Now part of the Cariboo’s illustrious history

Now part of the Cariboo’s illustrious history

Book launch includes slide show on artist Sonia Cornwall

The public is invited to visit with the author of a new book about Cariboo artist Sonia Cornwall on Wednesday, Oct. 21, starting at 7 p.m.

The public is invited to visit with the author of a new book about Cariboo artist Sonia Cornwall at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre on Wednesday, Oct. 21, starting at 7 p.m.

Sonia: The Life of Bohemian, Rancher and Artist Sonia Cornwall, 1919-2006, was written by author-historian Sheryl Salloum who will be launching her book with an illustrated slide show and talk about the painter.

Solloum says the owner of the Westbridge Fine Art Gallery in Vancouver which carries work suggested that she write a book about the artist but it wasn’t until she attended a wedding at Little Lake near Likely that she was convinced to do so.

She met David and Susan Zirnhelt at the wedding who had great praise for Sonia and her work. Then she was fortunate to be able to spend some time at Jones Lake Ranch where Sonia lived and see for herself the scenes that inspired her work.

Unfortunately she says she never had the opportunity to meet the artist  who passed away in 2006.

“I think she is one of the most important early artists from the Interior,” Solloum says.

Independent and driven, rancher and artist Sonia Cornwall developed a distinct style that captured the nuances of B.C.’s rugged interior in oils, mixed media, pastels and watercolours, doing for B.C.’s Central Interior what Emily Carr did for the Coast.

The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant-Governor of B.C., describes Sonia’s paintings as “very real, warm, alive.”

After Sonia Cornwall’s father died in 1939, her mother inherited the Onward Ranch and a huge debt.

To make the ranch viable, a 19-year-old Sonia traded paintbrush for pitchfork, labouring alongside the male ranch hands. But after marrying Hugh Cornwall in 1947, Sonia had time for painting once again.

She learned techniques from some of Canada’s most celebrated artists who came to visit the Onward Ranch, and later her home at the Jones Lake Ranch, such as Peter Aspell, Molly Bobak, Jack Hardman, Herbert Siebner, Group of Seven member A.Y. Jackson, Joe Plaskett, Cliff Robinson and Zeljko Kujundic.

Tales from renowned Cariboo Chilcotin personalities bring Sonia’s story to life.

Joseph Plaskett said of artist Sonia Cornwall that she “goes beyond landscape and draws inspiration from human activity on the land … Sonia, by the strength of her feelings, has created a powerful art.”

Salloum was born and raised in B.C. and for 10 years called the Cariboo home. She graduated from Simon Fraser University and taught in the public school and college systems. A freelance writer for more than 25 years, she has published articles in several Canadian magazines and is the author of three books, including The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton (Mother Tongue, 2011), Underlying Vibrations: The Photography and Life of John Vanderpant (Horsdal & Schubart, 1995) and Malcolm Lowry: Vancouver Days (Harbour Publishing, 1987).

She has been a finalist for two BC Book Prizes: the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize and the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize.



Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Central Mountain Air confirmed it does not plan to resume service to Williams Lake at this time. (Betsy Kline photo)
Central Mountain Air not resuming route to Williams Lake at this time

Scheduled CMA flights will return to Quesnel at the end of June

Gibraltar Mine has started calling back 34 workers laid off on April 27 because it has received its permit to reactive the Gibraltar East Pit. (Taseko Mines Ltd. photo)
Gibraltar Mine receives permit, calling back laid off employees

Mining has begun in the Gibraltar East pit

(RCMP logo)
RCMP investigating early morning assault in Williams Lake

An insecure firearm was located in a residence

Williams Lake City Council rejected a proposal Tuesday at its regular meeting for the city to host a junior A hockey team for the upcoming 2021/22 season. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Council rejects junior A hockey bid in Williams Lake

The proposal has been up for debate the past several months

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Most Read