Tom Forrestall

The Sketchbooks of Tom Forrestall  |  City Gallery  |  September 9 – October 28, 2022

About the Exhibition

Tom Forrestall, one of Canada’s leading artists, established his early career in New Brunswick; first as a student at Mount Allison University, then as a curator hired by Lord Beaverbrook for his art gallery in Fredericton. Later he established his career as an independent artist with some of his earliest exhibitions in Saint John at the Morrison Gallery.

 The current exhibition at the Saint John Arts Centre features an extensive selection of his sketchbooks, from his days as a student to his most recent work. 

The curatorial approach utilized in this exhibition is a first for artist’s notebooks. The approach will allow for an ever-changing exhibition on a daily basis – a “new exhibition” every day will define this unique exhibition, the pages of the notebooks being turned over on a regular basis offering an ever-changing display. This unique curatorial approach builds on the earliest understanding of the museum, the ‘wonder cabinet’. The history of the wonder cabinet, or cabinets of curiosities, or wunderkammer, offer a cultural lineage to this project of exploring the creative life of Tom Forrestall through his sketchbooks.

The sketchbooks of Tom Forrestall offer an archive of unpatrolled scope documenting the artist’s creative process development and life for the last 70 years in a collection of now nearly 400 texts.

No other artist’s sketchbook collection exists with this degree of depth and scope. Canadian Arts writers have called it a national treasure. 

A special book launch and signing with the artist will take place Sept 17th