Having already completing a portrait in bronze relief of A.Y. Jackson, John Topelko decided to portray the likeness of Lawren Harris using the same technique. The artist recognized that “despite his patriotism, and his considerable contributions to the advancement of Canadian Art, very few portraits exist of Lawren Harris”, this work acting as Topelko’s “homage to a great Canadian”.
A former student of Topelko had a personal connection to the Harris family and helped the artist obtain a portrait to use as a source for the bronze relief. Topelko first completed a clay likeness of Harris based on the photograph and then proceeded to have six copies cast in bronze in August of 2009 at the Alloy Foundry Company Limited in Merrickville, Ontario.
John Topelko’s work has been featured in exhibitions in Canada and the United States. The artist’s paintings and sculptures are included in private and corporate collections internationally, including the University of Ottawa, the National Art Gallery of the Ukraine in Kiev and the Royal Commonwealth Society Headquarters Building in London, England. Three of Topelko’s bronze relief portraits of A.Y. Jackson hang in private collections with a fourth displayed at A.Y. Jackson Park in Manotick, Ontario (the artist created five copies of the Jackson portrait).