Who doesn’t love an old townie? The Jasper-Yellowhead Museum now has two exhibits including one featuring a historical retrospective of biking.Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Two new exhibits have arrived at the Jasper-Yellowhead Museum: one for the sporting crowd and the other for art lovers.

The first called “Bikes in Jasper” is a ride down memory lane on two wheels. This mountain town has had a strong biking community for many years, so the exhibit should have a fairly broad appeal across both resident and tourist demographics.

Museum general manager Heather Legacy proposed that the show be ready in time for the Gran Fondo, which took place early in June. With the spirit of racing to the finish, that prompt put a speedy pace on exhibits co-ordinator Val Delill.

“I put the bike exhibit together in like a month and a half,” she said.

The show brings a breath of fresh air to the Alcove Gallery, complete with historical photos, antique maps, and even a few old basket-decked townies still standing and looking ready to hit the trails or just hit the shops.

If you’ve never seen RCMP officers or wardens on patrol with their bikes, then this exhibit is a must-see. The mountain biking trail guide and cartoon map (from the Freewheel Cycle archives) complete the show.

The second exhibit currently on display is called “Jasper and the Group of Seven.” It was 100 years ago in 1924 when A.Y. Jackson and Lawren Harris visited Jasper to paint the scenery for a month en plein air. Their artistic journey kept them busy, exploring the landscape by canoe and by horse and through all kinds of mountain weather.

Reportedly, they also hiked as much as 50 miles in a day through the backcountry areas of Maligne Lake and the Tonquin Valley. 

Harris famously fell in love with the Rocky Mountains and came back to Jasper Park on a few occasions to continue to develop his body of work.

The Showcase Gallery is filled with more than 50 reproductions from the two artists along with fellow Group of Seven painters A.J. Casson, Frank Carmichael, and J.E.H. MacDonald. The walls are filled with reproductions of their incredible work.

That’s no small exhibit either. 

“I figured there was going to be maybe a dozen or maybe 15 paintings. There’s over 50 in there,” Delill said. “I didn’t expect there to be this many. It’s unbelievable how many they did.”

“I think there’s close to almost 70 pieces. It’s just unbelievable. Every time I went online looking, I found more. I just went, ‘Stop. I’m in a rabbit hole’. I was told by one of our visitors … that they’ve gone to the National Gallery [of Canada] hoping to see the Group of Seven, and they saw some but maybe a dozen.”

The exhibit will remain on display until the end of October.

By Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 02, 2024 at 13:25

This item reprinted with permission from    The Fitzhugh    Jasper, Alberta

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