Remembering Alison Kendall

Lakehead University Visual Arts instructor passes away

Amanda Gallo, News Editor

The Lakehead University and the Thunder Bay arts community are mourning the loss of Alison Kendall, a former Lakehead student and instructor in the Visual Arts Department. She was 53 years old.

Kendall earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Lakehead University in 1985 and her Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia before she taught as a sessional instructor in Lakehead’s Visual Arts Department for over 20 years before her retirement last year.

Kendall was known for her mixed media artwork, as she was extremely talented in drawing, printmaking, bookbinding, beadwork, acrylics, leather etchings, and sculpting. A former student and colleague of Kendall, Lorraine Cull, is now the co-owner of the Painted Turtle art shop in Thunder Bay. Cull commented on the incredible artistic talent Kendall possessed in an exclusive interview with The Argus: “She could do it all, she could do it really well, and she could teach it,” explained Cull. She emphasized that such talent is extremely rare, which only serves to further attest to Kendall’s skill.

The courses Kendall taught during her time at Lakehead included drawing, printmaking, painting, and bookbinding, as well as seminar courses on profession practices for artists, which Lakehead Communications reports provides students “the skills to establish themselves and to be successful artists.”

Kendall will be remembered fondly by her students, with many of whom she remained in contact long after they graduated and pursued careers either in the world of art or elsewhere. Cull states that Kendall was able to pick up on her students’ unique strengths and nurture them, while at the same time providing the skills they would need to succeed in the field.

“She really cared about students knowing how to make it in the art world and knowing both the textbook and the real-world lesson they would need to succeed” said Cull.

As for her legacy, Kendall left much to be learned from her life and her example. According to Cull: “She taught us to be prepared, to be committed, to meet deadlines, to do what we’re inclined to do, to fight for what’s right, and to never give up.”

An event to celebrate the life of the late Alison Kendall has not yet been scheduled.