Mann Art Gallery ‘the right home’ for Prince Albert artist’s series on shuttered Kenderdine campus

The Mann Art Gallery has purchased six of a local artist’s works depicting the demolition of the University of Saskatchewan’s Kenderdine campus in Emma Lake.

Jerome Mrazek’s series, The Shuttered Kenderdine, contains 60 pieces. Most were on display in March at the John V. Hicks Gallery.

It was at that exhibition that the Mann Art Gallery’s Director/Curator Marcus Miller became captivated by the documentary style storytelling through art.

“This is the right home for that series of paintings,” he said.

“We’re so close to the Emma Lake workshop, where it was, and so many artists in Prince Albert were influenced and know about those workshops.”

The summer art school was established in 1936 by Gus Kenderdine during the Great Depression. Its workshops drew artists from across Canada, many who went on to have successful careers.

It temporarily closed in 2012 due to budget restraints and hasn’t been reopened since.

Miller said the gallery couldn’t afford to purchase all 60 pieces, so he opted for the six showing the kitchen facility because it was the most “modern and utopian” of all of the buildings with its circular shape.

“(The kitchen) was a great gathering place for the artists,” he said.

“In an ideal world, the series would be kept together as the cohesive tribute the artist intended, but we’ll work with the means we have and endeavour to solicit the funds and donations required to reunite the family.”

Miller said he doesn’t intend on displaying the art anytime soon because it was recently shown.

The historical significance of the series, though, will be beneficial for research purposes, he said.

Five of the pieces are drawings and one is a watercolour painting.