1923 - 2001
BCSFA CGP FCA RCA
Donald Jarvis was born in Vancouver in 1923, and remained connected to the area his entire lifetime. From an early age Jarvis had a passion for drawing, and aspired to be a cartoonist as a teenager. He enrolled in the Vancouver School of Art (now the Emily Carr Institute of Design) in 1941 and studied under B.C. Binning and Jack Shadbolt. After a hiatus, he returned to the school in 1946, and after being awarded an Emily Carr scholarship, completed his education in 1948. His talent was noticed by Lawren Harris, who suggested that he move to New York to pursue his painting with Abstract Expressionist artist Hans Hofmann. After his sojourn in New York, Jarvis returned to Vancouver in 1950 and had a solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The National Gallery of Canada acquired two of his canvases that same year.
Jarvis was a continual presence on the Vancouver art scene, both in galleries and in the classroom. His relationship with the Vancouver School of Art continued in 1950 when he became the Instructor of Painting and Drawing there. Later in his teaching career, Jarvis was appointed the head of that department and continued in this position until retirement in 1986.
Jarvisís exhibition history is extensive, notably showing at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the New Design Gallery in Vancouver. He exhibited internationally, in multiple Canadian Biennials (1955, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1963), the International Engraving and Drawing Exhibition in Lugano, Switzerland in 1956 and the Inter-American Exhibition of Painting and Graphic Art in Mexico in 1958. Jarvis was also awarded many distinguished honours during his career, including a Canada Council Senior Arts Fellowship in 1961, and was named an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1962, becoming a full member in 1967.
Jarvis died in Sechelt, BC in 2001.