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The Hevenor exhibit 'will astound you'

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A large private collection of Canadian art is now on public display for the first time ever at the Annandale National Historic Site in Tillsonburg.

Annandale opened Plein Air to Abstraction: The Hevenor exhibit to the public on May 26, an incredible collection of over 150 pieces of Canadian art owned by Dr. Robert Hevenor in Tillsonburg.

Culture and heritage manager/curator Patricia Phelps said this is the museum’s big Canada 150 exhibit.

“We sort of out did ourselves,” Phelps said. “Or at least Dr. Hevenor did in his collecting, because we had 10 more pieces than we need for our 150th celebration.

“We are celebrating the 150th birthday of Canada by hosting this incredible exhibit of Canadian art,” the curator added. “We have pieces by Homer Watson and the Group of Seven. If you know a little bit about Canadian art there’s going to be a name you know. If you know a lot, you’re going to be astounded by this collection.”

People from all over Canada have come to see the exhibit since it opened, and on its first day over 160 viewed exhibit.

Phelps also said the museum has produced a catalogue of the collection and postcards, so visitors who come to see the enormous exhibit can have a piece that they can take home with them.

“We did talk to the National Gallery, and by what the National Gallery knows about what Canadian art is being shown in an exhibit in one place this year, this is actually the third largest collection being shown in the country during the sesquicentennial year,” Phelps said.

The exhibit includes a number of landscape paintings and abstracts, which includes some sculptures.

Dr. Hevenor has been building this collection for over 20 years, starting when he was in an antique shop in London.

“He grew up with parents that appreciated art and he had always appreciated art,” Phelps said of Hevenor. “There was this little painting in this antique shop in London done by a Canadian, a woman actually, a female artist. It caught his eye, and in his quest to find out more about her he discovered more about some of the other Canadian artists.

“He has the passion to find... this unsung Canadian artist that maybe a lot of people don’t know about, but they’re extremely talented,” the curator added.

The gallery will run at the Annandale National Historic Site in Tillsonburg until July 16.

bchessell@postmedia.com 

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