Art in Public Places features area artists and local history

The latest showing of Art in Public Places not only features painting of the local community, but a tribute to the history of Wellington County.

Guelph artist Lillan Rosendal was born and educated in Denmark, where she worked in graphic design and silk-screen printing.

But seeing her artwork, it seems clear part of her heart is in Elora.

Rosendal became interested in water colour painting in 1977 while studying fine are at the University of Connecticut. She continued her studies in water colour through various workshops and courses.

She now works from her home studio in Guelph. She is known for her landscapes and city scene originals, and her local scene greeting cards.

Recent works can be viewed at her studio, and paintings are on display in the Artisan’s Store at the Old Quebec Street Mall, Guelph Barber Gallery, Kloepfer Gallery Guelph, the Karger Gallery, in Elora, the Elora Centre for the Arts, and In a Heartbeat Gallery in Eden Mills.

Rosendal explained she did a lot of local scenes from Elora

“I like that people can recognize what they are seeing,” she said.

She specifically enjoys recreating scenes from Elora.

She noted the paintings now on display in the municipal building were done over a number of years. “I just picked up everything I’d done in Elora for this show.”

But, Rosendal continues painting in the Elora area and intends to do so for many years.

She finds herself inspired painting local scenery.

“Elora is a beautiful community, especially in the summer when the tourists are on the street, with all the colours. It is a nice cosy feeling.”

But there is more.

The current showing also highlights the work of a number of local teens who, over 30 years ago, worked together to celebrate Wellington County’s 125th anniversary.

Made by the Fergus Teens Quilting Club in 1979 to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the county’s incorporation (1854) a quilt was created.

It was hand and machine-stitched by teenage members Celeste Mestern, 14; Susan Hattle, 15; Cathy Wilson, 14; Monica Habe, 15; Ruth Hattle, 17; and Gwen Herd, 16.

The blocks feature landmarks and activities as well as township names and the county crest.

It was donated in 1980 to the Wellington County Museum collection.

Beverley Cairns was at Centre Wellington and introduced the artist and spoke of the teen quilting club.

Cairns thanked Dave Rushton for uploading the Elora Centre for the Arts profile book onto the web. The profiles are filed under creative economy.

Cairns said one can see the profiles of 75 artists from the area.

The book was a 20th anniversary project of the centre in 2005, she said.

The group continues to generate four additional profiles each year, and the intent is to post those on the web as well.

She said every few months new showings are made through Art in Public Places at the municipal building, in the Fergus Sportsplex boardroom, and Groves Memorial Community Hospital.

Cairns said she’d phoned Pat Mestern about the quilt project.

“It was summer time and they didn’t know what to do, and Pat Mestern’s mother, who was a volunteer at the museum, offered to help them to create this quilt.”

They quilted over the summer, learning a skill and at the same time were able to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of the county’s incorporation.

“The quilt actually belonged to the county, but it was donated to the museum. We were able to bring it out of mothballs and hang it out in the front lobby.”

Cairns considered it wonderful cooperation and “we’d like to do more of that.”

“We are certainly going to enjoy the beautiful colours,” said Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj.