Mur­ney paint­ing adds to na­tional cel­e­bra­tion

Kingston Whig-Standard - - NEWS - AMANDA NOR­RIS

The joy­ful sounds of fid­dles and friendly con­ver­sa­tion filled the room as the Mur­ney Tower Mu­seum of­fi­cially opened its doors on Fri­day for the sea­son, with a spe­cial sesqui­cen­ten­nial ad­di­tion to the pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tion.

In hon­our of the 150th an­niver­sary and Con­fed­er­a­tion, the Kingston His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety com­mis­sioned a paint­ing cre­ated by widely rec­og­nized lo­cal avi­a­tion artist Don Connolly. The paint­ing was pub­licly un­veiled at the mu­seum open­ing.

Connolly, 85, said his in­spi­ra­tion for the paint­ing dates back to his boy­hood mem­o­ries and fas­ci­na­tion with build­ings.

To date, Connolly has cre­ated more than 4,000 works of art and con­tin­ues to paint in his lo­cal stu­dio near Sy­den­ham Lake.

The Mur­ney Tower paint­ing took sev­eral months to com­plete and in­volved count­less con­sul­ta­tions with his­tor­i­cal in­ter­preters.

Di­rec­tor of the Kingston His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, Graeme Wat­son, said he was “pleased to un­veil the paint­ing to the mem­bers of the Kingston His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety at their an­nual gen­eral meet­ing ” ear­lier in the year.

“This is a very spe­cial year, as Canada’s 150th. We’re very ex­cited that there’s some­thing very spe­cial hap­pen­ing at the Mur­ney Tower and that is a very spe­cial paint­ing that’s been cre­ated by Don Connolly,” says Kingston Mayor Brian Paterson.

The mayor and Connolly worked to­gether to of­fi­cially un­veil the paint­ing to the pub­lic.

The un­veil­ing of the paint­ing marked the of­fi­cial 92nd sea­son open­ing of the UNESCO World Her­itage Site.

Connolly pointed out that he has never worked on a paint­ing that has been put to the same amount of de­mand­ing stan­dard of de­tail as this one.

“The things you learn when you start to study some­thing care­fully are amaz­ing,” Connolly said as he spoke about the com­mis­sioned paint­ing that in­tri­cately show­cases many com­po­nents of in­side the tower, as well as its re­la­tion­ship be­tween the other Martello tow­ers and the Kingston wa­ter­front.

The paint­ing is now be­ing fea­tured in much of Mur­ney Tower’s pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial.

“We are look­ing for­ward to hav­ing a great year wel­com­ing vis­i­tors from across the prov­ince and across the re­gion and be­yond to Kingston,” Paterson said.

The mu­seum fea­tures three floors of ex­hibits and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., un­til noon on Labour Day.

AMANDA NOR­RIS/FOR THE WHIG-STAN­DARD

Lo­cal artist Don Connolly stands in front of his com­mis­sioned Mur­ney Tower paint­ing, which was un­veiled dur­ing the of­fi­cial Mur­ney Tower Mu­seum sea­son-open­ing cer­e­mony on Fri­day.

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