This year marks the 50th anniversary of The May Show. That was the exhibition that the MacKenzie Art Gallery organized in the spring of 1961 that introduced Regina audiences to the exceptional work being done by a group of five Regina painters (left to right: Ron Bloore, Arthur McKay, Doug Morton, Kenneth Lochhead and Ted Godwin) who were on the cusp of achieving international acclaim for their abstract expressionist work.
The show, which also included work by two local contemporaries of the five, artist Roy Kiyooka and architect Clifford Wiens, was seen by Charles Comfort, the director of the National Gallery in Ottawa, who remounted it later that year in the nation’s capital as Five Painters From Regina.
It truly is a fascinating story that includes ties to the Emma Lake workshops of the late 1950s and early ’60s, the involvement of such New York luminaries as Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland and critic Clement Greenberg, and the broader Modernist and counter-culture movements of that time.
Tomorrow night at 7 p.m., there’s a reception for a show by the five painters that will recall the inaugural show. Also on display will be five vintage automobiles from that era. The evening will begin with a screening of a new documentary by Jim Henshaw called Out of Nowhere , and a Q & A with the group’s lone surviving member: Ted Godwin.