(Ernie Allen, Anne Hearn and Annie Swinemar are three of four artists who exhibited their work for the Wildpine Residence Art Appreciation Exhibition on August 6, 2021. Photos: Stittsville Central)
Anne Hearn, a resident of the Wildpine Residence in Stittsville, has been passionate about artistic creation from public school. She started painting in 1980 and since then, Anne believes that she has created 50 works of art in various media – oil, acrylic and watercolor. Before painting, she drew. Her favorite paintings are seascapes and flowers a few of which she has sold over the years. His talent is reflected in his paintings.
Anne is not the only internal artist at Wildpine. Residents Chuck Wood, Ernie Allen and Annie Swinemar are all incredibly talented artists who reside in the house. With this abundance of artistic talent under one roof, Anne Hearn had an idea, besides forming an art club.
In June of this year, Anne approached Lucy Di Santo, the recreation director of the Wildpine Residence. Anne wanted bring the artists together to organize an art exhibition to display their various media of amazing artwork. The answer was a quick yes, so Anne and Lucy got to work organizing the event, with the help of staff members Margo and Judy. Due to COVID, this art exhibit would be restricted to residents and guests and, if next year permits, will be open to the public. Stittsville Central was delighted to be invited.
During the afternoon of August 6, Wildpine’s main dining room was transformed into a magnificent art gallery. Tables were draped and art adorned the walls and surfaces. The works of art created by Chuck, Ernie, Annie and Anne were ready to be seen by the public. While admiring the artwork, residents enjoyed the wine and appetizers. Many residents commented on the beauty of the art and the artistry of their friends. The room was filled with the sweet sounds of harp played by Lucile Hildesheim from Richmond add to the atmosphere.
Before the opening, we were able to sit down with the artists to learn more about each one and their passion for art.
Ernie Allen is 99 years old, is from Manchester, UK and “started painting seriously at 92 before he got too old,” he told us. Ernie fought in two wars (WWII and Korea) and after the war, became a photographer focusing on babies and small children. Painting began for him when his grandfather gave him an alphabet painting book where each letter could be painted. His grandfather told him that “Imagination” was the key that Ernie used to guide his talent. Ernie said about the art show, “It’s interesting to see how it developed from a small group. It’s like the last of the Mohicans.
Chuck Wood began his passion for art at the age of 5, drawing inspiration from the Group of Seven prints exhibited in his classroom. He even ventured to take lessons from founding member of the Group of Seven, AY Jackson. The lessons becoming expensive, he abandoned the lessons. Chuck is also a storyteller and narrated 18 diaries. His works of art are based on nature, “the salt of the earth” he said. He continues his path of the beauty of nature through his art. Chuck told us he lives by his father’s words, “let nature be your teacher” and he certainly lived up to those words as we gazed at his night sky and landscapes.
Annie Swinemar is also influenced by the Group of Seven, the Algonquin school as they were called. their paintings bring joy to her. Since 1980, she enjoys painting landscapes and flowers. She also took portrait lessons and captured some interesting faces. She “sees the image in a block of stone and teases it to fabricate what is there … and rejoices in the gift that is revealed”. His incredible works of art speak for themselves.
Knowing the importance of the famous Group of Seven and the influence the group had on the lives of the artists of Wildpine, a kind loan was presented at the afternoon art exhibition alongside the artwork of the four talented residents. A generous patron, well known to residents, shared his collection of original Group of Seven paintings. They had seeing these works of art would mean a lot to the four artists and wanted to make sure the afternoon was perfectly special for everyone involved.
You won’t have to wait until next year’s show to get the chance to see the works of Chuck, Ernie, Annie and Anne. The “Group of four” were requested by the Stittsville Library to Exhibit Paintings on “Art Space” Wall for September. To see and appreciate the incredible talent of these local artists for yourself, it’s well worth the visit to the library.
If you are interested in purchasing any of the artwork, please contact Wildpine Residence and they will be happy to put you in touch with the artist.
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