Pegi Farina

Pegi Farina

Margaret Evelyn Peace Farina (Deane) was born February 8, 1917 in Oxford, England. She spent part of her childhood years growing up in the village of Elham, England with her six spinster great aunts, while her mother Alice Laura Rigden taught music and English in nearby Canterbury. Pegi (as she preferred to be called) and her mother sailed from England and arrived in New York City finding their way to Canada and settled in Saskatchewan. Pegi from an early age was interested in art. She was encouraged by her mother who sent her to a school for girls, the Qu’Appelle Diocesan School in Regina. She later attended the Balfour Technical School for two years and studied commercial art. After teacher training, she taught intermediate grades and art to junior secondary students in Cadillac, Saskatchewan. The summer of 1939, she spent in Toronto attending summer courses at the Ontario School of Art. Pegi moved to Vancouver in 1941 and continued teaching art and general studies at both the Elementary and High School level in the lower mainland. During this time, her work was exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery. One critic from a daily paper wrote: “We note the standard of her fine, well composed “Grain Elevators”. A delightful water colour of the prairies suggests true understanding of the subject manner, with sure and lively touch, the artist suggests vast spaces and the swirl of colourful forms in a luminous sky”. Another critic wrote: “The show has many commendable features. Dominating it is a bold and powerful picture of grain elevators “Prairie Winter”, and “Spring in the Dust Bowl” exhibit great refinement and atmosphere. They are painted with both freedom and control”. Pegi taught Saturday morning art classes at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Her students always commented on her “zest for life” and how she saw things from a “very different angle”. She was an eager student herself and in 1954, she received a Double Major in Education and Art from the University of British Columbia. In 1960, she challenged herself to learn a new medium to display her creativity in sculpting and received several Scholarships to study with international sculptors. One of her pieces that she was very fond of was ‘The Unicorn, a mythical beast ‘sculpted on a copper armature and covered in the “lost process” of bees wax. To ensure the piece stood the test of time it needed to be bronzed. She located a foundry in Oslo, Norway that would bronze the “beast” and of course, once it returned safely home, Pegi now had to visit and meet those that were involved in its journey. This was the start of her world travels. In 1975, she retired from teaching and moved her home to Salt Spring Island B.C. with her husband Ken. Pegi once again continued to broaden her learning and returned to University. During her studies, she was able to take her course work with other affiliated universities and traveled extensively around the world, studying and painting. In 1982, she received a BA in Art History from the University of Victoria and was accepted as an active member of the American North West Watercolour Society. She continued to hold showings of her art through out the Pacific Northwest and Alberta until 1999; many of her works are in private collections. Her life’s journey brought her to Ponoka in 1988 to be near her daughter Alison Lynne and husband Terry, her grand daughter Bond Rigden and grandson Caleb Churchill Gorrell .Since moving to Alberta, she continued to travel the world independently, following her passion for “art, beauty, meeting interesting people and the wonders of the world”. In an artist ‘s statement for one of her shows she wrote” The source of my inspiration is nature, my environment and its peoples. I paint not only the visual aspect, but try to capture the elusive spirit of Time and Place. My aim and goal is that my paintings will have worthwhile significance. Pegi passed away on September 22, 2010 at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Center at the age of 93 years. One of Pegi’s legacies is her family: daughter Alison (Terry) Gorrell; granddaugther Bond; grandson Caleb; sister-in-law Nora; nephews David and Terry; and niece Wendy. Pegi was predeceased by her husband Ken; mother Alice Laura; father Clifford Deane; and brother Michael. A “Showing of Pegi’s Work” will be held at the Fort Ostell Museum in Ponoka, Alberta on Saturday, October 23, 2010 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Donations in memory of Pegi are gratefully accepted to her charity of choice: the Make A Wish Foundation, Canada.

Arrangements Entrusted To Ponoka Funeral Home~ A Wombold Family Funeral Home ~


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