A Memorial Exhibit
January 18 – February 27, 2022
Manley LaFoy grew up in Gray, Saskatchewan, studied architecture at the University of Manitoba and upon graduation practiced architecture for thirty years in Regina, before relocating to Parksville in 1993. He continued his practice and was an active participant in the community, volunteering his expertise on various boards and planning committees. He helped the town develop several of its public spaces, including the Community Centre and Knox Church.
From the time he was a small boy, Manley demonstrated a talent for art which his parents encouraged. At age 14 his work at the Regina Exhibition School Display won praise and attention of Mrs. Laura Lamont, a Regina Artist. From 1951 through 1954 he studied under Mrs. Lamont, and attended the Banff School of Fine Arts Summer School in 1951. During University Entrance classes at Regina College in 1954 he studied briefly under artists Art MacKay and Ken Lochhead.
Manley always had a passion for graphically recording his surroundings and casually pursued personal insights of Saskatchewan’s landscape during the period of 1963 to 1982 while practicing as an Architect. Commencing in 1983 Manley chose to more seriously focus his attention on painting and to record the vanishing urban scene.
During this period he worked mainly in watercolour producing studies of the vast sky and landscape of Saskatchewan, as he strove to record season and the context of the prairie’s scene. He came to be known as the “sky painter” and showed and sold works in local galleries.
After moving to Vancouver Island, he turned his attention to acrylics and proceeded to interpret the seas, forests, and landscapes of British Columbia. He became particularly enthusiastic about capturing the essence of the ocean and its many moods.
When on holiday he was never without a sketch book and brushes and brought back many images of Europe, the British Isles, and frequent winter trips to the deserts of Palm Springs and Mexico.
He never said no to someone in need of a poster or mural or signboard to move their cause along. He drew constantly, as evidenced by the many works on “mixed media” including cardboard, plywood, roll-up blinds, coroplast, and many more.
Years ago, before his first public showing, he wrote in his diary:
“And so; a voyage commences – some effort and sense of recording for my delight – but seems that others like (appreciate) what my eye and mind sees. Of the prairie light, (its) mood, (its) live and magnificent sky – so full of a sense of beginning – expectant, nervous, as how I may react to failure – or Lord knows a modicum of success. And yet, this is not the test. The race is about fulfilling yourself – you strive to respond to inner passions, inner truths that need restating in my little time, my little world – why not!”
His work is held in numerous print series, corporate offices, private homes and a provincial government collection. Manley died at age 81 in May of 2019 in Parksville.