Father-son team up on watery art exhibit with a cause

Local high school art teacher Trevor Jamieson and his son Brandon, working together in their studio. Cathy Dobson

Cathy Dobson

Access to fresh water is critical to everyone regardless of age, so it’s fitting Sarnia artist Trevor Jamieson collaborated with his four-year-old son on his latest project.

Their ongoing exhibit is raising money to improve water quality in Canada’s First Nations communities.

Each of Jamieson’s very precise paintings of comic book hero Aquaman is punctuated by bold strokes of colour added by little Brandon, a JK student at Rosedale Public School.

“As a father, I share popular culture with Brandon. It’s a language we both understand,” said Jamieson, who grew up in Sarnia, graduated from Northern Collegiate and returned to his alma mater to teach art.

This isn’t the first time father and son have collaborated. They frequently paint together in a basement studio/playroom where their worktables abut and their finished paintings decorate the walls.

“I am meticulous. He is instinctive and just dives in,” explained Jamieson. “For me, it is liberating to give up a little control.  If he didn’t add his thick brushstrokes, it would look just like a comic book.

“This makes you look more closely and realize from the text that it isn’t a regular comic book drawing of Aquaman.”

The pieces for the Jamieson exhibit were inspired by Naomi Klein’s 2014 bestseller “This Changes Everything,” her rather disturbing look at capitalism and the environment.

Jamieson drew passages from Klein’s book that raise awareness about climate change and water quality, and married them with images of Aquaman and his sidekick Aqualad.

“This is a matter of great urgency,” reads one painting that depicts Aquaman springing into action.  “Climate change will test our moral character like little before.”

“I chose Aquaman for this show because he’s a not-so-serious character that we can combine with a very serious message,” said Jamieson.

“I think this makes the message accessible to everyone.”

He and Brandon created the Aquaman show in support of a local effort at St. Giles and Paterson Memorial Presbyterian churches to raise money for Water First.

Water First is a charitable organization that works with First Nations on water challenges.

Together the churches hope to raise $10,000 this year for Water First. Jamieson and Brandon say all proceeds from the sale of the exhibit will be contributed, although Brandon isn’t too concerned about selling any.  He says the paintings are just fun to look at.

There are six pieces in the show with prices starting at $100 each.

The exhibit opened on First Friday and will continue throughout April with a closing reception planned for April 30.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT:  A father-son exhibit with Trevor and Brandon Jamieson to raise money and awareness for clean water.

WHERE: Downtown Refined Fool Brewing Company, 137 Davis St.

WHEN: Through April. Closing April 30 with an artist-attended reception from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.