Islands - Lake of the Woods Book and Show - Media Release

November 1, 2022

The 220-plus Randolph Parker paintings and companion art book feature an ingenious coupling of fine art and GPS technology.



The 220-plus Randolph Parker paintings and companion art book feature an ingenious coupling of fine art and GPS technology.

WINNIPEG -- An epic, five-year adventure that saw artist Randolph Parker and gallery owner Bill Mayberry  travel 2,800 kilometres on one Canada’s most magnificent lakes comes to fruition November 24 with the launch of Islands – Lake of the Woods -- an exhibition of 220 paintings and companion coffee-table book at Mayberry Fine Art in Winnipeg.

In large-scale acrylic paintings on canvas, smaller works on birchwood panel and watercolour sketches, the veteran Canadian artist captured island landscapes in every region of Lake of the Woods.

Islands – Lake of the Woods runs for a month (to Dec. 24) at the two Mayberry galleries. Some 190 paintings will be on display at the flagship gallery at 212 McDermot Ave. in the Exchange District, while 30 works will be shown at the Tuxedo Park Shopping Centre location, 2025 Corydon Ave. (Unit 138).

“I have always believed that great things come from placing a gifted artist in the right situation,” said Mayberry, who is celebrating 50 years in the art business in 2022.

“My hope is that Islands – Lake of the Woods will inspire others to travel the same routes we did, to weave among the islands and explore this very special place from north to south, east to west.”

Significantly and likely for the first time in the history of landscape painting, each piece in the Islands collection is identified with its own Global Position Satellite (GPS) coordinates, which are also included in the book and on an interactive online map

For decades, art lovers and artists alike have tried to find the exact locations that have been captured in paintings by prominent Canadian artists, especially the Group of Seven. That previously daunting and frequently impossible quest will be entirely possible with Islands – Lake of the Woods.

The seed of an idea to couple fine art with GPS technology was planted in 2014 when Mayberry and Parker boated to the spot that had inspired Walter J. Phillips iconic 1928 block print Sunset, Lake of the Woods. Mayberry, a Lake of the Woods cottager for almost 40 years, had first discovered Phillips’ vantage point by chance in 2005 after pondering its likely location for years.

As they marked the exact location with their GPS and mused how Phillips might have reacted to this use of technology, the ideas began to percolate.

“With no shortage of enthusiasm, we committed to what ultimately evolved into a multi-year art and literary project,” recalled Parker, an outdoor enthusiast who has explored landscapes across Canada by air, land and, now, by boat.

“To showcase this truly exceptional region meant exploring the entire lake, documenting every location and making copious notes. Our plan was to create a uniquely focused art exhibition and book.”

Selecting the perfect islands to paint -- from among the lake’s more than 14,000 islands -- was a painstaking process that Parker and Mayberry undertook over several summers, two autumns and one winter on the lake.  Back in B.C. at his Salt Spring Island studio, Parker dedicated himself to the most challenging project in his decades-long career.

During the same timeframe, the duo collaborated to create the 230-page coffee table book that showcases the collection, chronicles their nautical journey and explores the storied Ontario-Minnesota lake through the lens of historical mapping and art history.  Former CBC The National news anchor and Lake of the Woods enthusiast, Peter Mansbridge, wrote the forward for the book.

The Islands paintings are priced from $700 to $900 for the watercolour sketches, $1,800 to $2,400 for the paintings on panel, and $5,000 to $28,000 for the works on canvas. Art collectors have shown considerable early interest in the Islands project with numerous works already spoken for. The entire collection can be viewed online Randolph Parker | Mayberry Fine Art

The official opening takes place Thursday, Nov. 24 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Mayberry’s Exchange District gallery with Parker in attendance. A book signing session will also be held on Saturday (noon to 5 p.m.) at the gallery.

Friday will see the unveiling of 30 additional paintings and book signing with the artist (noon to 5 p.m.) at Mayberry’s Tuxedo Park Shopping Centre location.

A preview of Islands – Lake of the Woods is also available online Lake of the Woods Islands - Preview | Mayberry Fine Art  Priced at $95, the book can be purchased online.

Randolph Parker is a nationally recognized landscape painter who grew up in Ontario’s Muskoka region and studied art at Mount Allison and York Universities. Randolph Parker | Contemporary Canadian Artist | Mayberry Fine Art

Mayberry Fine Art | Canadian Art Gallery | Winnipeg | Toronto has been helping clients build valuable collections of Canadian art for 50 years. In addition to galleries in Winnipeg and Toronto, their operations include an online and live auction house in partnership with Cowley Abbott, a specialist in that field. Mayberry Fine Art is among Canada’s premier private art galleries and considered a foremost expert in historical and contemporary Canadian fine art.