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Last Chance to Own a Piece of Local History: Sculptor Andy Drenters Final Sale

Rockwood’s Andreas (Andy) Drenters is having one last show and sale over the Thanksgiving weekend. Daughter Lisa announced that “at age 84, Andy is laying aside his tools and creative endeavors in order to dedicate more time with his family.” Drenters has been a prolific metal sculptor for decades, living and working at ‘The Academy’ as it came to be known, a stately 1853 3-story limestone school that his late brother Yosef bought and restored in 1960. Although the sale itself will take place at a farm north of Rockwood, for years Drenters would open his studio to the public on weekends and sell his sculptures which have been described variously as figurative, abstract, made from found objects, metalwork, assemblage, and ‘art made from old farm implements’. For locals, this is one last chance to buy his iconic work, some of which now graces Rockmosa Park: in 2019 the town purchased “Phoenix” and “Heron with Frog”, ensuring Andy’s legacy lives on in Rockwood.


Drenters’ mastery of blacksmithing is evidenced in the way metal appears to magically float, particularly those outdoor pieces that move languorously in the breeze. Whether it’s a bird or a more abstract shape, he employs similar principles of balance seen in the mobiles of famous sculptor and contemporary Alexander Calder. His mastery of ice skating as a youth equally informed this aesthetic, manifesting in the grace and balance he embeds in his work. Well-known in the art world for decades, he and brother Yosef collaborated on a piece for Expo ’67, while many of Andy’s works can be found in private and public collections across Canada and around the world. In the early 1980’s, the movie ‘Agnes of God’ was filmed at the Academy, and Andy recalled how many -- including actress Jane Fonda -- begged him to relocate to California.


The Drenters family moved to Canada after the Second World War, leaving behind farming in Belgium where Joseph Sr. was a farmer as well as a highly accomplished and innovative blacksmith: he invented and patented many improvements to farm implements. A young Andy absorbed everything he could about the art of working with metal from his father. Once in Canada, the family continued farming on a large acreage in Eramosa along Highway 24 while also nurturing their children’s talent and Andy began as an artisanal blacksmith and a self-taught mechanic. His work evolved over time into more complex abstract work that nevertheless remained firmly rooted in this formative period. Daughter Lisa neatly summarizes Andy’s “folk-wisdom axiom” with this quote from her Dad: “What seems simple is really very complex, and what is complex is really simple. It all depends on how you look at it.”


This final large public exhibition and sale of his sculptures takes place on Friday October 8th 1:00 - 7:00 pm, Saturday October 9th 10:00 - 5:00 pm, and Sunday October 10th 10:00 - 5:00 pm at 5242 Wellington Road 29, Guelph/Eramosa Township.


To preview some of his work follow him on Instagram and Facebook or go to andreasdrenters.com .



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