Arthur Shilling - Profile of a Woman
Arthur Shilling - Boy
Arthur Shilling - Three Friends
Arthur Shilling - Painter's Box
Arthur Shilling - Boy with Apple
Arthur Shilling - Field & Fence Posts- Landscape
Arthur Shilling - Millie In The Rain - Birches
Arthur Shilling - Winter Woods - Birches
Arthur Shilling - Church Near Rama
Arthur Shilling - Four Faces
Arthur Shilling - Self Portrait
Arthur Shilling - 2008 Shilling Exhibition 10
Arthur Shilling - Figure in the Snow-Spring
Arthur Shilling - Boy with clasped Hands
Arthur Shilling - Two Girls (with frame)
Arthur Shilling - Elder Woman ( with frame)
Arthur Shilling - Travis Sleeping, Detail
Arthur Shilling - Travis Sleeping
Arthur Shilling - Boy With Clasped Hands
Arthur Shilling - Two Girls Sitting
Arthur Shilling
9/19/2009 - 10/3/2009
11AM-5PM & by Appointment.


    Arthur Shilling was born April 19, 1941, on the Rama Reserve near Orillia, Ontario, into a family of 13 children. He moved to Toronto in his late teens, and although he received a scholarship to attend art school, he went to few classes, preferring to find his own way. That way meant rejecting traditional Native Indian art forms, the illustration of legends and the use of animal symbolism, while at the same time exploring the Native experience in the life around him, particularly in the faces of his people. He developed a distinctive expressionist style using bold strokes of colour to set off the quiet questioning or proud defiance in the faces of his subjects.


    The first solo exhibition of his paintings took place in Ottawa in 1967 when he was only 26 years old. Since then numerous galleries across Canada and internationally have shown his work including exhibitions at The Museum of San Paulo, Brazil and Kinder Des Nanabush, Hamburg, Germany. His paintings are in the permanent collections of The Art Gallery of Ontario, The McMichael Canadian Collection, The Portrait Gallery of Canada, The National Museum of Civilization, The Royal Ontario Museum, Rideau Hall, Ottawa and The Canadian Embassy collection in Washington, D.C. He was the subject of the National Film Board's prize-winning documentary titled," The Beauty of My People: The Life, Work and Times of Arthur Shilling."


    Fiercely independent and impatient of attempts to classify him, he remained always "his own man". In the 1970's when the aftereffects of rheumatic fever suffered in childhood caught up with him, he came out of heart surgery and looked upon the world around him with new eyes. He returned to Rama to build an art gallery beside his home where he lived with his wife, Millie, and sons, Bewabon and Travis. He was also interested in landscapes and in the summer of 1980 he went west with his family to paint the prairies and mountains, going as far as the Gulf Islands off Vancouver Island.


    In 1984 he was obliged to undergo further heart surgery. During the spring of 1985, ignoring medical warnings, he traveled to the Peace River district of northern Alberta and spent several weeks there teaching on native reserves. Although failing energy made painting very difficult, he continued to work until his death on March 4, 1986.


    "Thomas L. Beckett Sr., of Beckett Gallery, enjoyed a long friendship with Arthur and Millie Shilling. They shared many successful art exhibitions through the 1970's and 80's. October 29, 1988 marked the first Arthur Shilling Estate Exhibition with Beckett, celebrating the artist's life and work. We are fortunate to have worked with the Shillings and are honoured to carry on the tradition and dedication to this great Canadian artist's work." Thomas G. Beckett, Beckett Fine Art, Toronto, September 2009.