By Dianne Cornish
A pencil drawing of St. Alban’s Church in Rockton is part of an art display currently featured in The Jean and Ross Fischer Gallery of the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH).
Former Strabane area resident Brent Wybenga, the artist who created the work seven years ago when he was enrolled in the architectural technology program at Mohawk College, didn’t know until recently that the drawing had been selected to be part of the Places We Call Home exhibit, but is pleased with the turn of events that brought about the showing.
Now 25 and residing in Dundas, the second-year student of the master’s program in structural engineering at McMaster University was recently asked by a local architectural historian in Dundas if she could grace the back of her business card with his drawing currently on exhibit at the AGH.
While Wybenga was quick to grant his consent, he was surprised to hear that his drawing was in the exhibit.
An email that went astray last fall was the culprit. It had invited Wybenga to the opening of the show on Oct. 21 and explained how his drawing had been chosen, along with about 100 others, by local architecture and art experts to be put on display.
All of the works, depicting Ontario homes, churches, civic and commercial buildings with a diversity of architectural styles, were produced by Mohawk College students studying the history of architecture. College instructor Shannon Kyles submitted their works for consideration.
The show is on display until Feb. 10 and admission is free to the Fischer Gallery at 123 King St. W., Hamilton.
Wybenga, who continues to be interested in architecture and “its form and structure,” said he recalls visiting the 142-year-old stone church in Rockton and taking photos of it, at different angles, before creating his detailed rendering.
He had forgotten about the drawing until he learned a few months ago that it was one of many that the college was entering in a competition from which winning entries would be selected to be part of a show at the AGH.
A couple of weeks ago, he visited the gallery to view the exhibit.
The winning drawings, produced in traditional and electronic methods, include many local buildings, including some mansions in Ancaster, he said.
His parents, Christine and Frank, also recently visited the exhibit. Both were pleased to see a family tradition being upheld–in the 1950s, Brent Wybenga’s great-great grandfather, Robert Bell, a musician who emigrated to Hamilton from England, also exhibited artworks, mainly watercolors, at the AGH.