Going local with Mercedes Horne exhibit
OAKVILLE - Mercèdés Horne was a highly-regarded artist who has held solo and group exhibits in prestigious galleries in Toronto and beyond and whose work continues to hang across Ontario.
Joshua Creek's Sybil Rampen (right) and Tom Kasak hang the Mercedes Horne exhibit on Wednesday afternoon. The exhibit runs from January 11- February 3.
Mercèdés Horne was a highly-regarded artist who has held solo and group exhibits in prestigious galleries in Toronto and beyond and whose work continues to hang across Ontario.
She has received artistic accolades, was a member of a number of arts groups, and received a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal.
She had no greater fan than perhaps her husband, David Horne, a successful architect, who loved her so dearly that in his later years, he began buying back her paintings so that he could host a grand exhibit of his wife’s work.
“They’re great paintings,” said Sybil Rampen, who was friends with David and Mercèdés Horne when they were still alive. “He wanted her to be recognized for the great artist that she was and that was his great hope.”
David had accumulated many paintings, while Mercèdés suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and was entirely dependent on him.
However, before the grand exhibit could be showcased, David passed away in 2007, in the 50th year of marriage for the Oakville couple.
But Mercèdés’ work, which ranged from realistic and impressionist to abstract, was not forgotten. The Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre, which is owned by Rampen, held a show of her paintings and David’s architectural drawings while she yet lived in 2010. Mercèdés passed away in May 2011, just a few weeks shy of her 86th birthday.
Rampen, an artist and arts aficionado, had become friends with David after she had visited the Horne home.
“It was the most extraordinary. It was five storeys and every wall was plastered with her paintings and her carpets. It was the most exquisite house I’ve ever seen. The very top floor was her studio,” Rampen said.
David even designed the Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre’s transformation of the 1827-built barn and house. The barn was converted into a gallery and the house features a number of art studios and is Rampen’s home.
Going on drives was soothing for Mercèdés during her struggles with dementia, so David took her around town, making quick stops with people they knew and they frequently stopped by the art centre.
David had managed to collect as many as 70 paintings by his long-time wife, plus they had original pieces by others in their collection. That collection, which consists of approximately 100 paintings, was recently donated to the Joshua Creek centre, by the Horne family.
Now, the centre is holding a grand show of the Mercèdés’ work. This time it will be a solo exhibit of Mercèdés’ work, which opens on Sunday (Jan. 13).
It will feature approximately 70 paintings. A few originals will be auctioned off, while giclées will be available of the majority of the exhibit.
This exhibit is also starting off a year focused on Oakville artists at the Joshua Creek centre.
The exhibit runs until Feb. 8. The Sunday opening runs from 2-5 p.m. The gallery is located at 1086 Burnhamthorpe Rd. E. For more information, visit www.joshuacreekarts.com.
Dominik Kurek can be reached at email@example.com or followed on Twitter .
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