1907 - 2005
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Jori (Marjorie) Smith was born in 1907 and grew up in Montréal. At the age of fifteen she began her art studies at the Art Association of Montreal under Randolph Hewton. She continued her studies at the École des Beaux-Arts, where she won numerous prizes, and later studied under Edwin Holgate. A painter, watercolourist, draughtswoman and muralist, best known for her portraits
In 1930 she made her first painting trip to the Charlevoix region with her husband, Jean Palardy, a painter and film-maker. After many return visits, they eventually bought their own summer house in Petite-Rivière-Saint-François. As a result of travelling with and assisting ethnographer Marius Barbeau, Smith became immersed in the culture of the rural community. At this time she also became friends with Jean Paul Lemieux, Marian Scott and John Lyman, as well as Goodridge Roberts and Alfred Pellan.
She made her first visit to Europe in 1934, traveling to France, Spain and England, where she took an interest in contemporary British artists. While traveling, she produced numerous landscapes in pen and ink, watercolour and oil. In 1937, she held her first solo exhibition at Toronto's Picture Loan Society. In 1938, she became the first female member of the Eastern Group of Painters. A founding member of the Contemporary Arts Society, her works were included in the exhibitions of the Art Association of Montreal.
Smith was awarded the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' Jessie Dow Prize in 1955 and la Médaille de l'Assemblée Nationale du Québec in 2001. She was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2002. Her work is held in collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal and the National Archives of Canada.