I N T E R V I E W W I T H A A conversation with Dr. Robert Hevenor COLLECTOR
T o most people in Tillsonburg, Robert Hevenor is a family physician—a man who, for years, looked most at home in a white coat, wearing a shiny silver stethoscope around his neck. But for those privileged enough to know Bob on a personal level, a different picture emerges. He is not only a beloved friend, but also an art lover—a man who has spent the last 20 years of his life building one of most impressive collections of Canadian art in the country. Indeed, to walk through the door of his residence is to be enveloped in colour. Everywhere you look you’ll find an ever rotating, careful- ly placed assemblage of paintings. There are hundreds of paintings and sculptures in all, and it’s clear that together, they are the medium Bob has used to create his own art: a home. We sat down with Bob recently to find out more about his life as a collector, as well as the upcoming “Plein Air to Abstraction” exhibit. The exhibition, which runs from May 26 to July 16 at Annandale Na- tional Historic Site, marks the first time Hevenor has shared his collec- tion publicly.
Q. It’s been 20 years since you bought your first painting, Hay Stooks in a Field . Was there some- thing about that first piece that spoke to you? A. The colours in the work grabbed me first. So much is said in such muted tones. There is also the loose- ness of the brush strokes. The artist does so much with simple lines and minimal paint. But it was more than
just the painting itself. I found the piece in an antique shop in London and the salesperson was so enthusi- astic that the feeling was contagious. Q. When did you realize that you were hooked? A. It took about three purchases to get me truly hooked. Twenty years ago, the landscape of the art world was very different for a col-
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