Dale Matthews: From Then Till Now Exhibition at Penticton Art Gallery

Event Dates:
  • Sat May 22, 2021 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Mon May 24, 2021 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sat May 29, 2021 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Mon May 31, 2021 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sat June 5, 2021 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • See All Events
  • Event Cost: By donation
  • Social Media:

MAY 22, 2021 TO JUNE 19, 2021

Monday-Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 11am-4pm


I have always considered and understood art history to be a visual diary of our collective social history, as each artist and the work they produce has a direct correlation to the environment in which they lived, those they associated with, and their world view. It is also interesting, and not surprising, the impact a single teacher well-placed in your development can have on the course of your life and the lives of so many liked minded individuals.

Growing up in the small town of Rossland, it is incredible to think that within a few years of each other the town would produce an incredible number of artists and arts professionals including Dale Matthews, Alf Crossley, Wayne Eastcott, John Stark, and even our own Gail Cornish. Interestingly, the dynamic our society has set up between the arts and sport, one which was beautifully illustrated through a visit to Rossland’s Wikipedia page. Under the heading of notable people, ten individuals are listed: eight are athletes, one is the former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner, and the only artist is actor John Stark. I would be willing to wager that the legacies of the unnamed artists have a greater potential to continue to impact and inspire countless generations well into the future.

With that in mind, it is always a pleasure to be afforded the privilege to explore the totality of an artist’s career. Within each work one can find the double helix which makes up the duality of Dale’s personal and professional practice. While this exhibition is not quite a retrospective, it does serve as a pictorial essay providing the roadmap to the work of an artist whose legacy has inadvertently intersected with the lives of generations of British Columbians.

The story begins with a young student at the Vancouver School of Art in the late 1950s and follows his career as a sign painter, a designer of architectural interiors for retail stores, shopping malls, cruise ships, and our own fleet of BC Ferries, culminating with the paintings he is best known for today. If you have ever lived or spent any time in the lower mainland over the past 60 years, you have most likely been impacted in some regard by Dale’s commercial work. More recently if you have attended any group exhibitions here in the Okanagan over the years, you have most certainly communed with his paintings.

This exhibition hopes to highlight the breadth of the journey travelled, illustrating the totality of a lifetime’s pursuit and commitment to a singular passion for self expression and creativity. I would like to thank Dale for his trust and willingness to share his story. I hope you enjoy discovering the arc of his career as much as I have. Dale Matthews lives and works out of his studio overlooking Trout Creek.

Paul Crawford, Curator