Linda Fairfield Stechesen: The Garden
FEB 17-JUNE 17, 2018
In 2017, the Winnipeg Art Gallery received a collection of 233 botanical illustrations by the Manitoba artist and naturalist Linda Fairfield Stechesen (1939-2017). This exhibition brings together a sampling of nearly 50 of those illustrations, executed between the late 1970s and early 2000s along with 9 herbarium specimens on loan from the University of Manitoba Vascular Plant Herbarium.
Fairfield Stechesen’s botanicals, which she referred to as “The Garden,” are a testament to the Portage la Prairie-raised artist’s deep love, respect, and knowledge of the flora of this province. Every specimen she turned her eyes to received equal attention and illustrative care. Fairfield Stechesen was methodical in her process, working carefully to accurately and aesthetically depict specimens from life before they wilted. Moreover, the collection is a tribute to the diverse regions of Manitoba that Fairfield Stechesen pursued her passion of searching and recording the plant life of the province, from the Delta Marsh to Churchill.
Linda Fairfield Stechesen’s contribution to the world of botanical art culminated in the illustrations she produced for Wildflowers of Churchill and the Hudson Bay Region (1987), a naturalist field guide by Dr. Karen Johnson. She was also deeply involved in Winnipeg’s artistic community, especially as an active member of Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA), where she led a popular botanicals workshop in 2016.
Curated by Nicole Fletcher