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Paintings Celebrate Vanishing Wooden Bridges (Posted On: Tuesday, January 03, 2006)

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For years, artist David Oates has traveled the Province in search of long-forgotten wooden bridges and has memorialized each in a painting

For years, artist David Oates has traveled the Province in search of long-forgotten wooden bridges and has memorialized each in a painting. Now, his Wooden Road Bridges of Ontario project is complete and the public has a chance to view the work in its entirety at the Leonard E. Shore Memorial Library Gallery. David Oates: Wooden Road Bridges of Ontario, a retrospective, opens at the Library Gallery on Saturday, January 7, 2006.

David Oates practiced and studied art in his youth and his artistic abilities launched him into a successful career as an illustrator and advertising executive. On his daily commute to work in Toronto, Oates crossed an old wooden road bridge. Eventually, the wooden bridge deteriorated with the ever-increasing traffic and was replaced with a concrete alternative. Oates realized that it wouldn’t be long before the Province’s old wooden bridges had disappeared completely.

Oates has always taken an active interest in Canadian History. Having emigrated to Ontario from the Isle of Man, UK as a young man, he has a deep respect for all that Canada has to offer. Upon retirement and a move to Thornbury, he set himself the task of preserving a little of our country’s history through his paintings. With the help of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Transport, David traveled from one end of the Province to the other, over rough and rutted logging trails, and, into the bush to locate and photograph every wooden bridge he could find, however remote. Even in these isolated areas, these bridges were being replaced.

Finally, Oates’ Wooden Road Bridges of Ontario project is complete. The artist looks forward to sharing with us, through 48 striking paintings, a beautiful, and over-looked part of our heritage. A companion book of reproductions of these paintings has been printed by the artist and copies will be available for purchase.

The Leonard E. Shore Memorial Library Gallery in Thornbury is a lovely, vaulted exhibition space that hosts monthly exhibits by both individuals and groups within the community. Exhibit proposals are reviewed and selected by a volunteer Arts Advisory Council and proposals are always welcome.

David Oates: Wooden Road Bridges of Ontario, a retrospective is on exhibit from January 7 through 29, during regular library hours. The Library, located at 183 Bruce St. S. in Thornbury, is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 1 until 8 pm, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am until 5 pm and Sundays from 1 until 4pm. For more information about the exhibit David Oates: Wooden Road Bridges of Ontario, a retrospective, please contact the L.E. Shore Memorial Library in Thornbury at 519-599-3681 or by email at info@thebluemountainslibrary.on.ca. Visit: www.thebluemountainslibrary.ca.

If you can’t make it to the library, you can visit the www.mycollingwood.ca gallery to view some of David’s paintings.

Submitted by Ellen Hobin, Library Clerk
Leonard E. Shore Memorial Library
519-599-3681 tel
ehobin@town.thebluemountains.on.ca
Digital images of artwork available upon request.

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