Some of the iconic paintings of Alex Colville have been reproduced for a permanent display in downtown Wolfville, N.S., the town where the world-famous Canadian painter spent much of his life.
Nine reproductions are now mounted on a brick wall on Main Street at the edge of a small park that holds the town’s war memorial.
Among them are some of his most well-known images, including Horse and Train, depicting a black horse galloping down a train track toward an oncoming locomotive, and To Prince Edward Island, a portrait of a woman on the deck of a boat, gazing through binoculars.
Colville died in 2013 at the age of 92. He had a long career as an artist, receiving many awards and honours along the way.
Wendy Elliott, a town councillor, said she and other councillors have been trying to create a tribute to Colville since his death. For 10 years, they’ve been saving money in a fund dedicated to public art, and have tested multiple concepts.
“In the end this was what made sense,” Elliott said. “And these are permanently displayed. They were printed very effectively on aluminum, so they will be here and his memory will be kept alive.”
Many of the paintings in the gallery depict local scenes, including the post office and war memorial that are now immediately adjacent to the gallery itself.
“Older folks like me will constantly have memories evoked by passing these paintings,” said Elliott.
“But I’m also hoping that the younger generation, in particular Acadia [University] students, will find out about this amazing artist because I’ve been talking to a few students and they don’t know who he was.”
Colville’s family attended the gallery launch Sunday, including his son, Charles Colville, who said he was grateful for the tribute to his father.
“I think that he and my mother would be surprised initially, but delighted by this.”