Three down, 11 to go.
That’s the goal for Ernst Schuegraf and others on the St. Ninian’s Art Restoration Committee (SNARC) who are trying to get all the saints, painted by Quebec artist Ozias Leduc in 1903, restored to their original glory, at St. Ninian Cathedral.
Schuegraf noted St. Matthew and St. John the Baptist were finished late last fall, with the majority of the work being done in the summer months.
“We’re hoping, money permitting, we should be able to do two more this year,” Schuegraf said, noting this is a good time to remind people of their goals for two reasons.
The first being; folks interested in hearing more about the project will have an opportunity Feb. 7, at 2 p.m. at the People’s Place Library, as he gives a talk entitled St. Ninian’s Cathedral and the Restoration of the Paintings of Ozias Leduc, for a community café session in the community room.
Schuegraf noted he and Kathleen MacKenzie had given a talk before on the topic, at the library, and it was very well received, with 63 people in attendance.
He noted this one will be more informal.
“It’s during working hours, in the afternoon,” he said, adding that it will still be a good opportunity to get the word out, about raising funds to continue the restoration work, while also being informative and entertaining for his audience.
The second positive timing aspect is that Leduc, as an artist, was recognized, Jan. 12, amongst a “designation of 17 new national significant persons, places and events that helped define Canada’s history,” by Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna.
The federal government release includes the following citation; “Ozias Leduc (1864-1955), considered one of the most significant painters in Canadian art history. Leduc painted an extensive and varied body of work, including still lives, landscapes, and portraits. Recognized as a great painter of religious art, he decorated more than 30 churches and chapels.”
Schuegraf said Leduc’s new designation should help as the committee applies for grants to help with restoring his work at the Cathedral.
He is also hoping it strikes a chord with art enthusiasts in the town and county who might not have considered work at the Cathedral before, but might now be interested in preserving local art but one of Canada’s most significant painters.