Campus Life

Lasting Images - Pauline McGeorge (1930-2008)

Pauline McGeorge was born on January 18, 1930, and grew up at her father's lumber mill near Placerville in Northern California. Her parents, Bart and Elsie, instilled a respect for and love of nature in her that remained a prominent theme throughout her life and artistic practice.

McGeorge completed her education at the University of California at Santa Barbara (receiving a Master of Fine Arts) and in 1966, she responded to a posting for a full-time art instructor made by the Lethbridge Junior College.

McGeorge moved to Lethbridge with her four children where she became the founding faculty member of what would become the Art Department at the University of Lethbridge. At that early stage the facilities were primitive, with no visual aids, art books or rooms designed for the needs of art instruction.

Over her 20-year career at the University, McGeorge was extremely influential in the growth of the department and the founding of the University Art Gallery. She was beloved by her students and other faculty members, many of who kept in contact with her through the years.

Upon her retirement in 1986, McGeorge moved to her property on Kootenay Lake where she developed extensive flower and vegetable gardens. She continued her art, drawing inspiration from the simple beauty of nature. Pauline McGeorge died on July 2, 2008, at her home in the presence of her family.

Select pieces of Pauline McGeorge's work, held by the University of Lethbridge Art Collection, will be on display in the Helen Christou Gallery as part of the exhibition First Faculty: Works by Early Members of the University of Lethbridge Art Department, running from Mar. 20 to May 29, 2009.

Canadian artists have a history of drawing inspiration from the land. This has been true of Pauline, but unlike many others, she has not felt the need to seek out the exotic site. She has found the extraordinary in her own backyard, more specifically in her large vegetable and flower garden and the surrounding trees. Pauline's watercolours and pastels recall the rhythm of the university condensed into the wind-swept branch of a pine tree or a single head of cabbage.

Professor Emeritus Charlie Crane
University of Lethbridge Art Department