SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - A crowd walked through the architectural landmarks of the city, pausing for breath and observing the grandeur of each building, captured on canvas by a talented Summerside artist in a new exhibition that was unveiled at the Eptek Art and Culture Centre on Sunday afternoon.
“When my wife, Bernadette Kernaghan, and I came from Vancouver we were looking for a house, a change of environment from the rat race of life. We came here and felt the pace was a lot slower, calmer and easier, and while we were looking I personally fell in love with all the houses in the Maritimes,” said Eddy Schwartz, the artist.
“I saw two churches in front of each other, the Trinity and the Baptist and said to myself, ‘if we buy a house here I have got to paint these buildings.’ It’s a promise I made and something I wanted to do for a long time.”
Schwartz painted 36 homes, buildings and churches that portray Summeride’s stylistic trends that have prevailed at different stages in its development, in his ‘Yesterday, Today’ exhibition.
“I’ve lived in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver and I’ve painted here and there the houses, but here the homes are absolutely stunning,” he explained and, acknowledged the painting of the buildings in the city prior to the exhibit was top secret.
“I took hundreds of photographs of the buildings at different times of the day, so I could see the changes of light and shadow, as well as the different seasons and weather; rain, snow and sun. Then I selected the photograph that captures the mood most appropriate for the building I would paint.”
Paintings started as sketches, before first, second and third coats of oil paint were added.
“One of them took six coats of paint because I kept changing the mood. Originally it started off as winter, and then I made it look like it had just rained, before turning it into a summer shot. It was a job.”
The focal points in the city will forever now be framed the right way and captured in time on canvas.
“I really enjoyed doing this project, and while I was painting my wife was doing portraits of people in the community. We had a ball doing this together,” concluded Schwartz, who started the project three years ago when the couple moved to the Island.
The paintings will be on display until Friday, May 11.