The amount of effort poured into Realist Artists of Newfoundland and Labrador’s (RANL) new exhibit of paintings on the history of Burin was readily evident as the project was unveiled Saturday morning.
The hours of exertion were not lost on those who attended the opening at the Burin Exhibition Hall, formerly St. Patrick’s School.
“It’s amazing what they’ve got done here,” said Burin native Ralph Mayo. “A lot of the old pictures, I can visualize and see Burin as it was.”
Fellow Burin native Randy Brenton likewise was impressed and believes the exhibit will be a major tourist draw.
“It’s lovely. I remember some things, but a lot of the pictures are long before my time. It’s beautiful, no doubt about it,” he said, pointing out his mother was from Foote’s Cove, Pardy’s Island, Burin.
Artist Ed Roche, one of RANL’s founders, pointed out 34 artists were involved in the project, creating 40 paintings over the last number of years.
Roche noted the project was also made possible by the efforts of a number of local residents and organizations.
With the help of Larry Mahoney, RANL’s executive director, he presented certificates of appreciation to Tom Hollett, historian Wayne Hollett, Evelyn Grondin-Bailey, Burin Town Council, Burin Senior Citizens 50+ Club and the Burin Heritage Museum.
Hollett, a businessman and Burin native, bought the old school and has transformed the building into a hall where the project is being displayed.
In his comments, Mayor Kevin Lundrigan acknowledged Burin’s vast history was just one of the reasons the town was an ideal location for the art project.
“Over the past number of years, the Town of Burin has made an extra effort to maintain our history in our everyday lives. The Heritage Square and projects such as the Tidal Wave Memorial and the Mina Swim Memorial are prime examples of the past,” he told those present.
“By keeping the past alive, we will grow stronger as a community.”