Arts Council puts on show of Jack Gregson paintings

Sometimes even an evacuation alert can have positive benefits

By Keith McNeill

Sometimes even an evacuation alert can have positive benefits.

When Upper Clearwater was given an evacuation alert during July, area resident Petrina Gregson moved her collection of her father’s paintings to the North Thompson Arts Council’s gallery at Dutch Lake Community Centre for safekeeping.

NTAC board member Doris Laner was so impressed by the paintings when she saw them at the gallery that she decided to display them.

“Although the gallery is officially closed for the month of August, I have set up an impromptu show of works by the late J. D. Gregson, father to local member Petrina Gregson,” she said. “John Douglas (aka Jack Gregson) was a well established and talented artist and his landscapes are very impressive.”

Born in Blackfalds, Alberta in 1910, Gregson grew up in Courtenay on Vancouver Island and studied entomology (insects) at UBC and University of Alberta.

He settled in Kamloops in 1936 and began working for the federal Department of Agriculture, specializing in the study of ticks and tick-borne diseases.

There he met and married his partner for 67 years, Barbara Claxton. They couple had five children.

Gregson published more than 80 scientific papers and, in his spare time, painted more than 60 oil paintings.

Many of his paintings were based on trips into the mountains with Kamloops Outdoor Club, which he helped found in 1936.

Because of a shortage of volunteers it is not clear what hours the gallery will be open.

Those interested in viewing the collection should call DLCC at 250-674-3530 to see if it is open.


A young Jack Gregson takes photos with a vertical camera.

A tranquil mountain lake is typical of the sort of landscape painting that Jack Gregson produced. Photo by Keith McNeill