Peter Sawatsky courtesy of Loch Gallery
Peter Sawatzky is an award-wining Manitoba artist who has earned international recognition for his lifelike bronze sculptures. A country boy raised in Southern Manitoba, Peter’s passion evolved from watching wildlife and birds into a career of carving these animals.
Inspiration for Peter comes from field drawings made during his many years of observing and studying animal movements. These sketches are eventually transformed into life size sculptures that can reach up to 29 feet long. The foundry process—from creating a metal frame to the empty shell being filled with bronze—can take up to a year depending on the size of the piece.
Peter’s sculptures have become iconic Winnipeg landmarks, like the sculpture of James A. Richardson at the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, the monument of a mother polar bear and her cubs outside the Assiniboine Park Zoo, or “Seal River Crossing,” which stands at the city’s famed Portage and Main intersection. The impressive statue, which captures a herd of caribou crossing the Seal River, was inspired by a scene Peter saw from above while travelling to Churchill. While on the flight, he started to sketch the caribou and knew he had his next piece. The project, which took four years to complete, was commissioned by James Richardson & Sons Ltd. in commemoration of its 150th anniversary.
In addition to his public art, more than 25 pieces of Peter’s work are on display at the Loch Gallery in May and June.
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Excellent artworks produced in Canada’s northern communities are available at top Toronto galleries.
1. For sheer volume, it’s hard to beat Eskimo Art Gallery, which offers more than 1,000 contemporary Inuit carvings.
2. Yorkville’s Feheley Fine Arts represents progressive printmakers like Itee Pootoogook and sculptors such as Idris Moss-Davies, whose works reflect a modern aesthetic.
3. The Guild Shop, the retail boutique of the Ontario Crafts Council, is the province’s oldest dealer of Inuit and Native art, with many carvings, paintings, tapestries and even Inuit jewellery.
4. The striking sculptures of Floyd Kuptana are featured prominently at Maslak McLeod Gallery alongside numerous classical Inuit carvings.
5. Like what you see amongst the extensive collection at the Museum of Inuit Art? Its adjoining commercial gallery sells sculptures, prints and more, sourced directly from Arctic cooperatives.
Kelly Richardson's Twilight Avenger video installation
MARCH 4 TO AUGUST 1 Contemporary art is art that is literally “of its time,” intrinsically linked to the era in which it is produced and consumed. So it’s natural that the Art Gallery of Ontario would choose the concept of temporality to organize a display of its recent acquisitions. The exhibition Sculpture as Time brings together a broad selection of works created since the 1960s that, if not explicitly “on the clock”—like On Kawara’s I Got Up postcards, stamped with the hour at which the artist awoke on various mornings—nonetheless invite viewers to engage with time as a transformative phenomenon—will it be tranquility or frustration that prevails while you wait to glimpse the elusive deer in Kelly Richardson’s Twilight Avenger video? Enjoy these works in the moment; their effect will resonate long after.