Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
     Home     Artists     Exhibitions     Organizations     Clippings     References    

Irene Catelle Porter (Miss)
(Mrs. Robert Samuel Alexander)

May 24 1922 - November 21 2015

Atelier Sketch Club

R.S. Alexander and Irene Catelle Porter, 1949

Miss Irene Catelle Porter was born in Montreal in 1922. Her family moved west, first to Toronto, then Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, and finally to Vancouver in the 1930s.

She won a scholarship while in her teens and attended first year at the Vancouver School of Art (year not confirmed) where she studied under Grace Melvin. Her father "would not allow her to continue and told her to go out and get a job." Porter worked at Woodward's, the Vancouver department store, and became their head show card artist. She also designed their trademark brushstroke W logo.

After Porter married R.S. Alexander she had to quit work at Woodward's due to company policy. She freelanced after that as a self-employed calligrapher, and did the Woodward's retirement scrolls. She and Alexander also did the City of Vancouver "Freedom of the City" scrolls that were presented to dignitaries.

She was a member of the Atelier Sketch Club, a group formed by art students taking Evening Classes at the Vancouver School of Art. The group put together an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1940.

She exhibited her work in a number of B.C. Artists annual exhibitions, from 1940 to 1949 inclusive.

She exhibited work in the 1945, 1953, and 1954 annual exhibitions of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts.

Porter was on a list titled "Leading Vancouver Artists," provided to the Labour Arts Guild on April 10, 1946 by the Vancouver Art Gallery to assist in the Guild's call for entries to the second annual B.C. At Work exhibition.

Porter drew maps illustrating the school text book CANADA, A NEW LAND published in 1965. The book was also illustrated by her husband R.S. Alexander.



1940 April 2 - 14 Atelier Sketch Club   Group exhibition Nita
Calla Lily Design
Black and White
Portrait Study
Scales and Arpeggios
1940 Sept. 20 - Oct. 13 VAG   B.C. Artists 9th Annual Mei-Lan Woo
Self Portrait
1941 Sept. 26 - Oct. 19 VAG   B.C. Artists 10th Annual My Sister Edna
Conte Sketch
1942 Sept. 25 - Oct. 18 VAG   B.C. Artists 11th Annual Amaryllis
Balinese Mood
1943 Sept. 25 - Oct. 20 VAG   B.C. Artists 12th Annual The Arbutus Trees
Wisp of Savary
1944 Sept. 23 - Oct. 22 VAG   B.C. Artists 13th Annual Still Life with Apple Blossoms
1945 May 18 - June 10 BCSFA   35th Annual Fish Motif in Turquoise Glaze
1945 Sept. 22 - Oct. 21 VAG   B.C. Artists 14th Annual Symphony
Chartreuse Vase
1946 July 2 - 28 VAG   Jubilee Exhibition Arbutus Trees on Savary Island
1946 Sept. 21 - Oct. 13 VAG   B.C. Artists 15th Annual North Shore Derelicts
Booming Grounds
1947 Sept. 20 - Oct. 12 VAG   B.C. Artists 16th Annual Lac Marie Farm, Salt Spring Island
1948 Sept. 18 - Oct. 10 VAG   B.C. Artists 17th Annual Spindle-Back Rocker
Victorian Motif
1949 Oct. 8 - 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 18th Annual Rocks and Trees


CANADA, A NEW LAND by Edith Deyel
      n.d. (1965), W.J. Gage schoolbook
      Illustrated by R.S. Alexander, maps drawn by Irene Catelle Porter.

      1 reference cited for Porter.


Email correspondence with Renee Alexander, daughter, November - December 2010; April 2020.

Interview with Renee Alexander, daughter, North Vancouver, December 15 2010


"Congratulations are due to the Atelier Sketch Club for their ambitious exhibition. This self-organized group of evening school students are meeting every Friday in the Holden building and an invitation is extended to all students to join."
      "Evening School", by Fred Amess
      From Behind The Palette, Vancouver School of Art Annual 1939-40

"Art Group, Youth Share City Gallery"
      Daily Province April 4 1940

"Atelier Sketch Club Takes A Bow"
      News Herald April 3 1940

     Home     Copyright 2008 - 2020