For years it has been clear that Steve Martin is much more than a wild and crazy comedian. Since his days on Saturday Night Live he has branched out as an actor, novelist, semiprofessional magician and Grammy-winning banjo player. He is also an art collector, who is a great admirer of Canada’s Group of Seven member Lawren Harris; so much so that Marin is now working with an American curator and Andrew Hunter of the Art Gallery to stage a traveling Lawren Harris show. And the Art Gallery of Hamilton will play a role by loaning Harris’ Icehouse Coldwell, Lake Superior to the travelling exhibit.. Martin visited a number of Canadian Galleries last year, seeking Lawren Harris paintings, including AGH. Steve Denyes, manager of communications, says it was a low key visit and that Martin “couldn’t have been more pleasant to deal with.” The show opens later this month in Los Angeles before moving on to Boston and Toronto. “(Harris) is Canada’s greatest artist and nobody in America with a few exceptions knows who he is,” Martin told the New York Times. Martin tried to get the show into the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York but was unsuccessful. It will be on display at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Lawren Harris was born into the Massey-Harris fortune and was one of the founders of the Group of Seven. No fewer than 10 of his works are in the Art Gallery of Hamilton permanent collection.

John Best has had a lengthy media management career, in television and radio and now print. As Vice President, News at CHCH in Hamilton, John oversaw a significant expansion of the news operation. He founded Independent Satellite News, Canada’s only television news service providing national content to Canadian independent TV stations. John is a frequent political commentator on radio and television, a documentary producer and author of a book and numerous articles on historical and political subjects. John is a past recipient of the New York Festival’s award for writing in the International TV category.

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