Renowned Canadian visual artists are coming to Minden Hills this summer.

The Bateman Family: A Sense of Place will be an exhibit at the Minden Hills Cultural Centre this summer from July 6 to Sept. 2.

And patriarch Robert Bateman, one of Canada’s most celebrated realist painters on par, according to many people, with the Group of Seven, will open with exhibit with his children, accomplished artists in their own right.

Minden council agreed during its meeting June 8 to declare the exhibit’s public opening day July 8 to be an event of municipal significance.

Shannon Kelly, the township’s cultural services manager, said staff were approached by Ross Bateman in August with the idea of a Robert Bateman family exhibit in the Agnes Jamieson Gallery.

The original painting Castor canadensis will be part of the exhibit and is the one original painting that will be available for sale. The sale price is $50,000 US, or about $68,000 CDN. As per the exhibit contract, the gallery will receive 25 per cent of the proceeds from the sale. 

This exhibit would be based on the family’s time spent at family cottages in Haliburton County over the last several decades. The exhibit would include original paintings, and limited-edition prints created by Robert Bateman, his brothers Ross and Jack, Robert’s son Alan, and Ross’ son Brad.

It would also include photography by Robert’s wife, Birgit Freybe Bateman.

Kelly said the entire Bateman family will be on hand for the opening. Art will be transported from Canada’s east coast and its west coast for the exhibit.

“It’s a great opportunity for the cultural centre to have,” she said. “I think a lot of people will be coming out to see the exhibit.”

Robert Bateman will provide 46 pieces of his personal collection, including 21 originals and 25 prints. Four additional originals from the collection of Ross Bateman will also be included.

As many as 12 photographs by Birgit Freybe Bateman will be exhibited.

Three original piece by Ross Bateman and one by Jack Bateman will be displayed.

Alan Bateman will contribute four original pieces and four reproductions.

Eight original works of Brad Bateman’s will be also on view.

Councillor Tammy McKelvey wanted to know how insurance worked for such an event with so many valuable pieces of artwork.

Kelly said the Bateman family provided a full list with values of the works to be at the exhibit. She’ll forward that list to the Finance Department to give to the municipality’s insurance carrier.

McKelvey asked for specific details.

“If this deductible is $50,000 or $5,000 there’s a big difference,” she said. “I just want to make sure we’re aware of what our obligations would be.”

Craig Belfry, the township’s community services director, said the cultural centre has in the past hosted works by renowned Canadian visual artists.

“There is significant artwork coming, but there has been in the past,” he said.

“That’s fine,” McKelvey said. “But perhaps nobody’s asked the question. What’s the financial implications if there’s a claim and is our deductible $5,000 or $50,000 because that makes a big difference.”

Mayor Bob Carter suggested council get Finance staff to bring the information to the next meeting.

“We can’t wait until then … so I guess we commit and hope for the best, I’m assuming,” McKelvey said. “But this is definitely something that needs to be looked at.”

The Minden Hills Cultural Centre Foundation will be holding a Members Only preview of the exhibit July 6 with some members of the Bateman family. 

The public opening reception will be July 8, and all contributing artists have confirmed that they will be present at the reception.

By James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 11, 2023 at 08:56

This item reprinted with permission from   Haliburton County Echo   Haliburton, Ontario
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