June 23, 2009
Peggy’s Unveiling Marks Beginning of Fafard Week in Winnipeg - Featuring Exhibitions of the U of M Grad’s Work at The Winnipeg Art Gallery and Mayberry Fine Art
WINNIPEG -- Joe Fafard, one of Canada’s most well-regarded and highly-collected, living sculptors, began a whirlwind week in Winnipeg today with the installation of his newest, bronze sculpture on the sidewalk outside Mayberry Fine Art in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District.
Entitled Peggy, the Fafard piece is a larger-than-life, gangly foal. At over two metres in height and weighing 500 kilograms, the $125,000 sculpture is one of the few that size that the distinguished Saskatchewan artist has done. Peggy takes the place of another Fafard work entitled Valentina – the young Appaloosa horse which stood in the same spot at 212 McDermot Avenue since 2004. Earlier this month, Valentina was loaned to The Winnipeg Art Gallery and installed in the WAG’s rooftop sculpture garden.
Fafard week in Winnipeg continues with the 1966 U of M fine arts graduate meeting the public at the opening of the major, 70-piece retrospective of his work at the WAG on Thursday and concludes with opening of the concurrent, 32-piece exhibition at Mayberry Fine Art on Saturday, June 27. The Fafard exhibition opener Saturday at Mayberry (www.mayberryfineart.com) features a public reception from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the artist in attendance. Mayberry’s show continues to mid-July while the WAG exhibition concludes Sept. 27.
“The Winnipeg Art Gallery’s retrospective of Fafard’s art – which is part of a nation-wide tour and includes pieces from the WAG’s own collection – is a huge endorsement of the quality of Joe Fafard’s work,” said Shaun Mayberry, co-owner of Mayberry Fine Art. “We are proud to be the only commercial gallery that represents this accomplished artist in Manitoba and to sell his sculpture to clients here and across Canada.
“The luncheon being held in Joe’s honour at Government House this week reinforces how highly regarded Fafard truly is,” he added. “He can transform a cow, a horse, a sheep, into a piece of art. That’s why Fafard sculpture is exhibited in public galleries and held in some of Canada’s most important collections, both private and public. His work has held its value in recent art auctions while others have experienced price contractions.”
Mayberry noted that his upcoming show presents an opportunity for collectors to acquire a piece by a master Canadian artist. The availability of smaller pieces intended to be mounted on the wall means Fafard’s work will be affordable to more people.
Bill Mayberry expressed great pleasure in having the opportunity to unveil a magnificent, new Fafard sculpture and open the exhibition at Mayberry Fine Art with the artist in attendance.
“Peggy should become a beloved part of the Exchange District neighbourhood, just as Valentina was and I’m sure Joe will sense that while he is here,” Bill Mayberry said. “A perfect example of the attachment people had to Valentina was the concern expressed by a Winnipeg Transit driver when he saw Valentina being prepared for transfer to the WAG a few weeks ago. That fellow shouted out from his bus, ‘Hey! Where are you going with my horse?’”
Along with Mayberry’s second, outdoor art installation – a Rose-Aimée Bélanger bronze of three, plump women entitled Gossip – the new Fafard sculpture will enhance the streetscape while making a statement about the Mayberrys’ belief in the value of situating fine art in public, outdoor spaces.
Vancouver, Regina, Toronto and Montreal also have Fafard’s bronze works on display outdoors. Fafard created seven cows for the TD Centre’s grassy enclave in downtown Toronto. Downtown Vancouver and Regina are home to Fafard’s massive bulls, while a life-size mare and foal stand in Vancouver’s downtown waterfront district.
Peggy is a limited-edition sculpture cast in an edition of seven. Fafard’s unique patina -- the colourful, life-like finish -- is distinct to each horse in the edition giving each a one-of-a-kind appeal. Another piece in the edition, which is still in the collection of the artist, is included in the WAG retrospective and could be available for sale through Mayberry when the exhibition concludes this fall.
Fafard is among the more than 40 renowned, contemporary Canadian artists represented by Mayberry Fine Art (www.mayberryfineart.com).
Joe Fafard, a resident of Lumsden, Sask., comes by his love of horses naturally, having grown up on a farm in the French-speaking Ste. Marthe area of the province. His talent for art was evident at a young age.
Born in 1942, Fafard is one of the most important artists working in Canada today. Well-known as a ceramic sculptor, in the early 1980s he began experimenting with bronze. Fafard’s bronze work has been described as “unparalleled” and is housed in major collections across Canada.
An Officer of the Order of Canada and member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Fafard has also seen his work exhibited in the U.S., England, France and Japan.
The three-month retrospective of Fafard’s work at the WAG (www.wag.mb.ca) is part of a cross-Canada tour organized by Regina’s MacKenzie Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada. The exhibition features a range of Fafard pieces in ceramic, bronze, plaster, and steel. Well-known for his menagerie of farm animals such as cows, sheep and horses, Fafard also immortalizes well-known historical figures and artists, such John Diefenbaker and Pablo Picasso, in his work.
ABOUT MAYBERRY FINE ART
Mayberry Fine Art opened its main gallery in January, 2003, in a century-old-building in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District. Located at 212 McDermot Avenue, the gallery represents a select group of contemporary Canadian artists such as Winnipeg’s Wanda Koop and Andrew Valko, Surrey’s Robert Genn, Saskatchewan’s Joe Fafard, and Ottawa’s Rose-Aimee Belanger, in addition to its significant activity in the historical art market.
Located at 212 McDermot Avenue, the gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Mayberry’s semi-virtual, satellite gallery, featuring touchscreen technology which provides access to some 2000 works of art, opened in Winnipeg Square in the summer of 2008.
Visit www.mayberryfineart.com to learn more about Mayberry Fine Art’s professional services and its artists.