And The Winner Is… Muskoka!

A Muskoka painting has won artist Nelson Cheng the crown of Landscape Artist of the Year Canada.

Painting on the shores of Lake Rosseau—a famous Canadian landmark known for the Group of Seven—artist Nelson Cheng won Makeful TV’s original series. He takes home $10,000 and his winning Muskoka painting is being displayed this spring at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

In this TV-based contest, 18 professional Canadian artists and several “walk-on wildcards” were chosen to portray some of Canada’s most iconic landscapes, responding with extraordinary works of art. In the season’s finale filmed on Lake Rosseau, Cheng won out, beating the professional painters.

Laura Zerebeski, one of the 2020 Landscape Artist of the Year competitors

“I thought it was a big win just showing up as a wildcard to paint,” says Cheng. “I felt good about it and now to win, I’m completely speechless. This win is life changing.”

“Nelson’s work consolidated quality drawing and painting skills, a great colour sense and his freedom of expression was lyrical,” said Joanne Tod, a contest judge.

“Nelson managed to make me like colours that I don’t like,” added co-judge Marc Mayer. “You’ve got to win some kind of prize for that.”

Nelson’s winning artwork is available for public viewing at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection from March 9 – April 19 in the Founders’ Lounge, one of the most storied locations in the heart of the McMichaels’ former home. His work will be displayed on an easel belonging to Tom Thomson and was subsequently used by A.Y. Jackson of the Group of Seven alongside a framed vinyl display explaining the work’s presence to the public.

“As home to the art of Canada, the McMichael was very pleased to have been involved in the series,” said Ian Dejardin, the executive director of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection who appeared as the surprise judge on the series finale. “People tend to think of the McMichael as a place to see great Canadian landscapes of the past, but we also work extensively with contemporary Canadian artists. Nelson’s winning artwork will be in good company.”

Photos courtesy of Makeful TV and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

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