Local sculptor holds final art exhibit outside Guelph

After carving out a sculpting career that spanned seven decades, 84-year-old Andreas Drenters said farewell to his lifelong passion with a final art exhibit in Rockwood over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Drenters immigrated to Canada from Belgium in 1951. His sculptures hold a special place in Canadian art history, with many pieces on display all over the world. His farewell show featured pieces that ranged from the 1960s to 2018.

“To see all my work here is unbelievable because that took a whole crew,” Drenters said.

The artist said his early work was influenced by the time he spent working on his farm, and his craft began to evolve over the decades. Many of his pieces include metallic and abstract shapes, a form of movement and a connection to his spirituality through creating mandalas in metal.

“It gives a lot of joy when you go into the shop, you begin on something and all of a sudden you visualize the birth and it comes to be a horse,” Drenters said.

Lisa Drenters witnessed many of her father’s creations come to life over the years. She said the final art exhibit and sale will hold a special place in her heart.

“It’s been tremendous,” Lisa said. “Lots of emotions this weekend. This is celebrating my father’s life, his career and his contribution to Canadian art.”

Fellow artist and friend Martha Hoey says the passion Drenters put into his work will stand the test of time.

“He has the biggest heart you ever want to meet,” Hoey said. “He’s interested in people and he was always building more and more challenging things for himself.”

The final exhibit ran from Friday to Sunday. An online gallery of Drenters’ sculptures can be found on his website.