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Mayhew, Elza RCA (1916-2004) Cultural Group :

Elza Mayhew was born in 1916 in Victoria, British Columbia. After studying Classics at UBC, she began studying drawing and sculpture under Jan Zach in Victoria. In 1963 she completed a Masters of Fine Arts in sculpture at the University of Oregon. Together with Harold Town, Mayhew represented Canada at the Venice Biennale of 1964. Her public commissions include works for the International Trade Fair in Tokyo, Expo �67 in Montreal, the Bank of Canada, Expo �86 in Vancouver and the University of Victoria. She is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy and has exhibited internationally. Her work is found in many permanent collections including the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the National Gallery of Canada, Simon Fraser University, as well as the University of Victoria. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Victoria in 1989. Elza Mayhew died in 2004.



Victoria, British Columbia. January 19, 1916.


B.A. University of B.C. Double Honours, French and Latin, 1936.
Studied with Jan Zach in Victoria, 1955 - 58.
M.F.A. University of Oregon, Honours Sculpture, 1963.


Five-month world trip, 1952; one year in Japan, 1953 - 54; several visits to Europe; Yucatan, 1963.

Work in Public Collections:

: National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa: Onlookers.
: National Capital Commission: Meditation Piece, by the Rideau Canal, Ottawa.
: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: Demeter, Persephone, Sphinx, Board of 10.
: University of Victoria: Coast Spirit, Bronze Priestess.
: Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C.: Guardian II.
: Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario: Concordia.

Commissions (Murals, Monuments):

: 1967 B.C. Archives and Museum, Victoria. Spirit.
: 1967 Expo, Montreal. Two major commissioned works, Concordia and Meditation Piece.
: 1968 Bank of Canada, Vancouver. Bronze mural. In 1999, walled in by new owners of the building.
: 1973 Confederation Centre, Charlottetown, P.E.I. Column of the Sea, Centennial Project.
: 1988 University of Victoria, Bronze Priestess.

Exhibitions: Juried or Invited.

: 1960 Outdoor Exhibition of Sculpture, Quebec City.
: 1962 Contemporary Sculpture Show, Ottawa (Travelling).
: 1964 Sculpture Today, Dorothy Cameron Gallery, Toronto. Five Canadians.
: 1965 International Trade Fair, Tokyo. Aluminum sculpture.
: 1966 Canadian Religious Art Today, Toronto. Holy Man.
: 1967 Centennial Sculpture Exhibition, Vancouver.
: 1976 Spectrum Canada, RCA Show for the Olympic Games.
: 1978 Sculpture Canada '78, Toronto, London, Brussels, Paris.
: 1983 Contemporary Canadian Sculpture, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
: 1984 North Park Gallery, Victoria, Opening Invitational.
: 1986 EXPO 86, Vancouver. ZONG, Supplicant.
: 2009 Vision Into Reality: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Early Years 1951 � 1973 (The Colin Graham Legacy), Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

UVic Torch, back cover, spring 2004. Photo: Vince Klassen
One-Artist Shows:

: 1960 The Point Gallery, Victoria. Also in 1962.
: 1961 Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Indoor-Outdoor.
: 1961 Fine Arts Gallery, U.B.C.
: 1963 Lucien Campbell Plaza, University of Oregon, Eugene.
: 1964 Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
: 1964 Venice Biennale, Canadian Pavilion.
: 1965 Dorothy Cameron Gallery, Toronto.
: 1971 Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Retrospective.
: 1978 Backroom Gallery, Victoria. "Small Sculptures."
: 1979 Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, B.C.
: 1980 Equinox Gallery, Vancouver.
: 1980 Albert White Gallery, Toronto.
: 1981 Wallack Gallery, Ottawa.
: 1988 Port Angeles Fine Art Centre, Washington, U.S.
: 1992 Fran Willis Gallery, Victoria. With Bob de Castro.


: 1962 Sir Otto Beit Medal from the Royal Society of British Sculptors.
: 1967 Purchase Award, B.C. Centennial Sculpture Exhibition.
: 1989 Honorary Doctorate, Fine Arts, University of Victoria.


: 1974 Elected to the Royal Canadian Academy.
: 1968 - 79 Board of Directors, International Sculpture, Kansas.
: 1974 - 76 Consultant, Government of British Columbia, Committee on Art.
: 1983 - 85 Acquisitions Committee, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.