to be a part of this project, please contact Jennifer at the Coboconk, Norland & Area Chamber of Commerce office at 705-454-1110.