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Posted April 30, 2012

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City hall art exhibits honour past and future

KITCHENER – The galleries in Kitchener City Hall are celebrating the past and imagining the future to observe Kitchener’s 100th anniversary of cityhood.

Rotunda Gallery: In May, students from Eastwood Collegiate Institute explore the theme, “Your place in the world,” an exhibit to commemorate Kitchener’s centennial celebrations. The show is juried by Ann Marie Hadcock of Homer Watson House and Gallery.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, May 10, from 5-7 p.m.
Celebrate the Past, Imagine the Future explores the process in which students mediate ideas into visual language.
“I am excited to have an opportunity to curate an exhibition of youth art from Eastwood Collegiate, a school known for its innovative and creative programming,” said Hadcock. “The work in this exhibition is as diverse as the burgeoning minds of the next generation, influenced by a multitude of sources, including historical, futuristic and poetic subject matter.”

Berlin Tower ARTSPACE: To celebrate Kitchener’s cityhood centennial, the gallery features a special Homer Watson exhibit for the months of May and June, with paintings and artifacts from the Homer Watson House and Gallery collection.

An opening reception coincides with the centennial launch on June 10; the reception runs from 2-4 p.m.
This show will give the public a preview of the rich experiences waiting at Homer Watson gallery itself, where the exhibit, Bringing Heritage Home, is open from May 5 to Sept. 30. Bringing Heritage Home showcases Watson artworks from the Royal Collection in England, the National Gallery of Canada, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Castle Kilbride in Baden and many private collections. The Pioneer Mill and The Last Day of the Drought are on loan from the Royal Collection.

Born at Doon Village, Homer Ransford Watson (1855-1936) decided at an early age to become a painter. He became Canada's premier landscape painter. He was a member, vice-president and president (1918-1922) of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, co-founder and first president (1907-1911) of the Canadian Art Club, and recipient of a posthumous Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Western Ontario (1936).

Many fine examples of his landscape paintings still hang on the walls of his house, now called Homer Watson House and Gallery at 1754 Old Mill Rd. The Gothic Scottish-style house, built by industrialist Adam Ferrie in 1834-35, was the Watson residence from 1881 to 1936. He drew constant inspiration from the Grand River and the lands surrounding Doon. Watson believed that "art is for the people and not the few."

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