Photo: François Lareau, Ottawa

Photo: François Lareau, Ottawa

Awards & Memberships
Pioneer Art Students of the Vancouver Art School, (1929)
Beatrice Stone Medal for Black & White Drawing. (1940)
Canadian Centennial Medal
British Columbia Society of Artists, (1940-1967) 
Canadian Group of Painters, (1959-1967),
    President, (1958-1960 and1966-1967)

Selected Collections
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
The Feckless Collection, Vancouver, BC

Irene Hoffar Reid, 1908 - 1994

In 1928, at the Pacific National Exhibition, I viewed paintings by the Group of Seven. I saw a large painting of a mountain by Lawren Harris and I felt that I had never seen a mountain before. I was influenced by the Group and began to paint larger and more boldly designed canvases.
— Irene Hoffar Reid

Reid was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1908. She left King George High School early to attend the newly opened Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts (VSDAA). There, studied at the Vancouver School of Art under Fredrick Varley and Charles Scott, later pursuing post-graduate studies at the same institution.

Varley had a prize painting student, (and friend and lover) Vera Weatherby. Weatherbee and Reid became good friends, sharing a studio and completing many painting trips together. 

In 1929, she was part of the VSDAA's first graduating class. Following graduation, she was a founding member of the “Pioneer Art Students of the Vancouver Art School” which put on annual exhibits together. Reid enjoyed  taking sketching trips to the North Vancouver Indian Reservation, Burrard Street Bridge squatter's huts  and the shorelines around Vancouver.

 In 1930, she won a scholarship to complete a years’ study at the Royal Academy in Toronto. Around the same time she took a Mediterranean cruise, the trip inspired painting like “Washer Women at Gibralter”.

In 1933, Reid married Nevile Reid. After their marriage, she returned to the VSDAA to teach painting between 1933-1938. However, in 1942 their first daughter was born, and in 1946, another followed.

The subject matter of her paintings shifted after her children arrived. Domestic life took up all of her time, her artwork became smaller and reflected life immediately around her. However she still managed to make some sketching trips. She travelled to the Cariboo wth friend B.C. Binning, Jervis inlet with Vera Weatherby and Bowen Island, where she met Weatherby’s future husband Harold Mortimer Lamb.

Reid painted portraits, murals, and decorative panels and worked in oils until the lead in the paint started to cause health problems and later focused on drawing in graphite, pastels and painting in watercolour. She worked with both B.C. Binning and Alistair Bell.

Reid and the eleven other girls in her graduating class were all awarded honorary diplomas in 1989 from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. Like many Canadian female artists of her generation, Reid's work is still  often overlooked even though she was a significant member of the Vancouver art community.

She died in 1994, in Sidney, BC.