University of Calgary

Chronicling the career of influential Alberta artist Marion Nicoll

Book launch to accompany opening of Fine Lines exhibition of drawings by Canadian artists

April 9, 2014

Marion Nicoll was the first female instructor at the Provincial Institute of Art and Technology - now the Alberta College of Art and Design - and is best known for bringing abstraction into practice in Alberta. Nicoll passed away in 1985, but her work figures prominently in Alberta art history and she is remembered for her dedication to her craft in the face of personal and professional challenges.

On May 22, author Elizabeth Herbert will launch the book she co-wrote with Ann Davis entitled Marion Nicoll: Silence and Alchemy, published by the University of Calgary Press. The book evolved from their work as curators of the 2013 retrospective Nicoll exhibition. As an Open Access publisher, the University of Calgary Press has made the book available for free download at

The book launch takes place at the opening reception for the exhibit Fine Lines: Drawings from the Nickle Collection and the Mackie Donation, which features 130 pieces by Canadian artists including Marion Nicoll. The pieces were donated by Calgary artist and University of Calgary fine arts graduate Helen Mackie.

The event is free and open to the public. The book can be purchased at the event with the author available for signings.

WHAT:     Marion Nicoll: Silence and Alchemy book launch at the opening     
          reception for Fine Lines drawings                                 
WHEN:     5:00 to 8:00 p.m.                                                 
WHERE:    Gallery Hall and the Nickle Galleries, Taylor Family Digital      
          Library, University of Calgary                                    
          410 University Court NW                                           
WHO:      Elizabeth Herbert, Co-author, Marion Nicoll: Silence and Alchemy  
          Christine Sowiak, Chief Curator, Nickle Galleries