José Valverde (1929-2018)
It is sad news that José Antonio Estevan Valverde Alcade passed away in January of this year.
José Valverde was born in Madrid, Spain. He was interested in art and culture from an early age. José graduated from the University of Zaragoza, Spain, and later furthered his studies at Cambridge University in England. In addition to his university studies, Valverde attended many painting workshops and studio courses both here and in Europe.
In 1963, he immigrated to Canada to pursue graduate studies at the University of Alberta, where he later taught Spanish and Spanish culture. In 1971, José moved to Nova Scotia to teach Spanish at Acadia University in Wolfville, NS. Throughout his career, Valverde devoted much time to his painting, and was an active member of the arts community in the province.
Following his retirement from Acadia, José took-up painting full-time in his studio in Chester.
Valverde painted in both oil and watercolour with a wide variety of subject-matter, He is known as a colourist, and Valverde’s work is infused with exuberant Mediterranean colour.
His work is in many private and public collections nationally and internationally. In 2012, José was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He also was awarded Commander, Order of Civil Merit by King Philip VI of Spain for the lifetime service in the promotion of art and culture of Spain in Canada.
Joseph (Joe) Purcell passed away in November 2017.
Joseph born in Halifax in 1927, and received his art training at the Nova Scotia College of Art. After he left the college, he began a series of paintings interpreting Nova Scotia towns and the activity of the East Coast and Atlantic fishing industry. Joe also completed a series of murals for the dining rooms in the Nova Scotian Hotel, and the Victoria General Hospital. At the age of 23, he won the O’Keefe Art Award; a national competition. In the same year he was chosen to interpret Halifax for the Seagrams Collection, “Cities of Canada,” which toured major capital cities of the world.
Joseph had the opportunity to join the fishermen of Lunenburg and visit the Grand Banks off Newfoundland to paint them at work in the years when the fishing industry was still active. Always captivated by the sea, ships and the spirit that made the Atlantic fisheries flourish, Joe’s loose, painterly style captured the landscapes and seascapes that became so well-known in Nova Scotia. In more recent years, Joseph completed a major collection of in-situ paintings of gold mines of Nova Scotia, entitled the Seabright Collection, which are displayed at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton, NS.
By the late 1940’s, Joe had established himself as a professional painter. In 1953, he moved with his wife Tela, who was also an artist, to Lincoln Street in downtown Lunenburg, where he opened the Purcell Family Art Gallery and studio.
Purcell and his wife, Tela, were active in the local art community, and were instrumental in the establishment of the Lunenburg Art Gallery, as well as being influential in the opening-up of the Residency Program in Lunenburg for the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, as well as the Lunenburg Fisheries Museum.
Joseph was known for working in watercolour and oil. He established himself as one of the most popular artists working in Atlantic Canada, and his paintings are in collections all over the world including Britain, Continental Europe, the United States, and Australia as well as all over Canada.