Upcoming art show a chance to purchase pieces of Prince Albert history

Reg Martsinkiw was a chiropractor in Prince Albert for over 50 years, retiring in August 2019. Throughout his career, Martsinkiw said he'd impulsively buy art, but is wanting to downsize his collection. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

While Prince Albert’s Reg Martsinkiw is best known as a beloved decades-long chiropractor, you might not know he collected art for nearly his entire career.

Reg and Mary Lou Martsinkiw said “the time has come to downsize” their collection, which consists of works from Gary Thurber, Frances Hanson and James Ratt, to name a few.

The show and sale taking place at the On the Avenue Artisan’s Gallery contains over 50 pieces—all of which come with a taste of history.

Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, known as Grey Owl, passed away in Prince Albert in 1938. He was born in England, but was fascinated by North America’s Indigenous people. He was a writer and conservationist.

Martsinkiw said he has eight original photographs of Grey Owl, and has even spoken to the man who buried him.

“Frances Hanson, she’s very famous for her Grey Owl series and I have her last painting. I have one, two, three, four of her paintings and the last painting that she did of Grey Owl before she passed on,” he said.

He also has works from the late Father Cote, who was a pastor in Prince Albert, Melfort, Rosthern, St. Louis, Tisdale and North Battleford. He’s known for painting with shoe polish.

Martsinkiw also emphasized pieces he’s purchased by James Ratt, a trap line painter.

“He used to go up about 120 miles north of La Ronge, he had a trap line on the Churchill River. He trapped and he painted. He’d come home with his furs and he’d come home with loads of paintings. But he passed on,” said Martsinkiw.

Other items for sale include a registered polar bear rug, which measures over seven feet, an autographed New York Yankees baseball and items from the Ukraine.

“I have several bison skulls, they’re worth a couple hundred dollars, but I found them. I do a lot of hunting, I spend a lot of time (outdoors). I found them on the Saskatchewan River, and also I have a buffalo head mount,” he added.

“I’ve purchased so much art. In fact, after I do this, I have enough for another sale.”

The opening reception for Reg and Mary Lou Martsinkiw’s show and sale takes place at the On the Avenue Artisan’s Gallery from 4 to 8 p.m on Mar. 12. All of the pieces are available for purchase.