Art Restoration by William Rapin, Windsor ON.
Art Restoration by William Rapin, Windsor ON.
William Rapin is a local artist, and specializes in art restoration.
Trained at the OCA
was taught by two members of the Group of Seven: A.J. Casson and A.Y. Jackson.
Currently, William is working on restoring the portrait of the founder of Kingsville!
This is a very exciting commission for William
, and we're looking forward to the "after" image!
Check out this article by Windsor Life Magazine
about William Rapin
Windsor's William Rapin: From The Group Of Seven To 2010
What makes an artist?
Away from the confines of his
homey and crowded studio on the 9th floor of a downtown Windsor high rise, would anyone immediately recognize Bill Rapin
Regardless, this lively, goateed 79 year old has the training, the experience, the lifestyle and the reputation…so he's
an exact fit: an artist, period.
is not only an accomplished painter (he often does portraits and landscapes, too) but an art restorer, capable of transforming a faded and partly blank oil study of a little girl, painted in the 1700s, to a bright and detailed object of beauty, scarcely different from when it was created perhaps 250 years ago.
has devoted his
lifetime energy to art, and it's a vivid story.
origins are in what is now The Republic of Belarus: a nation landlocked between Poland and Latvia and Lithuania on the west and east, Russia on the north and Ukraine in the south.
In the manner of numerous European immigrants of the time, in 1954, Vasily Rapinchuck legally changed his name to William (Bill) Rapin, and set his sights on a career in art.
"Peter was a professional singer as well," says Bill.
"But," says Bill
now, "I was always drawn to oil painting, and I still am."
After living in Western Canada where they honed their artistry, inspired by the grandeur of mountain vistas and the buildings and intriguing people of the area, by 1955, Bill
and Peter were "back east".
, "They would move among us, talking and suggesting and critiquing and it was a privilege to be associated with members of a collection of artists who virtually revolutionized parts of the art world, especially landscape painting."
Says Bill Rapin
, "As I did with the rest of the Group of Seven, I studied Tom Thomson artistically……his use of colour and shade and image……but as far as him simply falling out of a canoe while fishing and drowning as a result, well……he was an expert outdoorsman and canoeist and a good swimmer.
"But one result of it," Bill Rapin
reflects now, "is that people love a mystery.
It adds sensation and mystique to Thomson's legacy, along, of course, with the brilliant works that he
notes that one of many aspects of his profession which were enriched during his time at the Ontario College of Art……by Jackson
and Casson and the others……was an awareness that colour presentation had to come, as Bill puts it, naturally.
At first, Bill Rapin went into commercial work after he received his formal degree: Associate of the Ontario College of Art (A.O.C.A.).
chuckles as he
premier venture into the world of commercial creation after graduating.
Inspired by A.Y. Jackson, A.J. Casson (and, one supposes, even following partway in the ghostly footsteps of Tom Thomson)……young William Rapin
had another famous personality enter his artistic life: "Honest Ed" Mirvish!
says, "I had a studio/gallery there for 10 years, along with other artists and sculptors and musicians and all kinds.
Indicating the perfectly reproduced colour logo and symmetrical lettering, Bill
says proudly, "See that?
But at one point, the men's parents, Ted and Catherine, needed assistance at home, so Bill
moved to the family house on Hickory Rd. in Windsor and cared for them.
"I'd have stayed there, too, if I'd been younger," says Bill
wistfully, "but I had to come back to Windsor so I sold the Alberta place quickly.
Both artists have had their works displayed in galleries around the world, and Bill
has assembled a hardcover book with short texts and full colour reproductions of a selection from their hundreds of artworks.
Others are proud as well……especially the staff of Nancy Johns Gallery & Framing
on Wyandotte St. E. near Pillette Rd., where Bill
paintings as well as gaining commissions to restore artworks which are damaged.
Says Dianne Clinton, Gallery Coordinator, "We're lucky to have someone as talented and capable as William Rapin in our community.
William (Bill) Rapin: a Canadian original, taught and inspired by Canadian originals, and still as enthused about his
profession, and perhaps even more so, as when, as a young man he
first took up brush or pencil and discovered that art is a universal language, and he
could learn to express himself in it with authority, elegance and a sense of respect and history.