WINNIPEG – A small sketch of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights could fetch big bucks when an online auction for the watercolor starts tonight.
It was done by Justin Trudeau, who painted it while on a visit to Winnipeg last winter.
Postcard-sized versions of it were later used as an incentive to encourage donations to the Liberal Party of Canada, but the original was donated to the museum.
“My expectations were that it was going to be…pretty amateurish,” Gail Asper admitted. “But I was really pleasantly surprised.”
The Winnipegger was key in leading the charge to see a national museum built outside of Ottawa, and now sits on the board of the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
The non-profit group is now using the sketch as a fundraiser to help pay down the cost of the $3.5 million temporary gallery.
The online auction starts tonight on Ebay at 9 p.m. EST and runs until February 15. The painting was appraised at $2,000 and bidding begins at that amount.
On Friday, the former president of Sotheby’s Canada said it was “very well done indeed.”
In a news release sent by Friends, David Silcox said:
“From a technical point of view it’s at a professional level, although Trudeau has dodged the complexity that watercolour can present to the artist by cleverly isolating the colours from each other. Still it works strongly as an image and an arresting one. The strength of the work is in the drawing, which is precise, controlled, and done with accurate and impressive perspective – not always easy to achieve. It’s a well executed piece of work. As a rendering, I’d give it an A or an A+.”
The signed original is framed with a quote made in a speech by Trudeau last summer where he said “As Canadians we know that protecting and preserving fundamental human rights must be an imperative for governments and individuals alike.”
“That’s what we are about,” Asper said. “We all have the responsibility to stand up for human rights. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things.”