An important part of the gallery's mandate is to acquire significant works of art which enhance our existing permanent collection and to seek out additional works which help fill in the gaps and allow us to better represent the art history of British Columbia. Two donations which were acquired over the past year fall into both of the above categories and we are pleased to feature them in a tribute exhibition as the current year draws to a close.
Last year after reviewing our collection, it became evident that one of our strengths lay in our holdings of work done by British Columbia's women artists. This is an area which has been largely overlook by many public institutions and needs to be redressed and I am excited that the Board of Directors has decided to make this a focus of the Penticton Art Gallery's collection policy. With the gallery committed to further developing this important and significant aspect of our cultural heritage, we were fortunate to receive a donation form the Vancouver based artist Laurie Papou. Her major 1990 oil on wood panel painting entitled Three Stages explores the often used theme of the Three Graces and twists it around from the traditional perspective taken from the male gaze to that of a women. In this powerful work she explores the politics of gender and the reversal of power exposing a remarkable and unexpected sense of vulnerability. This work is an important addition to the collection as it fills a void in our contemporary holdings and is a significant work by one of the province's leading female painters of the last twenty years. The gallery will be hosting a major exhibition of Laurie Papou's work in 2010 which promises to be though provoking and poignant examination of the current state of our environment.
The gallery was also fortunate to receive a major donation of work from the collection of Freeman and Rosita Tovell who continues to make significant and timely contributions to our ever growing collection. The bulk of this donation is an impressive collection of First Nation's serigraphs which greatly enhances our current holdings of works representing B.C.'s First Nations communities. These prints are also a nice counterpoint to the Feckless Collection as all the representations of our First Nations heritage in this collection are from a Eurocentric perspective. While they document the communities and the tangible aspects of their heritage, they do not document the stories and oral histories behind the imagery. These prints were donated with the intent that they will be made available for loan as part of our growing education and outreach program. If you would like information on this program and how this collection and education program can be used out in the community, please contact the gallery.
Each year the gallery is fortunate to receive a number of significant donations which better help us preserve our region's visual art and cultural history. This exhibition features a small portion of the donations we received this past year with many of the donations coming to the gallery from Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria and Penticton. We are attracting a great deal of interest from potential donors from across the country and I look forward to seeing what may transpire as these discussions continue over the next year. Thank you to the donors who have made the Penticton Art Gallery a repository for their treasures. These works are held in public trust on behalf of the citizens of British Columbia and I welcome any questions or inquiries you may have on our current collection and our plans to further develop it over the next few years.