An exhibition of the late Ross Beard’s paintings were on view at Mahtay Cafe & Lounge in downtown St. Catharines for part of the month of March and April.
Beard is arguably the most significant artist from the City of Welland, both in terms of his work and his influence on the community.
Ross Beard (1953 – 2019) began landscape painting at the age of twelve and later developed his unique style while completing his post-secondary education at Sheridan and Niagara College.
He began painting full time in 1976. Surrealistic landscapes evoking a mysterious serenity bathed in cool blues with warm crimsons soon made Ross a local favorite. In 1988-89 Ross produced three outstanding murals for Welland’s Festival Of Arts (some of the strongest and most loved work in that project. Sadly, only one of these remains).
Ross Beard’s paintings blend sentimentality, mystery, nostalgia and romance all within the framework of historical sites that will be very familiar to residents of Welland. His paintings – often his favorite subjects of the Welland Canal, Wainfleet, and Lake Erie – can be found in numerous private collections, as a testament to their beauty and charm.
Ross Beard was a previously featured Artist You Need To Know from AIH Studios’ continuing series. You can see that here.
There was a brief article about the exhibition in the St. Catharines Standard which also touched upon public art policy in the City of Welland (as the city of Welland plans a rebrand the treatment of murals – like those by Beard – are a point of consideration). You can see that here.
I’d like to offer my gratitude to Diane Beard for sharing Ross’ art with us, and allowing me to share his artwork. There will be an exhibition of Diane’s fine manipulated images soon in this same space, too.