Posted on September 17, 2012 by Marina

During the month of September, our brewery’s gallery walls are filled with the The Rock N’ Roll Art Show!

Jonathan Hiltz and Brooke Opatowski have a new style incorporating photos of famous musicians and other performers within abstract paintings and designs. These images come from the legendary Bruce Cole Collection of photographs who had his lens previously on Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Bryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Anne Murray, Rush and an endless list of others.

The Rock n’ Roll Art Show is the collaboration of these three artists coming together to create original work, containing some of the world’s most famous performers.

Here are some of the pieces and a little background behind their creation by Jonathan himself:

This month the Rock n’ Roll Art Show had the good fortune of exhibiting in the largest space we’ve ever shown, the Steam Whistle Gallery.  This gave Brooke, Bruce and I, a real opportunity to create a wide array of images and paintings that we could spread throughout the rooms.


This is a shot of Gordon Lightfoot performing at the JUNO Awards in 1986.  In the painting itself, I particularly enjoy the different colours that have their own area and are mixed well. The drizzle of gold paint throughout the work makes a nice effect and forces the cut out of the photo to really stand out.


This a shot of Bob Dylan at the Mariposa Festival in the early 1970’s.  That year, Bob was invited by Gordon Lightfoot to attend the festival and watch the many bands that were coming through there.  He arrived on the island anonymously and after a few hours when the thousands of fans realized that Dylan was around, the crowd started to get very excited and began looking for him.  This prompted police to quickly escort Bob off the island before he had a chance to be mobbed.  This painting is partially a transfer and and a photo print which makes the two different textures stand out and create an interesting contrast.


This is one of my favourites because it shows three legendary Canadian musicians in a very candid moment backstage at the JUNO Awards.  That is Anne Murray, Stompin’ Tom Connors and Gordon Lightfoot having a cigarette and talking about who knows what, but I’m sure it was interesting!


This painting created by Brooke is spectacular because it incorporates an audience at the Mariposa Festival and as they are facing forward to watch a performance, it looks like they are staring at the swirling painting, it creates a great effect.



This last one is a great shot of Bruce Cockburn performing with bright flowers painted over the image, which was transfered on to the canvas with a very specific (and time consuming) technique.  Before the exhibition at Steam Whistle, I had the opportunity to show the painting to Bernie Finkelstein who is a legend in the music industry and Bruce Cockburn’s manager.  His words were ‘very, very nice’ and that made my week!


Come out to our brewery to see these and other pieces for yourself. On display until September 30th in our gallery. Open to the public.