Beaverbrook Art Gallery unveils Toronto Raptors exhibit

From the art of the free throw to capturing basketball champions in art, Fredericton’s Beaverbrook Art Gallery is celebrating the NBA champion Toronto Raptors with a one-of-a-kind art exhibit.

Beaverbrook Art Gallery is exhibiting a 17-piece portrait installation of the Toronto Raptors on the heels of their NBA championship win.

“Joanne Tod is one of the country’s greatest living portraitists, we were proud to have this great art here,” said Tom Smart, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery director.

Tom Smart – Beaverbrook Art Gallery Director

The oil on linen paintings are considered realism style and the sizes of the portraits vary.

Joanne Tom’s renderings speak to personal identity and she assigned each player a relative sized canvas based on height.

“There’s basically a foot span in between the tallest and the smallest player,” said Joanne Tod, the painter of the Raptors collection.

To capture the true emotion and expression of the Raptors roster, Joanne attended her first NBA game.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to take a look at each one of the players up close and personal, and to really try and catch the nuances of what I could read as their personalities. It was really quite fun,” said Tod

“You can see its realistic, so she tries to capture the way the person looks, she also tries to capture something about the character and the way she does that with the expression,” said Smart.

Expressions such as the Normal Powell scowl, and most valuable player Kawhi’s Leonard’s usual poker face.

“I painted all of their jerseys at the end, which was a good call because its ended up that some of the players were traded out and some new players came in so then I could assign the right jersey to the right people,” said Tod.

Gallery director Tom Smart says the Raptors win brought the country together in celebration, and he hopes the installation will as well.

“They reflected a new kind of Canada. A Canada that is inclusive, a Canada of diversity and great fun,” said Smart.

The art will be on display until the fall and the paintings are for sale. Smart would like to see the collection of portraits stay together as a team.

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