1924 Kitcheners old town hall was demolished and replaced by a beautiful
neoclassical structure. William Schmaltz of Kitchener was the architect
responsible for the design of the first Kitchener City Hall.
city hall became known as a
kind of oasis in the downtown area. The large well kept lawn that spread
out in front with its flowers and trees was indeed a relief in an
otherwise brick and asphalt environment. At Christmastime the city hall
was decorated with lights and garlands making it a winter time focal
point. By the 1960's it became clear that the city had out grown the old
building. It was overcrowded, it was cold in the winter and sweltering in
the summer, and it had no elevator. In 1973 the building was demolished to
make way for Market Square.
After completing the painting of the
Waterloo Train Station, the story of Kitcheners original city hall was
brought to my attention. Being an admirer of classical architecture and
history in particular, my interest grew until at last I decided to paint
it. I set out to create a work of art that would somehow capture the
spirit of a time and a building fondly remembered by its' citizens. This
was to be a memorial
significance of a Memorial painting:
A number of artists have drawn or painted this building over the years but
few have treated it with the accuracy and attention to detail that I have.
I painted it as a "Portrait", which means an exact likeness. I
am not saying that some artistic license wasn't applied here for it was
but I was not loose and sloppy about it. Great care was taken to get the perspective
right and the same care was applied to the architectural elements, front facade,
capitals and entasis (curvature) in the columns of this much beloved
building. My approach attitudinally was akin to that of an archeological
reconstruction. For the discerning viewer this may mean something
for it is not uncommon for artists to treat historical buildings that no
longer exist (and even those that still do), in a haphazard, generic way.
That was not my approach here, the building in this painting was
painstakingly recreated right down to the placement of its stone blocks
and the shadows it cast at a given time of day. My intention was to make
it visually stunning, and architecturally accurate.
is what I mean by a memorial painting ~ Robert Isler Wanka
Edition Lithographic Print size 12½
x 10¾ Price