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Loch Gallery is very pleased to recognize the most recent accomplishment of Manitoba sculptor, PETER SAWATZKY. A life-sized bronze sculpture of martyred Anabaptist leader Dirk Willems, pulling his captor to safety from a river, was officially unveiled on Saturday, November 10th at the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum in Steinbach, Manitoba. This work is the latest example of Sawatsky's talent, creativity and dedicaton in his work as professional sculptor.

Winnipeg journalist , Martin Zeileg authored an article for the November 10th issue of the Winnipeg Free Press covering the dedication of the Dirk Willems sculpture at the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum and highlighting the career of Peter Sawatzky. We have reproduced the article here:

Sculptor honours 16-century martyr with public art piece -
By: Martin Zeilig
Winnipeg Free Press 2018-11-10

Manitoba artist Peter Sawatzky has added another dramatic bronze sculpture to his
growing list of public-art creations.

Photo : Loch Gallery
Peter Sawatzky, with his sculpture of 16th-century Anabaptist leader Dirk Willems, in Steinbach at the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum.

A life-sized sculpture of martyred Anabaptist leader Dirk Willems, pulling his captor to
safety from a river, will be officially unveiled at the Mennonite Heritage Village
Museum in Steinbach at a ceremony on Saturday at 2 p.m. Willems was one of thousands of Anabaptists that were executed during the 16thcentury. Sawatzky’s monument is based on an engraving by Jan Luyken.

The sculpture joins such noted Sawatzky works as Seal River Crossing, a nine-metrelong
sculpture of caribou plowing through the wild waters of the northern Manitoba river that stands at the Richardson Centre Plaza at Portage and Main, and the sculpture of James A. Richardson at the Winnipeg airport that bears his name. "Seal River Crossing is my personal favourite of my own pieces," Sawatzky says. "I was inspired after flying over the Seal River (in northern Manitoba) and seeing all those
caribou crossing. It just hits you."

It’s a dynamic work of art that is made to withstand the elements for hundreds of
years, similar to the centuries-old sculptures found in outdoor public places around
the world.

Photo: Wayne Glowacki/Winnipeg Free Press files
Peter Sawatzky (Left) with Hartley Richardson (right) with Sawatzky's

Seal River Crossing at Richardson Plaza

"Peter Sawatzky is a remarkably energetic and prolific artist whose passion for wildlife
and the natural landscape has crafted his distinctive body of work," says Hartley
Richardson, president and CEO of James Richardson & Sons, Limited, in an email.

"The fact that he is highly regarded as a Canadian sculptor who was born, raised and
inspired in Manitoba makes him, in my opinion, even more worthy of celebration."

Peter Sawatzky (left) and Hartley Richardson stand with Sawatzky’s sculpture Seal River Crossing at Richardson Centre

Sawatzky, 67, grew up on a farm near Altona, but these days lives near Glenboro,
about 170 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

"I’ve been a professional artist for 46 years," Sawatzky says during an interview in his
studio, a light-filled, large-windowed open space situated on several acres of forested
land a few kilometres outside of Glenboro. The first 15 years of his career were
dedicated to mostly woodcarving and illustration, and some painting, he says. "After that, I got into the bronze sculpture medium, and have been doing that exclusively for the past 31 years," Sawatzky says.

Sawatzky, who received the Order of Manitoba in 2008, credits the late wildlife artist
and environmentalist Clarence Tillenius, also a native of Manitoba, with being one of his major influences. Sawatzky studied art, life drawing and sculpting with Tillenius at the Okanagan Summer Farm for one summer.

Photo: Wayne Glowacki/Winnipeg Free Press files
Peter Sawatzky working on the (Dirk Willems) sculpture in his studio outside

"Clarence ended up being my teacher, my mentor, my colleague and one of my best friends. We were very,very close. That’s who I studied under mostly,"Sawatzky says.

Another commissioned Sawatzky piece, a two-metretallsculpture of Jose Rizal (1861-1896), a Filipinonationalist and polymath during the end of the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines, is slated to be unveiled in the Waterford Green Development in
northwest Winnipeg next spring or early summer.

The City of Brandon has also approached him about plans for a Peter Sawatzky
Sculpture Garden at the Brandon Riverbank Discovery Centre.

"Working from life is the best thing you can do because there are no secrets,"
observes Sawatzky, who’s married and has two adult children and three
grandchildren. "What you see is what is there. Working from life speaks the truth.
"Then, I did it again," said Sawatzky, noting that he also studied commercial art at
River Red Community College after high school, and then worked as a commercial
artist for a few different private companies in Winnipeg for five years.

David Loch, owner of Loch Gallery, says Sawatzky’s pieces are collected widely and the
artist has achieved a unique status in Canada’s sculpture tradition.

"Peter is one of the hardest working artists I’ve ever met, and sculpture is all about
physical (effort) and very costly," Loch says. "We do have a very dedicated group of
clients who collect his monumental works. His work flows. He’s a gem. Peter has a
level of acceptance in Canada now that is second to none."



Loch Gallery Locations


1516 - 4th Street S.W.
Calgary, AB T2R 0Y4

403-209-8542 phone
403-209-2774 fax

Hours: Tues. to Sat.



16 Hazelton Avenue
Toronto ON, M5R 2E2

416-964-9050 phone
416-964-2778 fax

Hours: Tues. to Sat.


306 St. Mary's Road
Winnipeg MB, R2H 1J8

204-235-1033 phone
204-235-1036 fax

Hours: by appointment only



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