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Local, world renowned artist passed away yesterday

By Sara Carson, Orillia Packet & Times

With the swipe of a paintbrush, Jack Reid left an impression on the world, and with a bright smile, he left an impression on Orillia.

The internationally renowned watercolourist passed away early Monday morning, in Orillia Soldier's Memorial Hospital, (OSMH) at the age of 84 after a long battle with cancer, said Laura Carter, president of the Orillia and District Arts Council.

Reid moved to Orillia three years ago and immediately jumped into the local art scene, making a strong impact, she said.

"He engaged himself as much as he could in the art community and he didn't need to do that," Carter said. "He had his own career already set and he didn't need to seek out the arts community here, he was well recognized in other places, but he did do that."

Reid spent most of his life in Toronto. He taught watercolour workshops throughout the country and wrote books on the topic, she said.

When the Orillia and District Arts Council (ODAC) heard he had moved to the Sunshine City, they were all very excited to see if he would come by, Carter said.

"Everyone knew who he was because of his work, because of his art, because of his books. He is well known for his teaching books," she said. "We were all anxious when we heard he was here for him to show up and he did."

Reid's career spanned over six decades. He was a member of the Canadian Society of Painters of Watercolour.

He took part in two local shows in the last two years, including a solo show in the Orillia Museum of Art and History and the closing show at Gallery 7.

Last September Reid volunteered his time to demonstrate his artistic techniques during the ODAC Gallery's Village Of the Arts. The painting he completed during this event was donated to raise funds for OSMH.

"He was a wonderful person," Carter said. "Considering he was ill when he came (to Orillia) he made quite an impact on the community. It was amazing that he did what he did, really."

Reid had a great reputation for his watercolours, painting cityscapes and landscapes, but also for his personality, she said.

"His work was very beautiful, very technically skilled, but full of spirit," Carter said. "He brought his energy to the community, his enthusiasm for art and his success. He was inspiration."

Condolences may be sent to:

Pat Carabine c/o Jack Reid 412 Old Muskoka Road, Apt. 209 South, Orillia Ontario L3V 6M5.

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