As far back as she can remember, Bonnie Parkinson was drawing every day. She doesn’t recall the decision to pursue art; it was simply always there and always something she was called to. When she began her studies at Beal in 1955 she was full of excitement about the possibility of a career in art. For several years, Bonnie worked as a fashion artist both at the London Free Press and T. Eaton Co. She enjoyed the work but says she always felt a calling to find more time to paint.
When Bonnie finally left the commercial art world and began painting full-time, she describes herself as bursting with ideas that had been pent up over the years. Bonnie embraced the simplicity of painting on plywood over canvas, a unique approach that set her paintings apart. Using layers of shaped plywood, she allows certain areas of her paintings to break out of the square mold.
A painter for over 50 years, Kevin Bice follows in the artistic legacy of his father; artist, writer, illustrator, and gallery director Clare Bice. Growing up immersed in the arts and brushing shoulders with prominent artists including A. Y. Jackson, it seems a natural conclusion that Kevin would end up in the visual and theatre arts himself.
Bice takes inspiration from historical artists working in a range of mediums and styles as well as from his experiences as an art instructor. Bice’s career as an educator began in Sault Ste. Marie where he was asked to begin an art department. Returning to London in 1976, he was asked to do the same at London Central Secondary School. Over his career, Bice taught at five London high schools and says that the process of fostering creativity in his students was integral to his own artistic development.
Kevin Bice’s work can be found in collections at the McIntosh Gallery at Western University and in corporate and private collections throughout Canada, the US and Europe. Bice and textile artist Lorraine Roy formed the London Artists’ Studio Tour and has participated in it for over 25 years. He was one of 19 artists who participated in The River Project in 2008.
Bonnie and Kevin’s exhibition opens on February 16th at Westland Gallery, and continues until March 6th.