Walter and Sybil Andrews at their cottage in Willow Point.

Late artist Sybil Andrews honoured as Campbell River Community Builder

  • Apr. 19, 2018 10:30 a.m.

On the 120th anniversary of her birth, internationally-acclaimed artist Sybil Andrews is being honoured as a community member who has left an exceptional legacy for Campbell River.

“It is a privilege to formally recognize Sybil Andrews as an outstanding artist who made an impact internationally and as a person who inspired and mentored our local arts community,” says Mayor Andy Adams. “Over her 40-year career in Campbell River, Sybil Andrews taught music and art classes and held weekly gatherings for artists in her home. The lives and practices of all the artists she mentored were enriched and some have gone on to build strong careers in the arts.”

Andrews is famous for linocuts she created from the late 1920s through to 1988. She is associated with the English Futurist movement. Her birthday, April 19, was officially declared Sybil Andrews Day in 2007.

Born in England, Andrews loved to draw and paint as a child. When she completed her education, she wanted to attend art school, but her family lacked funds for tuition, and she apprenticed as a welder instead. She worked in an airplane factory during World War I, took an art correspondence course and, at the end of the war, became employed as an art teacher.

With the beginning of World War II, She returned to work as a welder for the British Power Company constructing warships. There she met Walter Morgan. They were married in 1943 and moved to Campbell River in 1947.

Before her death in 1992, Andrews donated a collection of her art to the Museum at Campbell River. This donation includes linocuts, woodblock prints, watercolours, sketches and drawings from the period that she lived and worked in our community. Her home in Willow Point was the first property listed in Campbell River’s Heritage Registry, was restored in 2011 and is managed by the Campbell River Arts Council as a popular location for art shows and programs.

A plaque will be presented during this year’s Sybil Andrews Day celebration, which takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. at the cottage in Willow Point (2131 South Island Highway). A launch of the graphic novel See With Your Own Eyes: The Sybil Andrews Story will also take place during this year’s celebration.

The City of Campbell River established the Community Builder Award in January 2007. From artists and model corporate citizens to social and environmental activists, Community Builder Awards recognize specific service and selfless volunteerism by outstanding individuals whose initiative and leadership have made Campbell River an even better place to live.

Nearly 50 community builders have been recognized, including previous posthumous awards. Recipients include: Art Lightfoot, Ruth Barnett, Buford Haines, Roderick and Ann Haig-Brown, Sam and May Henderson, Tom and Mavis Hudson, Rose McKay, Dick Murphy, Ned and June Painter, Bruce Saunders, Charles and Mary Thulin, David and Eliza Vanstone, Van Egan; Pat Martin, Skip McDonald, Mac McDougall, Lynn Nash, Doris Ritchie, Jack Baikie, Wallace Baikie, Harper Baikie, Bob Langdon, Kimtalaga Elizabeth Glendale Quocksister, Lillie Thulin, Carol Chapman, Jacqueline Gordon, Chuck Saults, Jim Luckhurst and Barry Henshall, Max Chickite, Mike Gage, Bill Henderson, Jim Lilburn, Kris Mailman and Morgan Ostler.

See photos and biographies of Campbell River’s community builders on the City’s website (www.campbellriver.ca) under Your City Hall / City Honours.