In Memory of Eric Atkinson


We are deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of respected London artist and innovative educator Eric (Ricky) Atkinson as he approached his 94th birthday.

He began his teaching career at Leeds College of Art in 1955 and was its Head of Fine Art for eight years before emigrating to London, Ontario in 1969 to be the founding Chair of Fanshawe College’s Fine Art Program. Subsequently holding positions as Dean of the Faculty of Applied Arts and later Professor, he retired in 1994 to concentrate full time on his artistic practice. He also wrote a handsomely illustrated book, The Incomplete Circle: Eric Atkinson, Art and Education, on the creative and pedagogical processes necessary for successful art education courses.

McIntosh Gallery enjoyed a long association with Ricky and the Fanshawe Program including the presentation of its annual graduating class exhibition from 1980 to 2009. Exhibiting their work in a public gallery was often a first-time experience for the students, one that Ricky knew provided a sense of passage and legitimation for the newly minted artists.

The Gallery’s holdings of Ricky’s artworks span 67 years including five decades of works on paper, which he called “records of journeys through the landscape”. Major canvases reveal his ongoing fascination with the relationship between geology’s ancient forms and the forces of nature.

Our sincere condolences to his wife, Muriel, and family.