Feature Artist Tony Van Lent

Feature Artist  Tony Van LentIn early 2013, Antonella Ciancibello-Normey, Co-Chair, Edmonton Verdi Festival, requested the assistance of Chef Tony (Anthony Van Lent) of the Santa Maria Goretti Community Centre to host some of the Verdi events. He gladly took on the task providing gourmet hors d'oeuvres that, by the way, did not include the proverbial shrimp tree with cocktail sauce, mini quiche and veg tray with dip, but did include four paintings of Giuseppe Verdi depicted as the renowned composer of the age, landowner, pop culture icon and quintessential rock star of the Italian cultural world his time. All of this together with a grand piano and other cultural memorabilia that turned a blank stage into a visual tribute to Verdi.

Feature Artist  Tony Van Lent painting of VerdiChef Tony was born in southern Alberta and grew up just outside Waterton Lakes National Park in the foothills with great expansive rocks compressed into blue-white mountains and vast uninterrupted skies and prairies. With no formal training in art and only the need to express himself and to question accepted religious norms, political views and preconceived ideas of beauty, he began to paint and create. He chose to become a chef as the next best creative outlet at hand and that involved his senses, style, taste and attitude. A Chef for more than 30 years, he now has the time to spend challenging himself to interpret his vision through brushes, acrylics and canvas. Van Lent acknowledges his indebtedness to Lucas Waldin's interpretation of Verdi's work and the opportunity that Antonella gave him to create and notes, "I hope that I have succeeded in portraying Verdi's personality in a way that is more than that of just a great historical, dead composer." Van Lent's works can be found at the Winspear Centre in the lobbies at various levels.

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