Hamilton Technical School, 1932
Featuring in the front row John Sloan Gordon, John Sloan. Behind is Frances Lovett and Elizabeth Holbrook. (If you know any of these faces please contact us.)
Frances Lovett-1974 age 57. McMaster University Graduation photo
Frances Lovett- 2020, Celebrating her 103 Birthday
Frances Lovett was born in England and landed in Halifax at the age of three in 1920. At the young age of fifteen, Lovett began her formal training in the arts when she was accepted into the Hamilton Art School at the Hamilton Technical School in 1932. Here she was a classmate with such notable Hamilton sculptor Elizabeth Holbrook (1913-2009). It is at the Hamilton Technical School that Lovett studied under renowned artist Hortense Mattice Gordon RCA (1886-1961), as well as her elder sister Marion Mattice (1878-1956), John Sloan Gordon (1868-1940), and John Sloan (1890-1970). Both women had a great influence on Lovett’s persistence to pursue the arts.
However, as the Great Depression and World War II settled in, family obligations came first. Raising a family took priority as her husband was enlisted and caused her to relocate across Ontario with each new posting. Upon the end of World War II, Lovett no longer had a stipend from the government and thus had to gain income by way of teaching; artistic endeavors still on hold. She primarily taught both full and part time specializing in art alongside typing and secretarial skills. After raising a family and retiring from teaching in 1970s, Lovett sought a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from McMaster University, completing it in 1974 at the age of 57. She continued her studies at the Dundas Valley School of Art taking various portrait and still life focused painting courses.
Under guidance from local art authorities, Lovett honed her eye to study and paint from life. Florals and still lifes create the foundation of her practice; she continued to challenge her painting skills with portraiture. Over the years, Lovett became fond of printmaking and even acquired her own printing press. In original etchings and intaglios, she produced local and European landscapes; showcasing her drafting abilities.
Frances Lovett was an active member of the Women’s Arts Association of Hamilton (WAAH), as well as the Hamilton-Wentworth Retired Teachers Association. For 16 years, she offered her artistic knowledge to “her boys” detained by the Hamilton Region Detention Centre. She saw the good in everyone, including the inmates. Lovett regularly exhibited in group shows, including some at the Hamilton Art Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario. She sought to use her practice to support others by way of donating artworks to the Ronald McDonald House in Hamilton and St. Johns Church in Ancaster. On several occasions, Lovett offered her work up for auction to raise funds for Community Care and other charities.
Her prolific career slowed in 2019 at the age of 102 when she suffered macular degeneration, leaving Lovett unable to see accurately. Frances Lovett died in 2022 at the age of 105 in St. Catharines, Ontario.