'Where it can be viewed for free': celebrating Sam Ash's donation to TPL

October 23, 2018 | Gillian

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When artists donate work to the Toronto Public Library they fill out a form called a Deed of Gift. In the case of Toronto Public Library’s most recent donation, the artist Sam Ash added a note that said, display this in a public library space where it can be viewed by the public for free.” 

On October 5th, 2018, a celebration was held at the Toronto Reference Library to honour Sam Ash's donation. The artist and his family and friends were on hand to unveil the painting at the future home of this extraordinary work.

Sam Ash and Elio DelCol
 Elio DelCol and Sam Ash 

As part of the Woodland School of artists, Sam Ash has amassed a body of work worthy of recognition among Canada’s most notable indigenous artists. His paintings are in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the permanent collection of the National Museum of Man, and have been exhibited at the Canada House Gallery in London, England. 

TPL has chosen to hang this painting on the second floor of the Toronto Reference Library. Every year, over one million people walk through the doors of the Reference Library, every one of them for free and every one of them welcome. Now, thanks to Sam Ash’s generosity, the painting will soon be installed to be seen and enjoyed by the many, many people who come into this space in the months and years ahead.

Sam Ash painting
Future home of Sam Ash, untitled, with Penny Griffin, chair of TPL’s Art Exhibits Team

After the celebration, the painting was delivered to the Toronto Public Library’s conservators, who are taking steps to preserve the work before it is hung for all to enjoy. A further announcement will be made when the painting is permanently installed.