Gordon Smith is seen in this undated handout photo. B.C.-based painter, philanthropist and educator Gordon Smith has died. Vancouver’s Equinox Gallery says the celebrated artist, who dedicated his life to the arts and mentoring new talent, died Saturday. He was 100. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Martin Tessler, Equinox Gallery

B.C.-based painter, educator, art champion Gordon Smith dead at 100

Gordon Smith received the Order of Canada and many other prestigious awards

B.C.-based painter, philanthropist and educator Gordon Smith has died.

Vancouver’s Equinox Gallery says the celebrated artist, who dedicated his life to the arts and mentoring new talent, died Saturday. He was 100.

The gallery says the English-born Smith came to Winnipeg in 1933 and studied at the Winnipeg School of Art. He had his first professional exhibition in 1938.

In 1941, he served in the Second World War with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and then joined the University of British Columbia where he taught until 1982.

His dedication to new talent included the Gordon and Marion Smith Foundation for Young Artists, which he founded with his late wife Marion Fleming. Smith’s various awards include the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia, the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts.

The Equinox Gallery, where Smith held more than 25 solo exhibitions, says a memorial in his honour will be announced at a future date.

“A key figure in Canadian art, Smith lived his life with a generosity and grace that was a gift to the world,” the gallery said in a statement on the weekend.

“Gordon Smith, an exceptional artist and uniquely generous human being, will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege to know him.”

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