Artful inspiration awaits on local house tour

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria House Tour, Sunday, Sept. 13 is a fundraiser for the hosted by the Gallery Associates

  • Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 12:00pm
  • Life

Paddy Stewart (top) with one of his favourite paintings

Jennifer Blyth

Oak Bay News

When it comes to art, Paddy Stewart knows what he likes, and what he likes has found a home on the walls throughout his home or in places of prominence in the English garden surrounding his 1930s Uplands home.

The home will be among those showcased in this year’s Art Gallery of Greater Victoria House Tour, Sunday, Sept. 13. The 62nd annual tour – a fundraiser for the hosted by the Gallery Associates – showcases homes under the fitting theme, The Art of Dramatic Living, honouring the homeowners’ connections to the performing arts.

For Stewart, a passion for the arts extends far beyond the paintings and sculptures he displays against colourful walls that complement the tones in the artworks.

Stewart was also a founding member of what is now the Belfry Theatre, and his two guest rooms are frequently the refuge of visiting actors.

Early risers enjoy the cheerful yellow loft suite, decorated with both soft watercolours and vibrant sculptures, while others prefer the warmer tones of the  cosy basement suite, with framed posters of past Belfry productions.

Stewart has lived in the home since 1974. Today, the layout enjoys an inviting flow, assisted by the removal of various doors that had compartmentalized the space, as was the custom of the day. Fortunately, pulling up the then-popular pink shag rug also revealed the beautiful hardwood underneath.

The further addition of a sunroom off the living room has created a bright escape that feels like it’s surrounded by the garden.

“The bones of the house were always here,” Stewart says during a recent tour.

“It’s a very easy house to move around in. And because [the builder] Mr. Luney was the architect and built it for himself, he didn’t skimp on anything; it’s very well-built,” Stewart notes.

Art has been a passion for Stewart since he was in his teens. “I have been collecting for a long, long time – since I was about 18,” he says, noting his father was the head of the Vancouver Art Gallery at one time.

“I’ve been raised with it, so basically it’s quite an inherent thing.”

While the works change, moving between homes – or rooms – much of what currently hangs in Oak Bay are works of friends and artists he likes to support. He estimates work from about 30 artists is currently displayed in the home and garden.

Home tour tickets are $35 and are available at the AGGV, all GardenWorks locations, all Brown’s the Florist locations and online at aggv.ca/events/house-tour-2015-tickets.

For more information, visit aggv.ca or call 250-384-4171.