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Age of Exploration Art Exhibit by Courtlandt Swartz
The “Age of Exploration” exhibit is a testament to Courtlandt Swartz's continuing love of history. When asked about his fascination in history, he explains, “History reminds us of who we are, and helps guide our path into the future. Without self awareness, we have no focus, no destiny.”
His excitement for sailing has been rooted with the opportunity to sail the Pathfinder during a Tall Ship Regatta to Bay City Michigan in 2010. In 2008, Courtlandt was in Southampton when the Playfair arrived. The ship slowly emerged from the thick fog making an eerie impression. Courtlandt painted the Playfair for his first solo exhibit that summer at the Southampton Art Gallery. His exhibit was a great success. At the age of 15, he had captured the deep connection man has with the water, and the majesty of the Tall Ships that sail them. Courtlandt was very nervous before sailing on the Pathfinder. It was his first experience sailing. During his twelve days on the waves, he learned the ropes of sailing, but he also gained a deep admiration for the character that is inherently unique in every Tall Ship. He has been painting and exhibiting in Bruce County, the Muskokas, and Toronto for over 4 years. Last year he travelled to Paris France where he furthered his understanding of art and history before starting his first year at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. His studies at the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto have developed Courtlandt’s masterful technique and attention to detail, winning him many awards for his paintings including the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award in 2011.
His favorite medium to work with is acrylic paint, though he has illustrated the book, “My Best Friend Papa,” and the 2010 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair poster using plasticine. Courtlandt has participated in many group and solo art exhibitions. His proudest achievements include being nominated at the age of 15 for the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s top award, and being asked by artist Robert Bateman to donate a painting to be auctioned off with his art at the Halton Conservation Area. His most exciting moment as an artist was presenting a painting to actress Carol Burnett at Massey Hall. Though he has many abstract works and sketches, his most popular works are his tall ships and steam engines. Hours Mon.-Sat. 10-5; Sun. 12-4.