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Artist ‘had to paint’ the churches and so doing he captured the soul of Summerside’s architectural landmarks

Summerside artist Eddy Schwartz painted 36 architectural landmarks in the city that are currently hanging in the Eptek gallery. DESIREE ANSTEY/JOURNAL PIONEER
Summerside artist Eddy Schwartz painted 36 architectural landmarks in the city that are currently hanging in the Eptek gallery. DESIREE ANSTEY/JOURNAL PIONEER - Submitted

SUMMERSIDE - A crowd walked through the architectural landmarks of the city, pausing to observe the grandeur of each building, captured on canvas by a Summerside artist in a new exhibition that was unveiled at the Eptek Art and Culture Centre recently.

“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 exhibition’s 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 Summerside’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, acknowledging that the painting of the buildings in the city prior to the exhibit, was top secret.

The Journal Pioneer and Harbour Terrace building is one of the landmark buildings included in the “Yesterday, Today” art exhibit by Eddy Schwartz. DESIREE ANSTEY/JOURNAL PIONEER
The Journal Pioneer and Harbour Terrace building is one of the landmark buildings included in the “Yesterday, Today” art exhibit by Eddy Schwartz. DESIREE ANSTEY/JOURNAL PIONEER

“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 captured 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 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,” said Schwartz, who started the project three years ago when the couple first moved to the Island.

The paintings will be on display at Eptek until May 11.

Eptek Centre facts

  • - Eptek Art & Culture Centre offers regional and Prince Edward Island exhibits year round. Showcases include themes ranging from history to art with exhibits changing regularly.
  • - A site of the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation, it is located at 130 Heather Moyse Drive on the Summerside waterfront.
  • - An on-site gift shop carries only Island art and craft, as well as books on local themes. Don’t miss the permanent exhibition on the history and architecture of Summerside.
  • - Admission is by donation
  • - Eptek Art & Culture Centre is open Tuesdays to Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4p.m., and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.
  • - Call 902-888-8373 for additional information or visit www.peimuseum.com or Eptek Centre on Facebook.

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