Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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Provincial Normal School Sketch Club

1925 - ?

The Normal School Sketch Club was founded in the 1925-16 school year. The founding President was Mr. F. Henry Johnson, and Secretary Miss Edith E. Mills.

The Provincial Normal School in Vancouver was the institution where teachers were taught how to teach. For many years the art master at the Normal School was W.P. Weston, one of the major artists in the early history of British Columbia. In addition to his teaching duties, Weston sponsored the school's Sketch Club. The 1932-33 school annual had the following information about the Sketch Club and its activities during the year, the article illustrated by a reproduction of one of Weston's pen and ink drawings:

The Sketch Club
     Among the many clubs organized in the Normal School during the past year, the Sketch Club has by no means been the least popular. Mr. Weston said that he was agreeably surprised at the large membership as compared with former years. He further said that ever since the club was formed in nineteen twenty-five the students attending the meetings have never been more than fifteen; in the present year, they numbered thirty-five.
     The meetings were held in the school library every second Tuesday evening, except when examinations, teaching weeks, or holidays intervened. At the first meeting of the club in January, Mr. John Eustis was elected president and Miss Clara Watson, social secretary. Both were very able executives, Mr. Eustis proving his capability in organizing the club and encouraging them in their work, and Miss Watson, in arranging for refreshments.
     During an evening early in May, when there were only a dozen of us present, Mr. Weston very thoughtfully suggested that we should visit his residence. We joyfully accepted, and were exceedingly pleased that we did so, for Mr. Weston exhibited some of the wonderful creations of his hand - scenes of the lower mainland.
     The work done by the Sketch Club has been chiefly pencil and charcoal sketching from life and plaster casts. The students showed great interest in their work and were very ably assisted by Mr. Weston, who kindly consented, not only to attend our meetings and supervise our work, but to do some sketching himself, while we watched and marvelled at his skill.
     On the whole, we believe that the members of the Sketch Club benefitted greatly by attending the meetings, and no doubt, in years to come, many of their names will emblazon the threshold to the kingdom of Art.

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